Tuesday, June 9, 2009

F1: Team Lotus Latest Name Set For Return


LOTUS IS THE LATEST famous name set to return to the Formula 1 scene after 2010 aspirants Litespeed gained permission to compete under the famous moniker.

Litespeed founders and former Lotus engineers, Nino Judge and Steve Kenchington, sought out Team Lotus rights-holder David Hunt to bolster its bid for a place on the F1 grid next season.

Despite the Formula Three team’s limited connection to the storied manufacturer, Hunt agreed to Litespeed’s request, making Team Lotus the third former outfit to be resurrected over the last fortnight – following the entries of March Racing Organisation and Brabham Grand Prix.

The team said in a statement: “Team Lotus is synonymous with great British engineering and F1 innovation, such as the Lotus 25 being the first monocoque chassis in F1 and the introduction of groundbreaking sponsorship, both of which easily demonstrate why ex-Lotus personnel would want to bring this championship-winning name back to the formula.

“Litespeed was born from a similar British background - a factor that was at the core of Colin Chapman’s beliefs and subsequent success.

“David Hunt has been the custodian of the name for so many years and we thank him for entrusting us not just with its safeguard but, more importantly, its development in the racing world of tomorrow.”


Litespeed/Lotus has submitted an application for 2010 as a cost-capped entry and will run Cosworth engines, while the team is set to be based out of its existing factory in Norfolk.

On the personnel side, former Toyota, Renault and Toyota technical director Mike Gasgoyne has been enlisted to design the team’s challenger and former Lotus F1 driver Johnny Herbert has also joined in a marketing capacity and as a driver manager.

Team Lotus unceremoniously bowed out of Formula One in 1994, marking the end of a steep decline which following the exit of the team’s last-ever race winner Ayrton Senna in 1987.

During the previous two decades, Lotus was the dominant force in F1, winning seven constructor’s championships and six driver titles.