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FourWheelDrift

Original Poster:

61,274 posts

170 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all
"To date, Jean has never driven an IndyCar and never raced on an oval," said Lotus in a press release.

That, a slow Lotus engined car and a team that has never competed in the main Indycar series. Has the man gone mad!

Crash.net said:
With all the rumours, twists and turns in the story of Jean Alesi's hoped-for Indianapolis 500 début later this month, the story has nonetheless managed to still take everyone by surprise with a last minute twist.

Lotus Motorsports Group confirmed on Tuesday that it had signed a deal to put Alesi into the cockpit of a Lotus-engined entry with Firestone Indy Lights team Fan Force United for the 96th running of the event.

"We've been talking about this race for a long time, and trying to find the right team to go with," said 47-year-old Alesi, a veteran of 13 seasons of F1 competition. "I'm very happy to be joining Fan Force United. Lotus believes it's the right place for me to be, and I trust the team completely and am sure we will do a super job."

"To date, Jean has never driven an IndyCar and never raced on an oval," said Lotus in a press release. "However, he has spent many hours on Dallara's state-of-the-art simulator, where he's been honing his technique, getting a handle on differing IndyCar setups, and driving in a variety of conditions.

"It's going to be very interesting to see how far natural skill can get him," added the statement.

After the withdrawal of Newman/Haas Racing from the Indy 500, which had been set to support the French-Sicilian former F1 driver's first oval appearance in the "greatest spectacle in motor racing" on May 27, the prospects of Lotus' brand ambassador making it onto the grid for the race appeared to be rapidly fading.

Lotus would not disclose the financial terms of the latest arrangement, but confirmed that Swiss watchmaker FP Journe - Alesi's personal sponsors - were part of the deal. However, even with a rumoured funding package totalling in the region of between half and three-quarters of a million dollars, the driver found it impossible to open doors at the last of Lotus' regular IZOD IndyCar Series teams HVM Racing.

"It was so late and it didn't feel comfortable and I didn't have enough manpower," said HVM team owner Keith Wiggins. "I didn't want to detract from Simona's effort," he added, referring to the team's regular driver Simona de Silvestro.

With the acrimonious collapse of Lotus' engine supply contract with Dragon Racing, Alesi's chances of entering this year's race seemed over until the emergence at the weekend of a last-minute hook-up with the Firestone Indy Lights team.

Fan Force United team owner Tyce Carlson is himself a former Indy Racing League driver with 30 starts in the series, including two Indy 500 appearances. His team already has two cars entered for the Freedom 100 support race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month, with Emerson Newton-John (nephew of actress/singer Olivia Newton-John) joining series regular Armaan Ebrahim for the event.

Carlson has made no secret of wanting to follow in the footsteps of other successful Indy Lights teams such as Sam Schmidt Motorsports in moving up to the full IZOD IndyCar Series in due course, and had already employed veteran mechanic and former team owner Greg Beck with expansion in mind.

Now with Lotus in urgent need of a partner for the Indy 500, the opportunity to make its IndyCar début was clearly too good for Fan Force United to pass over.

Alesi is now expected to join other series rookies including fellow F1 graduate Rubens Barrichello at IMS on Thursday to undergo the Rookie Orientation Program that all oval newbies must pass before being eligible to run in qualifying for the Indy 500.

"I feel ready for the Indy 500, but also I am very happy to be doing the rookie test," said Alesi. "This will give me time to gain confidence and the feeling for the car and the track."

The formal Opening Day of track activity at the 2.5-mile speedway is on Saturday, with qualifying for the Indy 500 taking place over the following weekend.

rubystone

8,423 posts

145 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all
Everything looking good..until I read that he is being backed by Lotus....

realjv

447 posts

52 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all
rubystone said:
Everything looking good..until I read that he is being backed by Lotus....
Its unfortunate that the team name is just one typo away from becoming Fan Farce

P924

1,087 posts

68 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all
When is the Indy 500?

FourWheelDrift

Original Poster:

61,274 posts

170 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all
Sunday May 27th.



If in the UK or you can get Sky Sports 4 from Spain it's on from 4:30pm UK time.
Advertisement

hornet

5,936 posts

136 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all
I really don't understand this move. Beyond bringing a fat pile of cash, what on earth does Alesi have to gain? He's not going to win, qualifying is probably a doubt (33 cars permitting) given the Lotus engine, he has no Indy or oval experience and hasn't been in a single seater for God knows how long. I can't help but remember Piquet's outing and hope nothing like that occurs. Ok, it's publicity, but a) not if he hurts himself and b) who for? If they had a NASCAR regular in the car then maybe I could understand it, but who in the US knows who Alesi is?!

FourWheelDrift

Original Poster:

61,274 posts

170 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all

thunderbelmont

2,963 posts

110 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all
He stands a good chance of qualifying - if he gets through the first bit...

First he has to pass his Rookie Orientation which is done in the first week of the "Month of May".

With that done, he'll be given plenty of time to get up to speed. If he doesn't meet the criteria, then they won't let him qualify.

