The much-anticipated start of the 2011 Lotus Cup USA championship began this past weekend at Willow Springs Raceway. The start of the season meant a new look at grassroots Lotus racing and the direction the series is heading. With beautiful California weather, the Lotus Cup USA enjoyed exciting racing action that came down to the last lap of the feature race.

Jack Fried in his Lotus 2-Eleven took the overall win and 1st in the 2-Eleven class after inheriting the lead from Andy Kern who had mechanical issues and retired early. After, Fried never looked back and held his position for the remainder of the race. Although during the last two laps he was under pressure from Eddie Park and Glen Irani. Park started 4th overall and went on to make a daring pass on Irani mid-race to take over 2nd place and finish 2nd overall and 1st in the Cup Class. Closely behind was Irani, who we expect to see battling Park for class victories throughout the season, coming in 3rd. In the Production class, Robb Bonnano led flag to flag and finished 4th overall. Victor Brandt and Greg Linderer rounded out the top 3.

Each race weekend not only features a race, but also a Time Attack to compete for the fastest lap.  In the Time Attack class Andy Kern took top honors overall and in the 2-Eleven class with a time of 1:29.473 followed by Jack Fried. The Cup class also saw a different winner with Glen Irani taking 1st followed by Eddie Park and Roy Sakioka. In Production class, Robb Bonnano once again took the victory with Mike Bryant and Victor Brandt rounding out the podium.

“I’m extremely pleased with the weekend results,” said Series President Jim Navarro. “Great weather coupled with a rainbow of Lotus cars made for a great start to the season.”

“We couldn’t be happier with the first event,” said Series Director Robbie Montinola. “Our drivers put on a great show, drove extremely well, and our program overall ran very smoothly. Thank you to our sponsors, drivers, friends and family. We look forward to Round 2 at Firebird.”

In addition to the Lotus Cup USA championship, the Lotus Evora Experience kicked off at Willow Springs where a dozen VIP guests got to experience the all-new Evora in a variety of ways including track driving. The weekend also featured the Redline Pro Time Attack, Circuit Battles TV show, and MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Challenge. Giving racing fans a wide variety of motorsports action throughout the weekend.

The series shifts to Arizona for Round 2 at Firebird International Raceway on April 9th and 10th. Registration is now open. For more information about the Lotus Cup USA championship, please

Lotus Cup USA Sponsors: Lotus Cars (Title Sponsor), Hankook Tires USA (Official Tire), Dietsch Werks, Dynamic Racing Solutions, and Mulholland Motorsports.

Leave your comment below...