Lotus says it is still working to add a second full-time entry to its IndyCar lineup to help accelerate its rate of development and close the gap to engine rivals Chevrolet and Honda.
Currently, the manufacturer only supplies the single HVM entry of Simona de Silvestro, although a second Indianapolis 500-only entry was added for Jean Alesi by Indy Lights team Fan Force United. Both cars were black-flagged after a handful of laps for running outside 105 percent of the leaders' pace.
Lotus started the season supplying five cars before parting with the single-car entries of Dreyer & Reinbold (which switched to Chevrolet) and Bryan Herta Autosport (which moved to Honda) in April. The two-car team of Dragon Racing then ended its relationship with Lotus in an acrimonious split that included a substantial lawsuit being filed by the Jay Penske-owned team, although this has since been dropped.
Lotus IndyCar project manager Oliver Picquenot told AUTOSPORT that development work on the twin-turbo unit is continuing, but that the addition of another car is a priority.
"We're working with HVM on a second car, and we've also has some requests from new teams that want to run and have offered to come and work with us," he said. "We're trying to do it as soon as possible. We have to find a driver with a full budget, because it costs money. Nothing is free. We have a lot of money being spent on development, and the dynamic dyno, and engineering new parts, and we have to find the budget.
"We have enough chassis to run, and we're OK on engines, because we have a lot of engines. Now, we need money, which is always a problem for everybody, and we need a driver who wants to run with us.
"As for teams, I have a few teams [interested] from Grand-Am, I have Fan Force, who ran Jean Alesi. If they find the budget they will run again, because they are an Indy Lights team and they want to go into the big series."