I agree it would not make sense for Lotus to play in F1. Too expensive for the return on investment. How many more cars would they sell if they had an F1 entry?
I do hope that Lotus becomes more involved in motorsports and wisely chooses where they can get the most bang for the buck. At the grassroots level where they can get exposure. I know we heard a while ago that Lotus was interesting in supporting SCCA road racing. I don't know what that means in terms of benefit to the racer.
I would really like to see Lotus consider the involvement of companies like Mazda Motorsports, Toyota Motorsports, Subaru, Honda, and Dodge. Small investments for a nice return.
1. Reduced prices on replacement or upgrade factory parts. Toyota offers me parts at wholesale price. Very little cost to Lotus but it helps the grassroots racers.
2. Contingency money for class winners in SCCA ProSolo and Solo2 and National Run Offs. A minor bone, but it's nice. Toyota used to pay something like $1000 for a win in ProSolo, but now pay something like $250. Not a great amount of money, but it's a nice thing if you win in their vehicle.
3. Support of any kind. TRD brought a semi transporter to Nationals last year and trailered Toyota cars. Working with national SCCA drivers to see what might need to be tweaked to work with Hoosiers for example. Offering factory documentation for options like the LSD. Any support (and we are getting some!) is a good thing.
This is the kind of stuff that costs peanuts compared to a full racing team and can return some smaller rewards, but still offer a very good return on the investment. 60,000 people autocross in the USA. How many will be learning about Lotus? How many will really be exposed to what the car can do? To what Lotus can do?