Lotus Motorsports Update


Lotus has chosen the Autosport International Show to announce its full factory partnership with the Dragon Racing IndyCar team. Lotus Dragon Racing will be an official Lotus team, racing in the black and gold colours that are shared by the marque’s Formula One programme. Owned by Jay Penske – Chairman and CEO of the Penske Media Corporation, and son of US racing legend Roger Penske – Dragon Racing debuted in 2007, picking up fifth at the Indy 500 straight out of the box at the hands of Ryan Briscoe. In 2009, its first full season, Dragon driver Raphael Matos took the Rookie of the Year honours. In 2012, the Lotus Dragon Racing line up is a particularly strong one: Katherine Legge, the first female driver to win a major open-wheel race in North America, and four-time Champ Car Series champion and former F1 racer Sebastien Bourdais.

Claudio Berro, Group Lotus Director of Motorsport: Claudio Berro: “We are very pleased to be able to announce this new and exciting partnership with Dragon Racing today, a team which has demonstrated its potential and which we believe will achieve great success thanks to the Lotus IndyCar engine and the security of a major backer. Last year was Lotus’ first foray into this prestigious open-wheel series since Jim Clark won the Indy 500 back in 1965. We have a tremendous legacy in this sport, and are determined to become winners again. The American market is one of the most important to Lotus in terms of road car sales, hence our aggressive marketing strategies through US auto racing. We believe Lotus Dragon Racing and our other partner teams will give us the best opportunity to achieve our ambitious goals.”


In 2012 no less than four teams with an anticipated minimum eights cars will be packing Lotus power in the IZOD IndyCar Series. The company’s all-new twin-turbo V6 has its first shakedown today at the Moroso circuit in Jupiter, Florida, with Lotus HVM driver Simona de Silvestro working the loud pedal. The engine program, which was announced in November 2010, has come together quickly without teething problems, and fire-ups away from the track have ticked all the boxes. Lotus Dragon Racing, Lotus HVM Racing, Lotus Bryan Herta Autosport, and Lotus Dreyer & Reinbold Racing are all confirmed as engine partners. The Autosport International Show marks the first public appearance of this ambitious powerplant.

Claudio Berro, Group Lotus Director of Motorsport: “The engine has performed extremely well so far, and we and our partners are very pleased with the results. We had our first fire-up in a Dallara chassis in Palma, Italy on 21-23 December, then the engine was sent to America, and today we’re having our first on-track shakedown, at Moroso, which is very exciting. On January 1st we opened a Lotus facility in Indianapolis which will be our US engineering and logistics hub, so it’s all go. We’ve still got a lot of work to do before the start of the season, but I couldn’t be happier with the progress we’re making.”


In order to reflect the broad range of Lotus’ competition activities, Lotus Racing becomes the new umbrella name for Group Lotus’ racing division. All of our official works teams will now race in the evocative black and gold livery. These include the Lotus F1 Team, GP2 and GP3 team Lotus GP (formerly ART) and Lotus Dragon Racing. Partner teams, such as the Lotus-engined IndyCar teams Lotus Herta Autosport, Lotus Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will also run in black and gold with Lotus HVM Racing running in predominantly green, yellow and white. Customer teams have the option of running other classic Lotus liveries, such as Lotus Sport UK’s ‘Gold Leaf’ red, white and gold, which was raced to victory in the British GT Championship last year.


As mentioned earlier this week, Lotus has formed one of the most exclusive members clubs in the world – Lotus Club GT. It’s a gentlemen’s – or ladies – club with a difference. No leather Chesterfields, wood-panelled walls or cigar smoke – here, you’ll find bucket seats, carbon-panelling and the smell of burning rubber. It is the ultimate club for sports car enthusiasts. The club’s current entry requirements are met with the purchase of one of Lotus’ premium race-bred models – the Evora GT4 and Evora Enduro with club specification. Member benefits include one-to-one driver tuition catering for drivers of all abilities from our professional works drivers and the Lotus F1 Team. Members also receive exclusive VIP access to Lotus events, like going behind the scenes at the Lotus F1 Team’s high security HQ and in the pits at glamorous grands prix.

