Reading a motorsport piece on Lotus nowadays has proven rather difficult without seeing ‘Dany Bahar’ or ‘parked’ in at least one of the opening sentences. Even as the team celebrated Romain Grosjean’s debut Formula One podium finish in Canada, pundits still mused what the fallen Chief Executive Officer would have to say on the matter, and whether their IndyCar outfit would ever enjoy such heady heights.
Turns out though that turning away from track news might be just the ticket for Lotus fans. Take the news, for example, that a Lotus Exige R-GT will perform course car duties on next weekend’s Geko Ypres rally in Belgium.
Yes, you did read that correctly. Rally. For many years the Exige has established itself as a performance phenomenon on-track, thanks to a lightweight chassis, ample oomph and pinpoint accurate handling. The idea that such a track beast would ever dip its Michelins onto the rough stuff seems ridiculous.
But no. The Geko Ypres Rally is but a toe in the water exercise ahead of the Lotus International Team’s assault on select Intercontinental Rally Challenge and European Rally Championship stages this year. On-hand for the inaugural running is Portuguese driver Bernardo Sousa and Italian team-mate Corrado Mancini.
Let’s hope Lotus‘ rally exploits begin to calm the team’s tumultuous single seater waters.