The new Engine Developments Ltd.-designed and built Lotus IZOD IndyCar Series engine had its first tests on the Palm Beach International Raceway road course last Thursday and Friday. Lotus HVM Racing, the Lotus test team and Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro completed a two-day shakedown test of the 2.2-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine and the new Dallara DW12 chassis.
The team completed more than 300 laps without incident on the West Palm Beach circuit and then moved to Sebring International Raceway for added testing on Monday and Tuesday of this week. In all the team completed 870 miles in the two combined sessions.
"I think it was really a good four days," said driver Simona de Silvestro. "We ran a lot of miles; we did a lot of laps. I've never spent so much time in a race car! We started tweaking on the race car just to see what it liked," she noted.
"It was a really positive test and to be part of the first laps on the Lotus engine - I learned so many things right there," de Silvestro continued. These guys have been really open and showed me everything. We worked really well together which was really cool. I can't wait to get back in the car again."
Team manager Vince Kremer concurred: "We're very satisfied with the way everything went. I feel like we made good, solid strides," he said. "Simona put some solid laps in and the engine ran flawlessly. We exceeded what our original parameters were and we're looking forward to the next test in a few days. I can't emphasize enough how well the collaboration with the three teams and the engine supplier went."
The three teams Kremer refers to are the collaborative factory grouping of HVM Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (DRR) and Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA), who are all working together with Lotus to develop their new engine.
De Silvestro has her next opportunity to drive the car again in February, while Lotus test drivers Alex Tagliani (BHA) and Oriol Servia (DRR) share driving duties with her during the scheduled February and March tests. She will be present to join her engineers and team members at the upcoming tests at Homestead-Miami Speedway and again at Sebring in the coming weeks.