The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
901 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Gents:

Just came across this via the Lotus Ltd. grapevine. I've heard this before. Here's hoping!!!!

Mark Pfeffer

____________________________________________________

Elise to Make American Le Mans Series Debut at Sebring ALMS

Andy Hall 1-28-2004

BRASELTON, Ga. (January 28, 2004) – One of the most revered and successful automotive marques in racing history, Lotus, will debut on the American Le Mans Series in 2004 as Team Elite fields a Lotus Elise in a full season of competition in the professional sports car racing series.

The full-bodied, green-and-yellow Lotus Elise will compete in the LMP 1 class of the American Le Mans Series beginning with the 52nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway Mar. 17-20.

The team has announced that former Formula One winner Johnny Herbert will assist with the car’s testing and development prior to the Sebring event. Herbert, who won four times on the ALMS last season with ADT Champion Racing, has a history with Lotus, being one of the British marque’s last F1 drivers. Drivers for the Sebring event and the rest of the ALMS season will be announced at a later date.

Team Elite, a division of Elite Motorsports Management, plans to use 2004 as a test and development season in preparation for a full two-car assault on the American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to campaign the Elise in the ALMS,” said Keith Smout, Team Elite principal. Smout was Commercial Director for both the BAR and Jaguar Formula One teams before returning to Canada in 2002.

“This is an exciting year for Lotus with 2004 being the 50th anniversary of Team Lotus, and the launching of the Lotus Elise street car to the North American market, of which Road and Track called ‘The Purest Sports Car on the Planet,’” said Gary Ankenmann, Director of Team Elite. Ankenmann, who has been involved in commercial marketing for seven years, will run the team’s operations on a day-to-day basis from Toronto. The racing team will be based in the Florida shop of JB Racing, Inc., with Technical Director Jim Higgs.

Team partners include Park ‘N Fly Canada, Kwikpower International and Jacques Villeneuve – Sonax Car Care Products. Negotiations with tire companies and other sponsors continue. In addition to a full season of American Le Mans Series action, the team may also enter some races in the new Le Mans Endurance Series in Europe.

The 52nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will get the green flag at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 20, and will be televised live from flag-to-flag by the Speed Channel. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,744 Posts
Feffman said:

The full-bodied, green-and-yellow Lotus Elise will compete in the LMP 1 class of the American Le Mans Series beginning with the 52nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway Mar. 17-20.
:eek: Green and yellow... Hey that sounds like a type-25... :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,438 Posts
Thanks for the heads-up- I had been under the impression that they were campaigning an Esprit. I just might have to go down there and root for the 'liz.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
I think the Esprit was in Grand Am, not ALMS.

If the Elise is running, this is FANTASTIC news, and kudos to Lotus for supporting the Elise the way it should be.

I've no doubt that this would enhance the presence of the marque here in America

I'd love to see the 'lise kick some Porsche ass in punishment for building that hideous SUV monstrosity, though that's a rather tall order (await flame from Cayenne owners)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
Feffman said:
The full-bodied, green-and-yellow Lotus Elise will compete in the LMP 1 class of the American Le Mans Series beginning with the 52nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway Mar. 17-20.
I am dubious. There isn't an LMP 1 class in ALMS. And the Elise wouldn't qualify for either of the prototype classes (675 and 900) anyway. If it were to run, it would probably be in the GT class with the Ferrari 360s and Porsche 911s.

Also, Johnny Herbert's website doesn't mention anything about this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
Derek,
I don't think their was an S2 bodied GT1 was there?

I did go to ALMS website, they don't list the team but it's still early as Sebring isn't until mid-march?

I certainly hope it's not a hoax.

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,955 Posts
Lotus is racing at Daytona this weekend at the 24 Hour Rolex Race before the Daytona 500, but they are using an Esprit that is from the Golden Gate Lotus Club from California. The GGLC said they wouldnt have any Elises there, so I dont know who is supporting Elise racing. I will try to make it to Sebring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
xxxotic,
Goldne Gate is one of the sponsors of the Esprit, but the team is owned and driven by Zack Zarcadoolas, Garrett turbo is also a team sponsor. Zack lives in the Atlanta area. He's actually racing in the Grand Am cup race which is a support race to the 24 hour race, believe it's Friday. Will be shown on speed a a week or two.
Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
This is great news ...

The Elise (a return to Colin's design principles) is part of a return of Lotus Racing.

How sweet!
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top