Lotus stake sale to Infinity creates a more tangled web of names

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Sooner or later, it seems every team in the Formula One paddock might be interconnected by way of similar names or branding.

The latest chapter came Tuesday, as Lotus announced a 35 percent sale to an investment consortium called Infinity.

And now we begin our six degrees of Kevin Bacon to describe the tangential relationships up and down the paddock that eventually leads us back to Lotus:

  • Lotus’ new stakeholder, Infinity, is not related to Infiniti, the car manufacturer that sponsors Red Bull (the team formerly known as Jaguar and Stewart).
  • Genii Capital, which still maintains majority ownership of Lotus, has its CEO named Eric Lux. This is the Lux that Force India driver Adrian Sutil had the incident with outside a nightclub after the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix. This incident indirectly led to Sutil’s 2012 hiatus from F1.
  • There is also a Lotus competing at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Lotus T128 Pragas in the LMP2 class that last year, had Colin Kolles as a part of its management team. Kolles was part of Force India’s management team, when it was any of Jordan, Midland, MF1 and Spyker, before it became Force India.
  • Another Eric Lux, an American Le Mans Series PC class champion and prototype driver, is competing at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans for Caterham – which has taken over branding of the Greaves Motorsport-run Zytek ZS11 Nissan in LMP2, and has a co-driver of Alexander Rossi.
  • Rossi is the reserve driver for Caterham in F1. Caterham began life as, you guessed it, Lotus Racing.
  • The F1 team that is now Caterham was Lotus, and the team that is now Lotus has previously been Renault, Benetton, and Toleman.

Confused yet? We’ll let you mull it over before giving out the test later on.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”