FourWheelDrift

Original Poster:

61,274 posts

170 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all
Not with a Lotus engine behind him he won't in a team that has only ever run Lights cars. Even having an Indy experienced driver trying to qualify the car won't be enough.

sarahbee

19 posts

31 months

[news] 
Thursday 10th May 2012 quote quote all
Seems too risky to me, why risk death or serious injury look at Nelson Piquet's attempt a few years back.
If he wants to race again do some lower risk GT racing or something

sarahbee

19 posts

31 months

[news] 
Thursday 10th May 2012 quote quote all
Seems too risky to me, why risk death or serious injury look at Nelson Piquet's attempt a few years back.
If he wants to race again do some lower risk GT racing or something

hornet

5,936 posts

136 months

[news] 
Thursday 10th May 2012 quote quote all
FourWheelDrift said:
Not with a Lotus engine behind him he won't in a team that has only ever run Lights cars. Even having an Indy experienced driver trying to qualify the car won't be enough.
Even if he did get in the field, Lotus have done no oval testing as far as I'm aware (did they run at Texas?), so chances are the thing will go pop anyway. If it doesn't, he's only ever looking at finishing x laps off the pace. Why risk it?

realjv

447 posts

52 months

[news] 
Thursday 10th May 2012 quote quote all
rubystone said:
Everything looking good..until I read that he is being backed by Lotus....
Its unfortunate that the team name is just one typo away from becoming Fan Farce

FourWheelDrift

Original Poster:

61,274 posts

170 months

[news] 
Monday 14th May 2012 quote quote all
Lotus engined cars way off the pace so far.

Practice 1 & practice 2 times combined.

Combined practice times

1. #17 Sebastian Saavedra (C) 221.526mph 40.6272s Practice 2 (75 laps)
2. #39 Bryan Clauson (H) 221.173mph 40.6922s Practice 2 (98 laps)
3. #67 Josef Newgarden (H) 221.158mph 40.6949s Practice 2 (95 laps)
4. #9 Scott Dixon (H) 220.829mph 40.7556s Practice 2 (31 laps)
5. #18 Justin Wilson (H) 220.615mph 40.7950s Practice 2 (74 laps)
6. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) 220.357mph 40.8428s Practice 2 (50 laps)
7. #4 JR Hildebrand (C) 219.693mph 40.9662s Practice 1 (64 laps)
8. #19 James Jakes (H) 218.995mph 41.0968s Practice 2 (55 laps)
9. #27 James Hinchcliffe (C) 218.890mph 41.1165s Practice 2 (51 laps)
10. #83T Charlie Kimball (H) 218.812mph 41.1312s Practice 2 (62 laps)
11. #20 Ed Carpenter (C) 218.481mph 41.1935s Practice 2 (94 laps)
12. #11 Tony Kanaan (C) 218.468mph 41.1959s Practice 2 (16 laps)
13. #15 Takuma Sato (H) 218.016mph 41.2814s Practice 2 (60 laps)
14. #50 Dario Franchitti (H) 217.993mph 41.2857s Practice 2 (17 laps)
15. #2 Ryan Briscoe (C) 217.987mph 41.2869s Practice 2 (75 laps)
16. #5 EJ Viso (C) 217.934mph 41.2969s Practice 2 (65 laps)
17. #12 Will Power (C) 217.762mph 41.3296s Practice 2 (74 laps)
18. #11T Tony Kanaan (C) 217.741mph 41.3335s Practice 1 (20 laps)
19. #26 Marco Andretti (C) 217.706mph 41.3402s Practice 2 (27 laps)
20. #22 Oriol Servia (C) 217.656mph 41.3497s Practice 2 (78 laps)
21. #3 Helio Castroneves (C) 217.617mph 41.3571s Practice 1 (57 laps)
22. #38 Graham Rahal (H) 217.551mph 41.3697s Practice 2 (63 laps)
23. #77 Simon Pagenaud (H) 217.483mph 41.3825s Practice 1 (84 laps)
24. #9T Scott Dixon (H) 217.244mph 41.4281s Practice 1 (8 laps)
25. #98 Alex Tagliani (H) 217.116mph 41.4525s Practice 2 (37 laps)
26. #41 Wade Cunningham (H) 216.657mph 41.5404s Practice 2 (58 laps)
27. #50T Dario Franchitti (H) 215.896mph 41.6867s Practice 1 (19 laps)
28. #14 Mike Conway (H) 215.725mph 41.7197s Practice 2 (61 laps)
29. #8 Rubens Barrichello (C) 215.578mph 41.7483s Practice 2 (74 laps)
30. #99 Townsend Bell (H) 215.042mph 41.8522s Practice 2 (8 laps)
31. #30 Michel Jourdain (H) 214.871mph 41.8856s Practice 1 (46 laps)
32. #25 Marco Andretti (C) 214.745mph 41.9101s Practice 2 (12 laps)
33. #25 Ana Beatriz (C) 214.745mph 41.9101s Practice 2 (17 laps)
34. #17 Marco Andretti (C) 214.737mph 41.9118s Practice 1 (4 laps)
35. #8 Tony Kanaan (C) 213.664mph 42.1223s Practice 2 (5 laps)
36. #64 Jean Alesi (L) 209.438mph 42.9721s Practice 1 (64 laps)
37. #78 Simona de Silvestro (L) 202.179mph 44.5150s Practice 2 (33 laps)

H - Honda
C- Chevrolet
L - Lotus

McHaggis

13,981 posts

41 months

[news] 
Monday 14th May 2012 quote quote all
FourWheelDrift said:
Lotus engined cars way off the pace so far.
Dany Bahar will be there soon...

