Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge will both make full-time returns to IndyCar racing this year after being announced as the drivers for Dragon Racing.
The Jay Penske-owned team, which ran selected races last year with Paul Tracy and Ho-Pin Tung, will use Lotus engines in this year's IZOD IndyCar Series. It will be the first time the team has run a full-time program with two cars. Dragon joins the HVM, Bryan Herta and Dreyer & Reinbold teams in running Lotus engines.
Claudio Berro, Group Lotus director of motorsport, said: "We are very pleased to be able to announce this new and exciting partnership with Dragon Racing today, a team which has demonstrated its potential and which we believe will achieve great success thanks to the Lotus IndyCar engine and the security of a major backer."
Bourdais, a four-time champion in Champ Car, made nine appearances with Dale Coyne Racing last season, but has not competed full time in the U.S. since joining Toro Rosso in Formula 1 in 2008, and then moving on to become a member of Peugeot's sports car lineup.
Legge contested two Champ Car seasons in 2006 and 2007 with PKV and Dale Coyne before returning to Europe to spend three years as part of Audi's DTM squad.
Lotus is finally primed to hit the track, the last of the three new IndyCar engine manufacturers to do so. The company's all-new twin-turbo V6, developed by John Judd's Engine Developments group, is scheduled to have its first shakedown today at the Moroso circuit in Jupiter, Fla., with Lotus HVM driver Simona de Silvestro at the wheel.
“The engine has performed extremely well so far, and we and our partners are very pleased with the results," said Berro, who revealed the engine publicly for the first time today at the Autosport International motorsports show in England. "We had our first fire-up in a Dallara chassis in Parma, Italy, on Dec. 21-23, then the engine was sent to America, and today we're having our first on-track shakedown, at Moroso, which is very exciting.
"On Jan. 1, we opened a Lotus facility in Indianapolis, which will be our U.S. engineering and logistics hub, so it's all go. We've still got a lot of work to do before the start of the season, but I couldn't be happier with the progress we're making.”