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Lotus goes light again with go-karts

Wed, 19 Oct 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Group Lotus, not to be confused with Formula One's Team Lotus, is trying its hand at grassroots racing. The Lotus Racing Karts team will unveil its first 2012 model at the annual Autosport International event on Jan. 14, 2012, in Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

That's right, the company that birthed the Esprit, the Elise and the Exige has two new machines to check out--the Colin C30 and the Jimmy C32, named after Lotus founder Colin Chapman and driver Jim Clark. The company is not only looking for young racing talent, but also for kids who have an aptitude for engineering and design.

Lotus will be a factory-backed team, operated by Jefra Racing in Treviso, Italy. Jefra has competed in several forms of motorsport including Formula Two, Ferrari Challenge and touring cars. Kart building will fall to Wildkart, another operation out of Italy. Wildkart is regarded as an authority in kart chassis and components, according to Lotus.

"Our entry into karting is exciting on many levels," says Miodrag Kotur, director of operations for Lotus Motorsport. "Not only are we nurturing new talent and widening our motorsport program, but we also have an opportunity to join forces with two world-class specialists. It is exciting to see Lotus Motorsport grow in such an authentic, fresh and exhilarating way."

Lotus Racing Karts will compete in the CIK-FIA international karting events for the KF and KZ categories and in the World Karting Championship for the KF1 category.

By Jake Lingeman