Lotus ART will have a new name, but the identity and values of the team remain the same. Starting in 2012, and for the upcoming seasons, the team led by Frédéric Vasseur and Nicolas Todt will continue its commitment in the GP2 and GP3 Series championships under the name Lotus, with the colours that brought glory to the auto brand, Black and Gold.
After an initial fruitful collaborative year rewarded with a 1-2 Bottas/Calado finish in the GP3 Series and several wins and a 3rd place finish in the GP2 Series thanks to Jules Bianchi and Esteban Gutierrez, the racing team and its partner, Group Lotus, have decided to put it into high gear and create a new dynamic that both partners will benefit from.
For Group Lotus, this new step will embody its heavy involvement in both feeder series to auto racing’s highest level, Formula 1. Since their creation in 2005, the GP2 series have often been the forerunners of a certain idea of the sport and using technologies which are both assurances of quality in the sport and a potential bridge to the automotive industry. The racing team’s structure will be reinforced by this multiple collaboration which will work at several levels and in both directions.
“The relationship between Group Lotus and ART continues to intensify and both parties will benefit from sharing technological developments and engineering support. The partnership goes far beyond an agreement on the team name – this is just the tip of the iceberg. The collaboration between ART and Group Lotus is deeply rooted in the culture and daily life of both entities. For example, Lotus’ road cars, like the Elise and the Evora will benefit directly from the impacts of developments made by the team on the circuit as well as in the factory. The current and future cars will benefit from developments in performance, endurance and stability at high speed and in return, the racing team can draw its inspiration from world-renowned engineering, since Lotus Engineering’s engineers may be assigned to Lotus in the GP2 and GP3 Series.”
“I am proud and happy to have the chance to give this new boost to the venture and to have the confidence of as prestigious an auto maker as Group Lotus, whose heritage in the sporting world is known worldwide. I am very happy about the sporting and technical prospects this partnership offers our team. It will enable both entities to capitalize on each others’ expertise in order to rise to big challenges in the coming years.”