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Lotus chose this years Autosport International Show at the Birmingham NEC to introduce us to the 2011 Lotus Renault GP livery, announce Jean Alesi is on the team to help promote the track weapon T125 and display some of their hardware that will be racing this year in GP2, GP3, Indycar and various other endurance events around the globe.

The LRGP car was no surprise as we’ve seen the livery photoshopped for some time and it’s also partly revealed on their website holding page. Also, this was displayed on last years car, the R30 and the team will be unveiling the 2011 car and new website on the 31st January. Team Principal Eric Boullier and driver Vitaly Petrov were on hand to be interviewed by R5Live F1 commentator David Croft and to pull back the sheets on the car which looked suprisingly devoid of many of last years sponsors, time will tell if all are retained now Lotus are the headline sponsor.

Alongside the F1 car was the Lotus T125, the $1m track toy for the wealthy. Lotus Motorsport Director Claudio Berro introduced ex-Ferrari stalwart Jean Alesi as ambassador to the car and the Exos experience, the lifestyle and track experienced with the ownership experience shaping up to be the ultimate in driving bar being pilot of an F1 car. The T125 allegedly would have put in a solid performance in an F1 qualifier last year and certainly not been at the back of the grid if projected performance figures are accurate.

Also at the Lotus stand we were given the chance to get up close with Takuma Sato’s Indycar, the proposed GP2 and GP3 cars and Evora GT4 and Evora S road cars. Lotus are following through on the talk of a much more involvement Motorsport agenda and even today there are factory entered cars (Evora and 2-Eleven) racing in the Dubai24 Endurance race.

Other than the main Group Lotus involvement we were pleased to see more Lotus cars on stands belonging to other companies and a solid appearance of racecars from the Lotus On Track Racing Driver Club series and cups including fully race prepped Elise’s and a stunning black & gold 2-Eleven from the Lotus Cup Europe series. Coincidentally, they are also racing an S1 Elise in the Dubai24, more on that here! The Central Motorway Police Group also had their fully livered Evora police car on show and officers were on hand to talk about the car.

It’s looking to be shaping up into an excellent year for Lotus, their fans and enthusiasts and those who love motorsport.

Photos: Graham Pilkington

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