Friday, October 21, 2011 05:00
Many of today’s top racing drivers got their first taste of speed in go-karts. But what started out as crude tube-framed toys with lawnmower engines and wheelbarrow tires are now miniature versions of real race cars. Now Group Lotus is introducing two new racing karts named after two legendary figures in Lotus racing history.
The Colin C30, named after Lotus fonder Colin Chapman, and the Jimmy C32, named after Lotus driver Jim Clark, are licensed by Group Lotus to be built by Wildkart, specialists in aeronautics precision engineering since 1996 and manufacturer of karts since 2002. Competing under the “Lotus Racing Karts” banner and forming part of the Lotus Motorsport division, Lotus Racing Karts will field a factory-backed team operated by Jefra Racing out of its headquarters near Treviso, Italy.
With the move into karting, Group Lotus becomes the first car manufacturer to have a presence at the entry level of motorsport, where future talent first comes to light. Two-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel is the perfect example of the benefits of early driver development, as are fellow F1 drivers and former World Champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
Lotus Racing Karts will unveil its 2012 karts at the annual AUTOSPORT International event on January 14, 2012, in Birmingham, England.