Lotus LMP1 will miss next weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone due to delays from a late change in engine supplier for its new Lotus T129.
As previously reported, the Kodewa-run effort had made the switch to AER’s V6 biturbo after initially exploring an option for an Audi DTM-based V8, which failed to materialize in time.
“It was extremely frustrating to be let down by our original engine supplier. We were only notified late December that the supplier of the original engine, a naturally aspirated V8, could not deliver on time,” said Lotus LMP Head of Operations Boris Bermes.
“We quickly made the decision to work with AER with a V6 turbo and we’re very happy with the current collaboration. Since the changeover we have worked flat out to ensure that the Lotus LMP car is ready as soon as possible.”
Thomas Holzer, James Rossiter and Christijan Albers were listed to drive the No. 9 entry for the first round of the season, with plans now being put into place for the all-new LMP1-L car to debut at next month’s Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
“As professional racers, making the decision to miss a race is never taken lightly, there’s always a temptation to try and rush the development process just to be out on track,” Bermes added.
“However on this occasion we have decided to be cautious and commit to getting things absolutely right for our shakedown the week after Silverstone ahead of the race in Spa.
“We have a great team in place and I’m confident that this delay won’t hold us back further.”
As a result, 30 cars are now expected for Silverstone, with Rebellion Racing’s 2013-spec Lola B12/60 Toyotas the only entries in LMP1-L.
The Anglo-Swiss squad is also expected to debut its new Rebellion R-Ones at Spa.