Lotus has confirmed yesterday's report that it would release Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Bryan Herta Autosport-Team Barracuda from its engine contracts, in a statement that the manufacturer announced in a statement Tuesday.
The statement said that the regulatory requirement to supply multiple teams and the late timing of its entry placed a significant restriction on the manufacturers' development program.
"It was clear from the start that the 2012 season was going to be a huge challenge as Lotus debuted its IndyCar engine, but it was a challenge that Lotus was determined to meet," Lotus said. "Lotus was further hindered by unanticipated difficulties caused by the widely reported change of ownership and the subsequent restrictions on resources. To have achieved a top-10 position under these circumstances is pretty impressive.
"That said, Lotus has acknowledged that whilst the engine has demonstrated a lot of promise, minimal testing has resulted in reliability issues. Having now had experience and feedback from the first three races of the season, Lotus undertook a strategic review of its position to decide what course of action would be in the best interests of IndyCar and the teams it supports.
"Following this review, Lotus is pleased to announce in cooperation with IndyCar that, while it remains fully committed to IndyCar in the long term, Lotus has taken the decision to reduce the number of cars it runs from five to three for the remainder of the season. As a consequence of this decision, Lotus has made offers to Bryan Herta Autosport LLC and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing LLC to end the agreements with them. Bryan Herta Autosport LLC will not participate in any further races as a Lotus team and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing LLC will race one more time in Brazil next weekend."
The two teams, also known this year as Lotus DRR and Team Barracuda-BHA, are expected to sign with Chevrolet and Honda in advance of the Indianapolis 500. IndyCar will work with the teams to find their engine partners for the remainder of the season, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said.
The move frees up drivers Oriol Servia and Alex Tagliani to have improved rides going forward. Tagliani's BHA team had already announced it would skip Brazil due to it falling out of the top 22 in entrant points and a lack of substantial testing time. Servia's Lotus sign-off will come this weekend.
For the rest of 2012, that leaves Lotus HVM Racing and Dragon Racing as the only full-season Lotus entrants, with Newman/Haas Racing's one-off entry for Jean Alesi now just the fourth car for the manufacturer at Indianapolis, if it materializes.
“Lotus in IndyCar is like David versus Goliath," said Claudio Berro, director of motorsport for Group Lotus. "We are and always will be a niche British sports car company built for the few not the many. That said I'm delighted with our solution and I can assure everybody that the actions were taken after careful consideration and will assist in ensuring the brand's high racing ambitions and the high expectations of the IndyCar community are realized.”