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Jay Penske’s team finds engines for 2 cars
Legge all second of the three phases of her rookie test after series officials kept the track open for an extra 45 minutes. She turned a fast lap of 212.796. Bourdais also made it onto turned 21 laps in his own car, with a fast lap of 214.715.
“It’s been a rough ride this week,” said Bourdais, the four-time Champ Car champion. “It was very complicated.”
Lotus officials have acknowledged they got a late start in testing the twin turbocharged engine, leaving them far behind Chevy and Honda. Last month, Lotus released Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Bryan Herta Autosport from their contracts.
Penske became the third team to ditch the engines after another sub-par showing at Brazil, but Lotus wouldn’t initially let him out of the contract. Six days before the Brickyard opened for rookies and refresher programs, Penske filed suit against Lotus, claiming the company damaging his team’s reputation by spreading “especially outrageous” falsehoods about the IndyCar team while failing to deliver two chassis and hurting its ability to be competitive.
Indy rookie Jean Alesi and Simona de Silvestro are the only two drivers attempting to qualify with a Lotus engine and they have consistently been the two slowest cars all week. Alesi, who made 201 career starts in Formula One, couldn’t even pass the final phase of his rookie test until series officials gave him a boost of 40-50 horsepower Monday. That allowed him to finally run sustained laps at 210 mph or more.
Alesi even said he felt “unsafe” and was “concerned” for the other drivers because he was “quite slow in the middle of the track.”
IndyCar officials say they’re “monitoring” the situation, seven months after two-time Indy winner Dan Wheldon was killed in a horrific crash at Las Vegas.
“I can sympathize with the situation,” John Judd, the IndyCar engine project manager for Lotus, said Wednesday. “I can only comment on what I know about the engine, and we do have some work to do, for sure. I think we would all benefit from more testing.”
Penske and his drivers did not discuss any safety concerns. Instead, the Dragon Racing team remained focused on trying to find an engine and a strategy that would make the team more competitive on race day.
“We’re not even worried about qualifying,” Legge said. “If we just get it in the field, we’ll get ready for the race. Realistically, we’ve not had too much time in the car, just like all year, and we’re coming in here with really no testing.”
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
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