Lotus to expand involvement in Indy, GP2, GP3, GT and Le Mans racing

Filed under: Motorsports, Lotus

To say that Lotus has its hands full would be a gross understatement. In addition to the five new concept cars which the British automaker and engineering firm unveiled in Paris this year, Lotus is also expanding its racing programs in a big way. The House that Colin Built expressed its intentions to do so nearly a year ago, but as with the complete revamp of its entire product range, we didn’t expect anything quite this drastic. Looks like we ought to be listening when the folks at Lotus speak.

In addition to the controversial licensing partnership that led to the marque’s return to Formula One, Lotus has announced a whole slew of racing programs upon which it is embarking on in the near future. First up is the expansion of its Indy racing team – operated in partnership with former Champ Car chief Kevin Kalkhoven’s KV Racing – from one car to two. Cosworth will undoubtedly be dropped from the effort as the F1 team switches to Renault power (the team also announcing a partnership with Red Bull Racing to use its gearboxes and other technologies for next season), and Lotus will be developing its own aerodynamics package on the new adaptable chassis that takes to the grid in 2012.

Moving beyond, Lotus is also teaming up with ART Grand Prix – champions of several single-seater feeder series – in both the GP2 and GP3 championships. (Lotus F1 chief Tony Fernandez meanwhile announced the launch of his own GP2 team running under the Air Asia banner.)

Not enough? Lotus isn’t stopping there. Based on the enthusiasm garnered by the Evora GT4, Lotus is working on both GT3 and GT2 versions of the car, as well as a GT2 racer based on the new generation of vehicles displayed in Paris, though they aren’t saying which one just yet. (That may be largely a marketing decision though, as the vehicles share a common architecture.) Last but not least, Lotus is also crafting a purpose-built, closed-cockpit Le Mans Prototype conforming to the ACO’s LMP2 formula. That’s a whole lot of racing goin’ on, and there’s yet more to read about in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Lotus]

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Lotus to expand involvement in Indy, GP2, GP3, GT and Le Mans racing originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Oct 2010 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Third-generation GP2 spec racer unveiled at Monza

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe, Racing


Dallara GP2/11 – Click above for high-res image gallery

While Ferrari was cleaning up at its home race at Monza this past weekend, the GP2 feeder series campaigned its penultimate race of the season. Venezuelan racer Pastor Maldonado, driving for Italian team Rapax, clinched the series title in its sixth season, but arguably even more intriguing was the concurrent launch of the new third-generation GP2 spec racer.

Like the car it replaces, the new GP2/11 is designed and built by Italian racing chassis manufacturer Dallara – also behind the cars used in IndyCar and Formula 3 as well as F1 newcomer HRT’s car, to name just a few – and will be used exclusively by all teams for the next three seasons. Major changes to the design close the gap to Formula One considerably and borrow from its latest developments, employing a larger diffuser, a narrower rear wing and a larger one up front, a raked front nose and anvil-shaped engine cover. Also like F1, the new GP2 car will switch from Bridgestone rubber to new Pirelli compounds.

Development has been underway for several months, and the new car – unveiled to the teams and press at Monza – will see its first race early next year in the season-bridging GP2 Asia Series. Considering that no fewer than fifteen drivers – Lewis Hamilton among them – have graduated from the series up to F1, GP2 has rapidly developed as the place to watch for the next generation of top talent at the pinnacle of open-wheel racing. So keep an eye on newly-crowned champion Paston Maldonado, and check out the new car in the high-res image gallery below.

Gallery: Dallara GP2/11

[Source: GP2]

Third-generation GP2 spec racer unveiled at Monza originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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