Lotus is one step closer to its own support category in the Australian Production Cars series with recent confirmation of their first full-season entry in the 2018 APC season.
Simply Sports Cars’ are behind the big move with the plan for 70 lotuses to run in the APC-run Grand Finale in November.
While the Lotus importer’s focus is the first round of the series at Sandown Raceway on 11-13 May, spokesman Mark O’ Conner was excited for the November event.
“We will have around 70 Lotus customers at Phillip Island with their cars, taking part in a Lotus Only Sprint which will be an official support category for the APC-run event,” O’Connor said.
“We will also be supplying the pace car for that weekend and will be entertaining guests in a number of corporate hospitality suites over the weekend.”
As the brand new #10 Lotus Exige being confirmed as the entry in the APC A1 class with talented drivers Grant Denver and Tony D’Alberto signed on to pilot the car, the manufacturer also had three more entries in the works.
“We are very excited about building Lotus Exige race cars for the APC season – as well as the #10 which we are running ourselves we are also currently building two others for customers who plan to also run the entire APC season,” O’Connor added.
“On top of that, we have also just sold another that is likely to contest the second-half of the 2018 APC season.
“The series is a really great fit for the Exige, allowing us to compete with similar-priced cars in the market place, and we are very excited to see how the season unfolds.
“The APC has a lot to offer brands that have cars costing less than $150k. The relative low costs and endurance race formats offer great value for the drivers/owners whilst also offering a stage for manufacturers to showcase what their cars are capable of in some pretty tough environments against some tough competition.
“There are some great teams involved in the APC and we look forward to the challenge and showing what our awesome team at Simply Sports Cars is capable of.”
While the entries were a breakthrough for the manufacturer in Australian motor sport, O’Connor is confident that the cars will not just be making up the numbers.
“We think the car will be competitive across the course of the season. The tracks with flowing corners will suit us, whilst we won’t be as strong at tracks with 90-degree corners and long straights,” O’ Connor explained.
“Our team has quite a bit of experience in endurance racing, having successfully competed in the Bathurst 12 Hour race since 2008 in various Lotus Exige models, taking out quite a few class wins over the years.
“We are of course very pleased to have such experienced and talented drivers in Grant and Tony join us – they will be a very strong pairing and we are looking forward to working with those guys to help develop the car.”
The first round of the 2018 Australian Production Cars series takes place as part of Round 2 of the Shannons Nationals on 11-13 May at Sandown Raceway, while the Lotus Supporters category will debut at Phillip Island on 2-4 November.