Matthew de Morgan, businessman and Lotus Club GT member: “You will enjoy it, and I think what you get out of it is more than what you give. We aren’t out there to be pseudo Michael Schumachers, we’re there to have fun competing, to enjoy ourselves in an environment which is safe, educational and challenging. I think this is what the GT club is all about. I didn’t come here with a previous history of driving cars round a track and having done it I’m delighted. Frankly it’s probably the best thing I’ve done for myself in the last ten years.”

Claudio Berro, Group Lotus Director of Motorsport: “Through all our activity on and off the track, we want to make the driver experience as incredible and unique as possible so creating the Lotus Club GT was a natural step for us. Our clients have come to expect more than just to be handed the car keys, they want to be part of the team and to really understand how to get the very most from their investment. Everything is tailored to match the individual expectations of our clients allowing them to truly realise their potential behind the wheel. So far the feedback we have had from members is fantastic – they really become part of the Lotus family”

Check out the Lotus Club GT in action here: www.4lot.us/motorsportvideos


Lotus’ Formula One customer experience, the Type 125, has become even more F1, thanks to its final phase of development work by the Lotus F1 Team. Newly-announced driver Romain Grosjean put the car through its paces in Portugal recently as engineers honed the car’s set-up to replicate those of a current generation Formula One beast, while keeping it safe, easy to drive and reliable for Lotus’ private customers. A normal F1 car requires a huge crew just to start it up, yet the single-seat Type 125 can be fired up at the touch of a button. It’s 640bhp 3.5 litre Cosworth V8 engine is linked to a six-speed gearbox with paddle shift. It weights just 560kg resulting in a phenomenal power-to-weight of nearly 1000bhp per tonne. The Type 125 mule sits in a race bay at the team’s Enstone factory, where the 2012 F1 car is being prepared. It has now reached the end of its comprehensive development programme.

Romain Grosjean: “The idea was to bring the car as close as possible to F1 level. We needed a car that was close to the lap time of a Formula One car, but that was also easy to drive. Development is something that I love to do, and the Type 125 has been a really interesting project for me. Some things were quite funny, like the auto clutch the car has for when you leave the garage and the option of auto up-shift, which seemed odd the first time I used it – a bit like a computer game – but it works well. We achieved a strong level of performance and sensation, but it is not too hard or too on-the-limit to drive which is important, because this car is designed for private customers. We did a lot of laps during our three-day test in Portimao and we had no reliability issues at all. Everything worked perfectly.”

Arnaud Boulanger, Head of External Projects, Lotus F1 Team: “Lotus asked us to take on the Type 125 in September 2011 through to its final development. The programme was not to re-engineer the car completely, but to hone the set-up and the car’s performance envelope as close as possible to Formula One, and match the build quality to 2012 F1 standards, while also making it safe, reliable and easy to drive. We needed a car that was exhilarating to drive, that was reasonably forgiving, that was relatively easy to operate but that still offers extreme performance – very close to F1. Our programme had the added benefit of development from a current F1 driver, Romain Grosjean when he ran the car at Portimao in mid-November and gave us the valuable feedback we needed.

“Working closely with Group Lotus, we have managed to fulfill all our engineering objectives in a very short space of time. The performance is just a small step back from Formula One, so as to allow the practical aspects I mentioned, but still provide the F1 experience customers crave. It’s going to be very physical still, and not many drivers will be able to cope with more than a few flat-out laps. Drivers will be thrilled with the finished product.”


You’re never too old to drive a Lotus. You’re never too young either. Arguably the most fun, raw and inspirational racing machine on our stand in Birmingham is the new Lotus Racing Kart, built in Italy to the highest standards by Wildkarts. The official Lotus Racing Karts team will be evaluating drivers at the end of the month in Lonato, and will compete in the CIK-FIA KF1 Karting World Championship. Championship events will take place at Varennes sur Allier in France (29 April), Suzuka in Japan (20 May), Brandon in UK (22 July), Sarno in Italy (9 September) and Macau-Coloane (21 October).

Lotus Racing Karts has also set its sights on the Asia-Pacific zone and, represented by a Japanese partner, will form a team in the exciting All-Japan Championship.

