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Lotus Racing works-supported programmes in 2013 - which will get the chop?


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With DRB's ongoing reviews/cost-cutting at Group Lotus, how does everyone here feel the 2013 Motorsport programme will look versus how it does/has this year in terms of works-supported teams/series?

Ive shown 2 diagrams below showing the current 2012 LOTUS RACING EMPIRE, divided by the 4 main disciplines in Lotus' set-up (Formula1/junior single-seates, IndyCar, Sportscars and Rally), showing the 2012 teams/series and what I guesstimate the 2013 set-up to possibly look like going by what rumours have been circulating in the motorsport and Lotus press over the past months - Would love to hear everyones thoughts and views.

Main culling I see is with Indycar (obviously) and in junior single-seaters . . . . . I imagine the World Series by Renault tie-up may remain as a simple collaboration considering Gravity Charouz's involvelement/running of that team and connections with GenII and the F1 team.

Lotus Racing Karts I think (hope) will remain as is a great initaitive for Lotus engineering and for bringing on young talents. Sportscar activity and rally I feel has a chance of remianing as mainly run via partners (have no issue with that - Ferrari have been doing this for years in sportscars with people like Risi etc) and DRB are supposedly ok for motorsport activities which are closely linked with their road-car models so GT and Rally may get a pass and the T128 LMP2 car has already been announced in official press-releases by Group Lotus since the DRB take-over, suggesting their support for that programme

LOTUS RACING EMPIRE 2012:

post-14706-0-47006200-1348404774.jpg

LOTUS RACING EMPIRE 2013?:

post-14706-0-85317400-1348404817.jpg

Ooops, how could I forget F1? ;p

Expect the F1 team to remain for global branding and technology-transfer/marketing reasonings

The LMP1 tie-in with Rebellion Racing may yet become a scalp of the 2013 programme, with a focus on the new T128 LMP2 and ALMS/LMS with the Evora?

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They have paid nothing to F1 this year

They have in the form of the £30m loan to GenII from Proton - from the infamous press-release:

"Lotus F1 Team and Group Lotus have reshaped their commercial relationship earlier this year. The new governance agreement signifies the continued commitment of Group Lotus to the team and the sport.

Group Lotus' branding and marketing rights and subsequent activities remain unaffected by the new agreement until at least 2017.

Alongside continued branding and title partnership status, Group Lotus is also the exclusive master licensee for all Lotus F1 Team merchandise.

The new agreement was reached following Group Lotus owners Proton providing team owners Genii with a £30m loan which is repayable within three years. In order to secure the loan Genii used 100% of the F1 team's assets as collateral meaning that under the conditions of the loan agreement Proton have been given full title guarantee to all plant, machinery, show cars, computers, office and the Lotus F1 Team headquarters.

In addition Proton retains the rights to purchase 10% of the F1 team. Another 10% share option will be activated if the team default on their loan obligations with Proton."

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The only thing they should keep is :

The LMP2 effort led by Kodewa Racing, I'm not a fan of brand lending but let's get real it makes the brand survive in motorsport!

The ALMS GT (AJR) better stay and they should really work on connecting the thing to the Lotus Cup USA series.

The Open GT(Scuderia Giudici) should stay but should probably come in house - merging it with Lotus Sports UK may not be a bad idea - and same thing, find a way to tie it with the European Lotus Cup Series.

The Lotus Cup Series should be rationalized (Club GT, UK, Europe, Italy, Eastern Europe!!!???)

Rally should be about selling car only.

Evora GT models should go from 6( GTE, GT4, GT4 Enduro, GTS, GTN, GTC, GX) to 3:

GTE (formerly GT2)

GTC (read GT3 / GX is technically a GTC for the US Grand Am)

GTN (the new N cars, regular Evora with competition kit)

Everything else must go. No more driver centric Formula crap it's useless ! no kart branding it's equally useless! The entire racing "division" should be restructured and the current director must go.

This is only my opinion, it may not be humble but it is what it is!

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I am for any program where the car is a bespoke Lotus chassis (F1 and Kodewa LMP cars included).

Any program that uses another manufacturers chassis needs to stop immediately - as it is nothing more than marketing.

All of the racing programs need to have some degree of self sufficiency. Lotus at this point do not have any money to throw at racing when they need to develop and sell road cars and obtain engineering contracts.

Kyle Kaulback

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I think that the only thing they should be doing is the Evora racing. The rest is just high cost bullshit (typical DB). Save the money and use it for development and new models.

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Rallying is exposure for the current car and you don't think the Lotus Cup series are excellent value and exposure for the entire range? :huh:

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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You have to prioritise when you don't have money. Don't race or race and spend money you don't have....let me see.........hmmmm. I'll choose dropping the ego trip every day.

I love Lotus being in racing. But me and the old man were talking rallying yesterday. Neither of us have seen a thing on TV or in the papers about Lotus Rallying, not good exposure really!! Lotus cup is good, close racing with good press, all for that.

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I agree with Kimbers.

Beside that GT rally category is a dud! Have you heard of any other sportscar maker joining that thing?! No, even Porsche declined and many drivers wanted to get GT3 rally spec! The Exige rally may be a cool thing but it's a cool thing racing on its own and you don't want that.

I'm pretty sure that the Exige V6 cup has received more orders than the Exige R-GT already. I may be wrong of course but I don't think so.

Tie the Evora GTC and/or GTE into the Cup series! Work the grass root angle. Create an Evora series as it was planned originally and a new Exige series.... Do so if possible! Have a mass start race with as many cars as the track can accommodate. Get some partners and advertize it!

Edited by NedaSay
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I would also agree with Kimbers and say that remaining in GT racing with the Evora should be virtually the only focus for Lotus Racing over the next few years, especially as teams running the cars can bring in some or all of the budget. They need to raise awareness of the Evora's existence to boost sales so not having it competing at Le Mans this year was stupid, especially when they were sponsoring non-Lotus teams further up the field.

