E23 Hybrid car ‘a great basis’ for Lotus in 2015


Lotus technical director Nick Chester believes that there is plenty more to come from the team in 2015 thanks to the strong basis provided by the new E23 Hybrid car.

Following a torrid 2014 F1 season that yielded just eight points, Lotus opted to overhaul its car for the new season, bringing Mercedes on board as an engine supplier to help turn its fortunes around.

The team made a promising start to the year in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix as both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado secured top-ten grid slots, suggesting that its pre-season pace had been genuine.

Ultimately, last Sunday’s race came to an abrupt end for Lotus as both drivers were forced to retire on the first lap, but Chester remained upbeat about the team’s performance.

“We are reasonably happy,” Chester said. “We look like we could be regular Q3 contenders but there is more that we want to be doing such as closing the gap to Williams and moving away more from the group behind us. There is more to do!

“It’s a brand new car and there is quite a lot of aero development work to do. We will be pushing developments all through the year for it. We are happy as we have a good platform to work from.

“The drivers enjoy driving the E23. They find it is a consistent car they are able to push to the limit quite well. It’s great to have this basis to work from as it means that we can focus on adding performance.”

Grosjean and Maldonado will be hoping to hit back at next Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix with a strong display, and if they can survive beyond lap one at Sepang, both will stand a good chance of finishing inside the points.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.