Another important task for Lotus Racing Karts will be CIK-FIA «U18» Karting World Championship. This new series is aimed at promoting drivers between 15 and 18-years-old through an FIA World Championship in which costs are rigorously limited, in particular thanks to the free allocation of engines and tyres to all participants. Free? That’s not a word you hear often in this business, is it?


Team Bullrun will be running a Lotus Evora GT4 in the 2012 Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship. The team has previously won the series’ production car titles, while the Evora placed a very credible third in the Britcar 24 Hours last October, but this will be the first full season’s racing for Lotus’ endurance model. Former Britcar Production Champions Richard Adams and David Green will be joined by 2011 BTCC driver Martin Byford. Formula Ford veterans Fluid Motorsport are joining forces with Bullrun to manage the team.

Team Bullrun refers to the US-based luxury rally in which fun-loving and cash-rich enthusiasts take the public roads by storm. Expect some eye-catching Lotus models as well as Burt Reynolds look-a-likes on the Bullrun this year, which kicks off in Hollywood on June 23 and promises seven days of high-octane hedonism. A few thousand miles from Tinsletown – and with no pressure to obey the rules of the road – the first round of the 2012 Britcar series will be held at Silverstone on March 24.

Claudio Berro, Group Lotus Director of Motorsport: “We are delighted that Bullrun share our view that the Evora could be a serious championship contender this year. It is clearly good news to see a British team, with a British car competing for a British title. The overall package Bullrun has managed to put together looks very strong and we look forward to closely following their progress throughout the season.”

Lindsay Allen, Fluid Motorsport co-founder: “We have been considering a move in GT racing for some time – the combination of Bullrun’s track record in Britcar, its trio of experienced drivers and our own race preparation and championship expertise should make for a very strong team. The new Lotus Evora package Bullrun have secured looks to be very competitive. We are very much looking forward to running this alongside our usual Formula Ford operations.”


The Lotus Cup Series, which sees enthusiasts race wheel-to-wheel across the globe, is set for even more action this year. In addition to the Elises, Exiges and 2-Elevens that already make up the grids, we will be welcoming Evora V6 entrants worldwide, including the GTS and GTN variants. Lotus-On-Track, which runs the Cup, has its own stand at the Autosport Show 2520 with the GTS on display. Here, you can also view the GTS/N conversion kit, which will turn your production-spec Evora into an out-and-out racer. Bolt it on, and stand well back.

The Lotus Cup has proved massively popular, with 350 participants racing worldwide on some of the most challenging and legendary race tracks and this year there is the added incentive of a prize for the most successful Evora running in the 2012 Cup. Championships are held across the UK, Europe, Eastern Europe, Italy, the USA and Japan, and we’re hoping to add some more territories in 2012.

Echoing our famous Formula One livery, the Lotus Cup gets a lick of paint this year and a new logo in keeping with the refreshed Lotus Racing brand strategy.


Lotus is pleased to announce a couple of new corporate partners to our racing stable.

OCS is an international facilities management company, which provides many businesses with cleaning, catering, security, waste and maintenance services – and, by partnering with Lotus Racing, it hopes to wipe the floor with the competition.

OAMPS is one of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers, with a broad range of general and specialist insurance solutions – such as motor racing – as well as associated environmental, health and safety services. Partnering one of the most successful marques in motorsport they, too, are in safe hands.

Both brands will be carried on our GT championship Evoras. In addition, on the stand at the NEC, we have a Petronas-plastered Evora GT4. Our collaboration with the Malaysian petrochemical giant is going from strength-to-strength and it’s great to have their growing support.


Lotus’ stand at Autosport International is showing off some of our most exciting track-born and race-bred models. In addition to the Petronas-sponsored Evora GT4, in which Lotus Sport UK scored two wins during its maiden season of British GT, we’re displaying a Lotus Renault GP F1 car; the black-and-gold R31 took podiums in the Australian and Malaysian grands prix last year. Then there’s the Evora GT Enduro, our new 440bhp evolution of the GT4, which will be used in the Lotus Club GT. Finally, the NEC boasts the sensational Evora GTE – the ultimate road-going Lotus and by far the most powerful too. With its aggressive face and eye watering stats, it stole the show at last summer’s Pebble Beach Concours, so we were compelled to put it into production.

