Lotus News Article

IndyCar - Milwaukee IndyFest Preview

Friday, June 15, 2012 - 08:45

The IZOD IndyCar teams and drivers are on the road again for a fourth week in a row. The next stop will be West Allis, Wisconsin, at the historic Milwaukee Mile for the Milwaukee IndyFest. It has been a long-standing tradition for IndyCar to go to Milwaukee. As Paul Newman used to say, back in 1969 “We always go to Milwaukee after Indy”.

The Milwaukee Mile is the oldest operating motor speedway in the world. It’s been around since 1903. This is where 1992 Formula One world champion and Lotus legend Nigel Mansell won his first oval race, back in 1993.  Last year IndyCar champion, Dario Franchitti (#10 – Target Chip Ganassi Racing) won the race here from pole.

Simona de Silvestro 717

The drivers put on a great show at Texas and plan on doing the same here at the Milwaukee Mile. Graham Rahal (#38 – Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing) came close to winning in Texas, but was overtaken by Justin Wilson (#18 – Dale Coyne Racing) just two laps before the end, after brushing the Turn 4 wall.  "I saw guys going forward like crazy one stint, next stint they were falling back like crazy, and I was one of them,” said Rahal. “That's phenomenal. That's the way it should be. That's the way it used to be. We put on some great shows so far this year, and we need to keep that buzz going. And ultimately, the goal is to put more butts in the seats out there, and more eyes on the TV. If racing like this keeps helping it, then I'm all for it.”

All the IndyCar drivers agree that tyres will be a big factor again this weekend, just as they were in Texas. This year’s new car is tougher on the rear tyres on ovals, it wears them out faster. However, other factors come into play on this short oval such as the wind, the engineering. “The engineers make the difference here,” said British driver Katherine Legge (#6 - TrueCar Dragon Racing), who made history here at the Mile. Legge was the first woman to have led race laps here in 2006. It was her first time on an oval and she finished sixth. “On ovals, how good you are is dependant on how good your car is. The engineers definitely earn their money on ovals.”

Lotus HVM Racing is looking forward to a better result this weekend, as the #78 Lotus machine did not turn one racing lap in Texas because of a fuel pressure problem. With the new exhaust system in place last weekend, the Lotus car was showing great improvement. The Lotus HVM hopes to take that momentum forward. Simona De Silvestro, the driver of the #78 Lotus car has been around this famed oval a few times and is hoping to cash in on her experience at Milwaukee. "Let's just see what we can do in Milwaukee. We're going to work hard to have a good car and see what we can end up with. Hopefully we'll finish with a good result at the end of the weekend!”

The weather forecast for the weekend is good so far, with no rain expected on race day. That’s a good thing, as IndyCars do not race on ovals when it rains.

IndyCar Milwaukee Mile

Milwaukee Mile

Circuit length: 1-mile oval

Laps: 225

Miles: 225

Front and back straights:  1,265 feet

Banking of straightaways:  2.5 degrees

Banking of turns:  9.25 degrees

Width:  70 feet