Lotus is getting into the grassroots of motorsports by becoming the first carmaker to establish its presence in karting.
As part of the its motorsport division, Lotus will race under the Lotus Racing Karts banner for the 2012 season and field a factory backed team that will compete in the CIK-FIA international karting events for KF and KZ categories and the World Karting Championship for KF1 category.
Lotus Racing Karts will be run by Jefra Racing out of its headquarters in Italy. With a racing history of over 40 years, Jefra Racing has competed in many classes of motorsport. Lotus hopes this invaluable experience coupled with leadership from team manager Franc Jerancic will "form the basis of a truly competitive team."
Lotus, however, will do more than just spot future driving talents as it also hopes to work with young people who have an aptitude for design and engineering by producing karts and components under license to Wildkart, which has been manufacturing karts since 2002.
Regarded as an authority in kart chassis and components, Wildkart provides services and solutions to many karting suppliers and brands and its collaboration with Lotus "is enhanced by the mutual commitment to innovation, technology and development."
"Our entry into karting is exciting on many levels," said Lotus Motorsport's operations director Miodrag Kotur. "Not only are we nurturing new talent and widening our motorsport programme, 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."