Group Lotus developing LMP2 car

Group Lotus has announced that it is developing a brand new LMP2 car for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours as part of a massive expansion of its motorsport strategy

Group Lotus developing LMP2 car

The British sportscar company has already launched a GT4 version of its Evora model, with GT2 and GT3 variations set to be made available as well, but will also be entering the prototype arena.

Its LMP2 coupe is being designed by Paolo Catone, who was the chief engineer behind the Le Mans-winning 908 HDi FAP, and will begin testing late next year.

"This very special project is under the expert direction of technical genius Paolo Catone," said a Lotus statement.

"The car is being developed to meet new ACO rules, it will have a closed cockpit and is due to be on-track late 2011, with an assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans planned for 2012."

Lotus has also promised that in addition to the GT2 version of the Evora, it will create an all-new GT2 car "based on one of our eagerly anticipated future road cars, set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show."

The announcement of Lotus' increased involvement in sportscar racing comes amid the backdrop of its escalating row with Tony Fernandes' Lotus Formula 1 team over the use of the Lotus brand in motorsport.

Group Lotus also entered into a GP2 and GP3 partnership with multiple champion team ART last week, and is ramping up its grass roots motor racing programmes and its IndyCar involvement, as well as building a new test track at its Hethel factory in Norfolk that the company says "will be ideal for customer experiences, GT racing and F1 testing."

Lotus Motorsport boss Claudio Berro said: "Lotus is motorsport and racing is in our DNA. We have a special place in motorsport history and now as we unveil the beginning of our future plans it's important for people to realise just how committed we are to doing our heritage justice.

"There is no better platform to demonstrate the transfer of technology from track to road car than a full range of pure motorsport activity, we have to tick all the boxes."

shares
comments
Jota to run customer Aston LMP1
Previous article

Jota to run customer Aston LMP1

Next article

Audi, Peugeot unhappy with rules

Audi, Peugeot unhappy with rules
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

WEC
Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021