Another chapter to Lotus’ disappointing foray into Indy Car racing was written today as Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing squad was granted an exemption by the sanctioning body to abandon the Lotus powerplants in favor of Chevrolet engines.
Dragon Racing had been battling for most of the month in an effort to get out of its deal with Lotus,and was finally able today to get rookie Katherine Legge on track to run her Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The green light finally came to change manufacturers only after long negotiations took place at the Speedway over the last two days.
Both Legge and her teammate Sebastien Bourdais were able to get track time today as they prepare for this weekend’s qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. The engine change means that nearly half of the expected 33-car will be wearing the Chevrolet bowties- which has been the engine to have to this point of the 2012 season. Chevrolet has dominated the IZOD Indy Car Series season to this point, winning each of the first four races and powering each of the top four drivers in the series standings.
“The addition of Dragon Racing’s two cars to the Chevrolet roster for the Indianapolis 500 is a strategic enhancement to our already strong stable of teams and drivers,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet IndyCar Program Manager. “The efforts put forth by our combined Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 teams will seamlessly continue for the biggest race of the year.”
The Dragon duo will have one more day of practice leading into Saturday’s qualifying sessions, which get underway at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The final grid will be set with Sunday’s qualifying, which runs from Noon to 6 p.m.