Lotus Motorsport Hits Major Milestones

Whilst most sensible people prepare to wind down for the festive period, the hard working Lotus Motorsport team are busy celebrating the fruits of their labour over the past 12 months following the first successful engine fire up in the Lotus IndyCar chassis AND the first proper Exige R-GT rally car shakedown all within the space of 24 hours.

The first official Lotus IndyCar engine fire up in new car took place on 22nd December at Dallara’s headquarters in Varano Melegari, Palma under the watchful eye of Group Lotus Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro and technicians from the team. Pleased with the overall results, the team have now prepared the engine and car for shipment to the US where full testing will begin in January.

Heading north to Turin, the Exige R-GT, the Rally version of the new Exige S, took centre stage with a quick track shakedown for the first time in full Rally specification. The car handled exactly as expected and the team were delighted with the results. Testing will continue in the new year ahead of the start of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship season where the Exige will contend the FIA GT category on asphalt at events in Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse and San Remo.

Claudio Berro said: “The fire up in the car went really well, there were no nasty surprises and I think our partners are going to be very happy with the results. It was only October last year that we announced that we would become an IndyCar engine supplier and just 12 months on, we had an all new Lotus engine and three teams signed up – Bryan Herta Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, and HVM Racing. We’ve still got a lot of work to do ahead of the start of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season but so far I’m very encouraged by what I see.

“And as for the Rally car, when you consider that we’ve only began working on this car in July, I think what we’ve achieved in that time has been incredible. For me the Exige S makes the perfect GT rally car, it has an awesome 3.5-litre, supercharged engine, and we’ve managed to balance the weight perfectly to meet the minimum weight regulations. The shakedown today (23rd December) has only made us even more excited to show off the car in true race form early next year – I think we’re doing the Lotus motorsport pedigree proud.”

[press release from Lotus]

Lotus announces IndyCar Partner Teams

Lotus utilized the Los Angeles Auto Show today as a platform to announce three partner teams that will race the new Lotus IndyCar V-6 engine in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. Alongside this Lotus showcased developmental updates on future products and introduced the new Evora with Intelligent Precision Shift (IPS) transmission to the Western US.

Just as developmental work is progressing at full speed on the first of Lotus’ future cars, the all-new Lotus Esprit and its clean-sheet high performance V-8 engine, Lotus Motorsport is rapidly readying its new twin turbo V-6 IndyCar engine for the rigors of racing.

Izod Indycar Series/Lotus KV Racing

Group Lotus Director of Motorsport Operations, Miodrag Kotur said: “At the LA show last year, we announced that we will be an engine supplier to IndyCar and exactly 12 months on, we are here with an all new Lotus engine and three teams, ready to go. The numbers that the engine is already achieving in our dyno testing are extremely encouraging so our hard work is well and truly paying off.”

“These partnerships with Bryan Herta Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, and HVM Racing mean a great deal to Lotus Motorsport and mark the start of a new chapter for Lotus in the IZOD IndyCar Series. We’re thrilled that these already successful and illustrious teams have chosen Lotus, as we believe that our capabilities as a partner will pay dividends for them in the future. These three teams have immediately become part of the Lotus legend and have joined us in our journey as one of the most innovative and successful sports and racing car brands in the world.”

From L to R – Robbie Buhl & Dennis Reinbold from Dreyer & Reinbold Racing; Keith Wiggins CEO of HVM Racing; Bryan Herta from Bryan Herta Autosport.

Each of these racing organizations, as Lotus partner teams, will benefit from the extensive testing and development work of the others to more quickly achieve the mutually desired competitive results.

Keith Wiggins from HVM speaks to the press

In addition to the new Lotus V6 twin turbo IndyCar engine, work is continuing on the new Lotus Motorsport facility in Indianapolis, which will give the company its base close to the action and its partner teams.

As the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season draws nearer, further announcements will be made by the teams at their individual launch events in due course.

