The Iconic Black & Gold Lotus livery, made famous in the ’70s by the John Player Special branding, is returning for the 2011 F1 season. The new livery made its public debut as the Lotus Motorsport family was unveiled at the Autosport International racing show in Birmingham, UK. The event also hosted the much anticipated unveiling of Lotus’ motorsport line-up including F1, GP2/GP3, IndyCar and GT2/GT4. Lotus Renault GP driver Vitaly Petrov was in attendance alongside F1 legend Jean Alesi when the cover was lifted for the first time on the new 2011 Lotus Renault GP black and gold F1 livery.
Lotus Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro said: “I’m pretty sure everyone will be excited to see the new F1 livery up close at the show, but in addition to F1, the show will be the first time so many of our race cars will be united in one location. The event will provide the perfect opportunity for fans of the Lotus marque to come and have a look at the exciting developments we have made in the past year. We’re also delighted to bring our IndyCar to the show, especially as we will be celebrating the 100th Indy 500 race with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year.
Alongside the famous racecars was the extraordinary Type 125 – an F1-inspired customer racecar from Lotus. The Type 125 is powered by a Cosworth 3.5 liter GP V8 engine producing 640hp linked to a six-speed semi-automatic transmission with paddle shift. It sits in a carbon composite chassis with a nomex and aluminum core. Clad in carbon composite panels that contribute to a super-light weight of just 560kg (1234 lb) resulting in a phenomenal power to weight ratio of nearly 1000hp per tonne.
Unlike a Formula One car, however, the Type 125 does not require an army of technicians and mechanics to start the engine and keep the car running. The start button is all the driver needs to get going. Purchasers of the Lotus 125 will be able to chose from a stylization of a classic Lotus livery, the Exos concept design, or their own livery. The idea behind the car is to create the Exos Experience, initiated and operated by Lotus Motorsport, is an elite club. A club in which the limited number of Lotus 125 owner/drivers can refine their driving skills and challenge themselves in Formula 1-inspired technology combined with expert one-to-one advice from former Grand Prix drivers and trainers.
Members will be trained to improve their race craft and engineering prowess, learn how to set-up a car while working with a race engineer, focus on mental and physical fitness and enjoy a driving experience out-of-this-world.
A team of engineers, aerodynamicists, tire specialists and experts from every field have the specific aim of delivering the optimum performance from the vehicle. Exos Experience members will also be offered an elite concierge service for track-based activity including assisting with travel arrangements and transfers to the track, enabling the owner to begin their experience as smoothly as possible.
The ‘Exos Experience by Lotus’ will be held at European circuits with first class facilities, like the famous Paul Ricard Circuit in the south of France, and the Autódromo do Algarve, Portimao in Portugal. Owners will learn to drive in conditions similar to the most demanding race proven circuits in motorsport. With Lotus’ sophisticated data-gathering systems they’ll also be able to compare lap times with past and present heroes of the sport and debate braking distances and overlay racing lines, entry and exit speeds and terminal velocity.
ALESI SIGNS FOR LOTUS
Former F1 legend Jean Alesi will add his expertise to the Lotus Motorsport line-up with the announcement that Alesi has become an ambassador for the Type 125 and Exos program.
Given his F1 pedigree, Alesi was considered the perfect person to partner with for the Type 125. He enjoyed a successful F1 career competing in 202 grands prix and collecting a total of 241 points driving for teams such as Ferrari, Tyrrell, Benetton, Sauber, Prost and Jordan from 1989 to 2001.
Commenting on the announcement Jean Alesi said: “I’m delighted to be partnering with Lotus, I have a lot of affection for this great British brand and I’m confident that they will achieve great things in the future both on and off the race track. I’m particularly passionate about anything that brings people closer to the racing action and the Type 125 does exactly that, it’s the ultimate race experience and I’m really looking forward to testing in Vallelunga and Abu Dhabi.”
LOTUS TAKES ON LE MANS 2011
Under the direction of Team Manager Jan Kalmar, the newly formed Lotus Jetalliance team will field two Lotus Evora GTE cars in the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC). The two Evora GTE racecars, currently being developed by Lead Designer Nicola Scimeca, will be put through their paces as the team tackles some of the most challenging and competitive endurance races, including the six hour race at Spa, Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and, of course, the world famous Le Mans 24 hour race. Commenting on the announcement, Lotus Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro said: “Moving into the ILMC is an exciting step for us and will provide a good opportunity to showcase what can be done with the Evora. In every motorsport discipline that we participate in, we aim to pick the best expertise to partner with and we have very high standards. The Jetalliance racing team has a lot of experience and a respected pedigree in this field so we’re delighted that they have agreed to work with us on what is bound to be an incredible challenge. We’re looking forward to seeing what ILMC 2011 brings.” Lotus Jetalliance will be contesting the following events:
8th May 2011 Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours (BEL)
11&12 June 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours (FRA)
3rd July 2011 Imola 6 Hours (ITA)
11th September 2011 Silverstone 6 Hours (GBR)
1st October 2011 Petit Le Mans (Road Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
12th November 2011 6-Hours race China