- Associated Press - Friday, June 1, 2012

DETROIT (AP) - Sebastien Bourdais knew that once Dragon Racing’s deal with Lotus went bad it was going to be difficult to overcome.

He has found out just how tough it will be.

Bourdais will be relegated this season to competing on street courses _ such as this weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix _ while teammate Katherine Legge races on ovals.

“It’s too bad that we can’t do a true, full season,” he said Friday morning after his first practice run on Belle Isle’s 2-mile track.

Dragon Racing team owner Jay Penske dropped a $4.6 million lawsuit against Lotus last month in order to be released from a contract to make a deal to use Chevrolet engines. Chevrolet, though, is providing the team with only one engine for the rest of the season.

“I’d love to have two Chevrolets on track every weekend,” Penske said. “But I remain extremely grateful to Chevy for stepping in at the last minute and providing us not only the two engines for Indy, but also committing to provide us full support for a single entry for the rest of the season which they were under no obligation to do.”

Bourdais was in each of the first five races this year with one top-10 finish. His sixth start on Sunday in Detroit will be his last for a month because the next three events _ in Texas, Milwaukee and Iowa _ are on oval tracks.

“We know it’s time to show what we’re capable of,” he said. “The sooner the better.”

Among points leaders, Bourdais is 21st and Legge, who also raced in IndyCar’s first five events, is 24th out of 33 drivers.

Lotus officials have acknowledged they got a late start in testing their twin turbocharged engine, leaving them far behind Chevrolet and Honda. Dragon Racing became the third team to ditch the engines after another sub-par showing at Brazil.

“As soon as the Lotus deal went bonkers, we knew it wasn’t going to be good for us,” Bourdais said. “But that’s what we’re facing and we’ll try to make the best of it.”



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