Lotus Indy Engine on Dyno

Lotus launches the Ice Attack training program

It’s not enough to simply provide people with the gorgeous multi-award winning Evora, Lotus wants people to be able to drive the car come hell or high water (perhaps not too high water!). So after a great deal of careful thought and consideration, Lotus has united with four-time world rally driving champion Juha Kankkunen to develop the ultimate winter driving programme – Ice Attack – and it’s not for the faint hearted!

Based on the winter ice tracks of Northern Finland just 60km south of the Arctic circle, in what has often been described as one of the world’s most beautiful settings, the Lotus Ice Attack programme has been designed to offer the thrills and spills of powering around in the ice and snow.

During the trip drivers will learn first hand how to navigate safely in low grip conditions, how to brake and change direction effectively, as well as experiencing the limitations of driving in the most extreme conditions. Drivers will also explore the handling characteristics of the Evora.

A series of white-knuckle exercises have been designed to take the driver and the car to the limit on a safe and controlled track. Each session, with a professional instructor, can be tailored to meet individual needs throughout the day.

Commenting on Lotus Ice Attack, Juha Kankkunen said: “I’m delighted that Lotus chose my driving academy to partner with for this extreme weather driving event. I think that the Evora is the perfect car to put to the test in the special winter conditions created in Kuusamo and I’m very much looking forward to welcoming people to this incredible arctic experience.”

Click here to download the flyer for the Ice Attack program or head directly to their website to sign up.

Lotus Back on Track With ART

The best of British meets the best of France as Lotus Motorsport and GP2 championship winners ART Grand Prix unite to create the ultimate GP2 and GP3 race teams.

Lotus Motorsport in collaboration with seasoned championship winners ART Grand Prix can confirm their participation in the 2011 GP2 (Europe and Asia series) and GP3 series. The contract with ART Grand Prix sees Lotus commit to providing technical and engineering support for the GP2 and GP3 race series for the foreseeable future.

Lotus Motorsport and ART Grand Prix share a hunger for success, the facts speak for themselves. With seven F1 Constructers Championships, six F1 Driver Championships and numerous other considerable accolades, Lotus has a unique racing pedigree making them the perfect partner for ART Grand Prix.

Since the GP2 series was launched in 2005, Lotus’ new collaborators ART Grand Prix have won the GP2 championship three times, first with Nico Rosberg (2005), then with Lewis Hamilton (2006) and last year with Nico Hülkenberg (2009) under the expert management of team founders Nicolas Todt and Frédéric Vasseur. Vasseur and Todt’s complementary abilities guarantee the best possible management of the team, day in, day out. Frédéric Vasseur is in charge of the team and the factory on the ground, while Nicolas Todt runs the commercial and marketing side of the organization.

Commenting on the news Gino Rosato, Director of Corporate Communications at Lotus said: “This deal means a lot to me personally; I’ve known Nicolas Todt for many years and have already had the opportunity to work alongside him in the past. Lotus is proud to be partnering ART Grand Prix and in doing so uniting with the most successful and recognized team in GP2 Series. We come together with a common goal: to continue our great success in motorsport.”

Frédéric Vasseur Team Manager of ART Grand Prix said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for ART Grand Prix to be working with Lotus. The goal is clear: winning together the future GP2 and GP3 championships. I can’t wait to see the new livery of our racing cars.”

As part of the celebration, Lotus ART will field two cars in the GP2 Europe and GP2 Asia series and three cars in the GP3 Europe series. The GP2 Series, one of the World’s premier racing categories, is widely recognised as the breeding ground for future F1 talent. Almost half of the current F1 grid got their chance to race at the pinnacle of motorsport after proving their worth in the GP2 Series including Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen. The goal of the new GP3 Series is to give young upcoming drivers a chance to develop their driving skills and jump to the next step: GP2.

Lotus Motorsport Director of Operations Miodrag Kotur said: “The move into GP2 and GP3 solidifies Lotus Motorsport’s commitment to promoting driver development and supporting the search for the world champions of the future. Lotus won’t simply be partner in name only, ART Grand Prix will also benefit from Lotus’ considerable engineering and technical support and experience.”