"No doubt they will carve through the field for another glorious win..."

FourWheelDrift

Original Poster:

61,274 posts

170 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
Combine times after 4 practice sessions.

1. #26 Marco Andretti (C) 223.676mph 40.2367s Practice 4 (121 laps)
2. #67 Josef Newgarden (H) 222.486mph 40.4519s Practice 3 (179 laps)
3. #3 Helio Castroneves (C) 222.025mph 40.5359s Practice 4 (174 laps)
4. #27 James Hinchcliffe (C) 221.864mph 40.5653s Practice 4 (160 laps)
5. #38 Graham Rahal (H) 221.855mph 40.5671s Practice 4 (160 laps)
6. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) 221.814mph 40.5746s Practice 4 (173 laps)
7. #83 Charlie Kimball (H) 221.677mph 40.5997s Practice 4 (29 laps)
8. #17 Sebastian Saavedra (C) 221.526mph 40.6272s Practice 2 (160 laps)
9. #9 Scott Dixon (H) 221.499mph 40.6323s Practice 3 (125 laps)
10. #39 Bryan Clauson (H) 221.173mph 40.6922s Practice 2 (130 laps)
11. #12 Will Power (C) 221.169mph 40.6929s Practice 4 (200 laps)
12. #50 Dario Franchitti (H) 221.056mph 40.7136s Practice 4 (100 laps)
13. #15 Takuma Sato (H) 220.843mph 40.7530s Practice 4 (171 laps)
14. #98 Alex Tagliani (H) 220.703mph 40.7788s Practice 4 (85 laps)
15. #4 JR Hildebrand (C) 220.677mph 40.7835s Practice 3 (142 laps)
16. #18 Justin Wilson (H) 220.615mph 40.7950s Practice 2 (187 laps)
17. #22 Oriol Servia (C) 220.304mph 40.8527s Practice 3 (177 laps)
18. #2 Ryan Briscoe (C) 220.094mph 40.8916s Practice 4 (216 laps)
19. #11 Tony Kanaan (C) 219.761mph 40.9536s Practice 3 (97 laps)
20. #77 Simon Pagenaud (H) 219.738mph 40.9579s Practice 4 (188 laps)
21. #99 Townsend Bell (H) 219.647mph 40.9748s Practice 4 (76 laps)
22. #25 Ana Beatriz (C) 219.447mph 41.0121s Practice 3 (114 laps)
23. #19 James Jakes (H) 219.036mph 41.0892s Practice 3 (231 laps)
24. #83T Charlie Kimball (H) 218.812mph 41.1312s Practice 2 (62 laps)
25. #20 Ed Carpenter (C) 218.714mph 41.1496s Practice 4 (177 laps)
26. #14 Mike Conway (H) 218.648mph 41.1620s Practice 4 (131 laps)
27. #41 Wade Cunningham (H) 218.581mph 41.1746s Practice 4 (127 laps)
28. #5 EJ Viso (C) 218.345mph 41.2192s Practice 3 (159 laps)
29. #30 Michel Jourdain (H) 218.006mph 41.2833s Practice 4 (153 laps)
30. #11T Tony Kanaan (C) 217.741mph 41.3335s Practice 1 (20 laps)
31. #8 Rubens Barrichello (C) 217.435mph 41.3916s Practice 4 (124 laps)
32. #9T Scott Dixon (H) 217.244mph 41.4281s Practice 1 (8 laps)
33. #8T Rubens Barrichello (C) 216.724mph 41.5274s Practice 3 (49 laps)
34. #50T Dario Franchitti (H) 215.896mph 41.6867s Practice 1 (19 laps)
35. #25 Marco Andretti (C) 214.745mph 41.9101s Practice 2 (12 laps)
36. #17 Marco Andretti (C) 214.737mph 41.9118s Practice 1 (4 laps)
37. #8 Tony Kanaan (C) 213.664mph 42.1223s Practice 2 (5 laps)
38. #64 Jean Alesi (L) 211.516mph 42.5499s Practice 3 (109 laps)
39. #78 Simona de Silvestro (L) 210.315mph 42.7930s Practice 4 (78 laps)

FourWheelDrift

Original Poster:

61,274 posts

170 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
Still don't like the cars.


HereBeMonsters

13,303 posts

68 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
Is this on UK telly?

FourWheelDrift

Original Poster:

61,274 posts

170 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
May 27th, Sky Sports 4 from 4.30pm.

fatboy69

6,153 posts

73 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
FourWheelDrift said:
Still don't like the cars.

Jeez - that thing makes the current F1 cars look pretty!!!

It's as fugly as hell. Horrible looking thing.

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