Disclaimer: What follows is purely a blind man taking shots in the dark. There was no specific precedent that instigated these ideas; just dumb speculation.
It seems that the recent trend on twitter and in the indycar blogosphere has been to throw ideas against the wall and see what sticks. Most of us have no real inside knowledge of back room handshakes or verbal agreements between teams and drivers. Yet we constantly throw driver and team pairings out there. Word on the street was that a Russian indycar blog had either predicted, or prematurely broke the news about Dragon racing. Whatever the case may be; it’s my turn to stir the pot up. Who knows; I may be spot on.
The main reason I started to really think outside the box was preceded by the Lotus update article by Marshall Pruett. In said article, the Lotus boss stated he had a brand new, unannounced team to indycar racing under the Lotus umbrella. A few days later Dragon racing was confirmed as being a Lotus team and that they had signed Legge and Bourdais to full season rides.
From what I define a “new team to indycar racing” as is not fulfilled by Dragon. Now, this may actually be the team referred to in the article, but I chose to believe that is not the case and there is still a mystery Lotus team rolling around somewhere out there. I have two ideas for teams that may fit this mold to a “T” so let’s see how crazy and out of touch I actually am.
Paul Tracy Racing with Gerald Forsythe – Everybody’s favorite Mexican-wrestler-moonlighting-as-a-Canadian-racecar-driver, Paul Tracy, has been making a considerable amount of noise on twitter regarding his future plans for 2012, philosophical observations about the modern world and authoring thoughtful quips applicable to everyday life. None of this seems too out of the ordinary for PT, but along with his found-again social media voice; there have been quiet questions circulating about the state of Forsythe Racing and how this could apply to him. I have no idea why Forsythe came up, but it got me thinking. ..
From my vantage point, I believed that Gerald Forsythe did have every intension of fielding a team in the combined series for the 2009 season. In 2008, he publicly stated that he would, indeed, field at least an Indy Lights team. There were also more than quiet reports that he was “close” to fielding an IRL team as well as an ALMS team. As we all know, none of this came to fruition and Paul Tracy was forced to sit on the sidelines; unable to sign with a new team due to his existing contract. The team cited sponsorship issues as the ultimate reason for not competing, but they never shut the doors. The shop still sits on Georgetown Road with mowed grass, clean grounds and a nicely painted sign.
Forsythe’s nemesis Tony George isn’t steering the ship anymore and with the ousting of Brian Barnhart; it seems like the perfect time to pay back his old pal Paul Tracy. Derrick Walker, another owner who failed to transition into the combined series, found new life with Ed Carpenter Racing. Could PT be following the same road Carpenter did by taking control of his own future with a little help from a friend? It would almost be too good to be true.
Wayne Taylor Racing – This one is from left field…I know. While talking with the supremely marketing minded @JPIndyCar (make sure to also check his blog out, its great reading), he got me thinking; what just, makes sense? Some out-there team ideas have been floated, and with often national government conspiracy theory levels of complexity for just a slight chance that it might pan out. The previous idea is absolutely an example. But things don’t often work this way in the real world. The easiest solution is often the correct solution.
The Daytona Prototype racing team is based in Indianapolis. Why they are here I have no idea, but they call Indy home. Being an Indiana based team I am assuming they were eligible for the state subsidized buy-a-cheep-tub-from-Dallara program. This is just a shot in the dark, but I cannot doubt that WTR has a fair amount of cash that he could, if he wanted to, spend on an indycar tub. Would it be feasible for him to take advantage of an amazingly cheep chassis? Wayne Taylor Racing sported Dallara chassis before switching to the new Chevrolet Corvette chassis and engine. The team is a winning organization with good backing from Suntrust.
It seems to unreasonable not to think this could be a new team. Obviously, with the Chevy connection, he would almost certainly not be the mystery Lotus team. I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibilities to think he may have bought a DW12 or two. It’s not like they won’t be in heavy demand and he could always sell the chassis to a team in need. With his location, past and present connections, success in road racing and seemingly good backing; if I were Wayne Taylor I would at least entertain the idea of starting an indycar team and definitely purchase a few cheep chassis, if only as a pipe dream.
So who is the mystery Lotus team? I would guess that it was probably Dragon racing, although the article sounded as if it wasn’t. Pruett made certain we read it as a brand new indycar entrant. Could one of these two pie-in-the sky teams be it? I think they would both make fantastic additions to the indycar paddock and my bet is with both of them. But unfortunately this is all the information on the mystery team we have. I have no other reason to think any new team is on the way to the series at this late stage of the game Lotus, or not, other than that small blurb in the aforementioned article. But if one of these teams does come to pass… You heard it here first… And for my next trick, the winner of the 2012 Indy 500 will be…