2014 Lotus LMP1 prototype race carEnlarge Photo
German racing team Kodewa, which aimed to enter the 2014 World Endurance Championship under the Lotus banner, competing in the LMP1-L category for private teams, was scheduled to make its debut in the third round of the championship: this weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s since been revealed that the team has withdrawn from the race but will still be present to unveil its new Lotus T129 LMP1 prototype.
The T129 is said to be an all-new design unrelated to last year’s Lotus LMP2, the T128, also fielded by Kodewa. Power is said to come from a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine sourced from AER, while firms such as Michelin and Xtrac are also said to be among the suppliers.
Autosport reports that the T129 will begin testing shortly after the Le Mans weekend and that team organizers are now hopeful of having the car ready for the fifth round of the WEC: the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on September 20. The only driver confirmed for the team is Christijan Albers.
It’s thought that a late switch from an Audi engine to the AER unit is the cause of the delay. However, there is also speculation that Kodewa founder Colin Kolles, who previously led the HRT Formula One team, is focused on returning to F1 with a new Romanian team called Forza Rossa Racing. Forza Rossa is the name of the Ferrari importer in Romania and is led by Romanian health minister Ion Bazac, who is alleged to be working with Kolles to launch the new F1 team.