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29 January 2010

F1 Driver Heikki Kovalainen tests his first Lotus

F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen visits the home of Lotus Cars to meet the Lotus family and choose the scheme for his personalised Lotus Evora.

It was a real thrill for the Lotus workforce to see Lotus F1 Racing Driver Heikki as he was given a personal tour of the production facilities yesterday, and even more exciting for those few employees who got a rare chance to be driven by the F1 star as he tested the Lotus Evora on Lotus’ own test track for the first time.

During his day with Lotus Cars Heikki was given a special tour of the Classic Team Lotus workshops by Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman during which he chatted to Clive and Engineer Bob Dance about their first hand experience of some of the most successful and iconic F1 racing cars of all time. The tour was steeped in Lotus history and included some of the F1 cars that helped Lotus to achieve 79 GP wins, seven constructor’s titles and 6 drivers’ championships, including Emerson Fittipaldi’s Type 72.



Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “Group Lotus is very proud of its racing pedigree and we are all very excited to share our story with Heikki. It was our honour to welcome Heikki to Group Lotus and we wish him and the Lotus F1 Racing team every success for the 2010 F1 season.”

Dany Bahar continued, “We take great pride in the sports cars that we produce at Hethel and Heikki’s visit provided a great opportunity to show off the multi-award winning cars that we produce and the advanced niche production facilities at Hethel.”

Heikki was not on Lotus soil long before he was behind the wheel of the Lotus Evora trying it on for size on Lotus’ own test track and commented “The Evora was everything I expected, Lotus is famous for fantastic sports cars and the Evora did not disappoint. The power to weight ratio gives the car a real racecar feel and allowed me to really push the car round the track. I enjoyed every lap and had fun sliding it sideways!”

He went on to say, “The day has been great, I was really excited to see so many happy, motivated people and the support of the Lotus workforce is very much appreciated, I really got a sense of the passion the people have for the Lotus brand.”

Heikki concluded, “I’d really like to thank every one at Lotus for a great day, it was an honour to meet Clive Chapman and learn more abut his legendary father and to see Lotus’ classic F1 cars. I’m really keen to drive one of the JPS cars and maybe will be at Lotus again sometime soon to drive the Type 72!”
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