The first round of updates aimed at closing the gap between Lotus and IndyCar engine rivals Honda and Chevrolet will be tested on Monday.
Engine development is frozen under series regulations, but a provision was made for any manufacturer to petition for a one-off dispensation to make changes if it could demonstrate that it was 2.5 percent down on power relative to the rest of the field. Lotus applied for and received permission to make specific changes to otherwise frozen parts last week after providing IndyCar engineers with data outlining the expected gains from the updates, and time frames for their implementation.
The first of those updates will be tried out by HVM's Simona de Silvestro at Mid-Ohio on Monday, with subsequent modifications due to be rolled out at the Toronto round the weekend of July 8, Sonoma (Aug. 28), and Baltimore (Sept. 4).
"Lotus has been working with outside engineering firms, in conjunction with John Judd and his enterprise (UK-based Engine Developments Ltd.),” Lotus IndyCar manager Olivier Picquenot said. “The purpose is to get some outside help to assist in the new development plan for the Lotus engine. Everyone has been working well together and looking to make some quick progress in a concrete way. Now that the IndyCar Series has giving us permission to improve the engine performance, things will be moving soon.”
IndyCar director of engine development Trevor Knowles said Chevrolet and Honda have been apprised of Lotus' modification schedule. Old parts remain homologated until 2013.