Scrapping everything else to me is a no-brainer, however....

I do think that Lotus should continue to put some time into working with Genii in F1. Its not costing them anything and working together on promoting the brand and merchandising could bring in some money and turn F1 fans into walking billboards. The average person won't know or care that the two entities have little to do with each other, and whenever I google the term Lotus at the minute I get so many more hits than I used to which is a good thing. Since Bahar left however I've not seen any joint promotion work with the F1 team and it will be a massive missed opportunity if the Team finish this season well and Group Lotus don't try to use this to boost sales effectively.

Edited by Gus82
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I think that's a little unfair. The Group Lotus website continues to milk its F1 "connection" for all its worth, not to mention GP2 and GP3. In fact racing news is just about the only news appearing these days. The site also promotes F1 merchandise and of course there is an F1 car hanging from the ceiling at the Lotus Originals store on Regent Street, which also sells all the F1 gear.

To say that nothing has happened since DB left is a little disingenuous. The average punter will assume Lotus Cars and Lotus F1 are one and the same.

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I'm just suggesting though that things like the merchandising link and Lotus Originals shops were put in place during Bahar's time, and the momentum hasn't been built upon since he left. It doesn't take much effort to put adverts in magazines or on websites celebrating a podium with pictures of the F1 car, driver and a black and gold Evora. The Lotus brand is known quite well, the Elise is known quite well but is unlikely to appeal to a wide audience. How many people know that Lotus builds the Evora?

I may be corrected but I think web advertising is relatively cost effective so having a banner celebrating a good result and including images of the Evora might persuade someone to click on the link and read more. If this is concentrated on a reasonable selection of different sites (i.e. not just autosport and autocar etc.) it will reach a different audience and potentially help generate sales. Its pleasing they are keeping the Lotus website updated with F1 news, but they need to persuade people to go there.

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The thing is though you won't find many teams willing to put money up to celebrate a podium or a second place even on the web. People celebrate wins and that's it. Exposing less than a win is exposing a failure. Therefore, only winning teams advertize their success in F1, other teams only advertize their presence in F1 and again not that much.

I can't really imagine Lotus calling the web/ad agency saying: "Guys we'd like to buy ad space to celebrate Kimi finishing 5th again!" or " Guys we need more ad space Kimi is currently 3rd in the championship we need to advertize that" That would not really work now would it!?

Keeping the corporate website up to date is the absolute minimum, after all this team is a marketing tool set up to provide visibility to the Lotus brand but in a way, in the current state of affairs, it's about the maximum they can do. However would Kimi or Romain win a race or two then the brass could step the game up.

Another thing is that a lot of advertizing in F1 comes from sponsors. What Lotus Cars would need is Rexona, Clear, Total, Microsoft... to activate their sponsorship on and off track. Using Kimi, using Romain and using Lotus cars.

Edited by NedaSay
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So if a driver managed podium finishes for an entire season, though not able to take a first, he is a failure?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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2nd place is first loser...

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Yes I've heard that as well, but a driver that consistently came second all season could become world champion if first place was shared between a bunch of different drivers.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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I reckon given DRB's total lack of interest in anything PR related they'll bin the lot. Depressing but I just can't see them spending money, ANY money at all on Motorsport, advertising, PR, promotions, the works. :no

Currently having an illicit affair with another marque, be back in the fold one day... B-)

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I reckon given DRB's total lack of interest in anything PR related they'll bin the lot. Depressing but I just can't see them spending money, ANY money at all on Motorsport, advertising, PR, promotions, the works. :no

I dont know why you guys have the impression that DRB are going to damage the company. They are not a bunch of amatures. They run a successful business for themselves.

Look, people want information now because that is what we have been trained to receive from other media sources. I agree that DRB are silly for not quelling any rumors that arent tue but then again they have said that they are committed to the company. Everything else is a fart in a stiff wind.

If the only thing constant is change, then why do we resist change the most?

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^^^ automotive industry is part perception and the sportscar niche is pretty much all perception!

DRB may be fully committed to Lotus but they must know that in order to be perceived in such a way they have to give people a bone every now and then. Nobody's asking for DB's level of PR. But I think they need to communicate a little bit. Of course now they have nothing to say as they must be focusing on getting cars ready and out the lot. That's all good.

When it comes to motorsport. You need to communicate, it's important to the media, to the partners, to the clients and to the fans. Lack of communication in motorsport is equal to not being in motorsport at all.

Coming back to Lotus they don't have to rush decisions when it comes to their 2013 programs. Obviously at least two programs will/would continue: F1 (which is Lotus in name only) and LMP2 (also Lotus in name only).

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My post did not preclude the notion that DRB need to continue their silence. They would do better to communicate more often. It SEEMS that they are trying to get a business plan that is solid before announcing to the world their plans. The exact opposite of what Bahar did.

Their lineup of car plan will hopefully mature more quickly. The exige has been held back for quality control reasons etc.

Lotus needs someone to kickstart them the correct way.

I would call this due diligence... But as I said before, they need to silence the Rumors that might do them damage. Maybe DRB need to learn the ways of the west as others have had to learn the ways of the east.

If the only thing constant is change, then why do we resist change the most?

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If I was Lotus CEO I would concentrate efforts in F1 (not really a genuine Lotus ) as they are doing a good job this year and it is a good platform to promote Lotus brand, as well as GT racing with an Evora (or even a Exige for privateers) and a GT Exige for Rally

In fact Lotus Group "earns its life" by selling EVORAS and ELISE/EXIGE so their Motorsport activity should concentrate in creditable motorsport programmes in order to promote their products.

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