Alex Job Racing and Group Lotus will be joining forces in a partnership to compete the Lotus Evora GTE in the 2012 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT Class. Due the the lateness of the announcement, the agreement will have the effort miss the first race of the season at the 12 Hours of Sebring (March 17), but the good news for “Angelinos” is that they will debut at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach!
Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said, “We are focused on winning. Alex Job has one of the best records in sports-car racing. We look forward to working together and developing a top-tier team over the coming years. Racing is a core component of the Lotus brand, and we are thrilled to have this new partnership to further enhance our winning racing heritage.”
The team will be officially addressed as Lotus Alex Job Racing (or Lotus AJR) and this partnership marks the first time Lotus has participated in factory form in the ALMS. Team captain Alex Job confirmed that part-time Izod IndyCar Series racer Townsend Bell will drive the team’s one-car effort, teaming up with AJR driver Bill Sweedler.
“I am excited to announce the racing partnership between Lotus and Alex Job Racing in North America,” team leader and namesake, Alex Job said. “Our efforts and ability to attract Lotus is a testament to the hard work that AJR has put in over the past several years. This partnership, along with our key sponsors William Rast, Battery Tender, and Yokohama represent a new chapter for our seasoned organization and for the ALMS.”
“Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, and William Rast CEO – Colin Dyne played the key role in forging this long-term relationship with Lotus,” Job continued. “We collectively look forward to representing this iconic sports-car brand for years to come in GT racing.”
The Evora GTE will be powered by a 4.0-liter V6 Toyota engine featuring Cosworth electronic controls, with redline set at 7,000 rpm. The engine produces 470 hp and 328-lb.-ft. of torque. The racing version of the car weighs 2,740 lbs, and it features a six-speed sequential Xtrac gearbox with a paddle-shift option.
Townsend Bell added, “Having the chance to represent such a great brand like Lotus is simply awesome. The fact that I get to work with one of the best teams in sports-car racing is icing on the cake. I’m really fired-up to work with Lotus AJR and Bill in what will undoubtedly be a great adventure. Time to buckle up!”
This spring, Long Beach will feature the largest gathering of factory teams sponsored by Group Lotus anywhere in the world … ever – certainly in the modern era. We will see the first year IZOD IndyCar Series teams announced to date of Lotus HVM, Lotus Bryan Herta Autosport, Lotus Dragon Racing (IZOD IndyCar’s only West coast located team), and Lotus Dreyer and Reinbold Racing (all running the turbo-charged Lotus/Judd Indy Car engine) join ALMS’s Lotus Alex Job Racing competing on the streets and Shoreline Drive straightaway at Long Beach, California, April 13-15, 2012. Welcome the era of the Lotus Legion in American motorsports racing.
… notes from The EDJE
** Article first published as The Lotus Legion Grows Its Reach Into The ALMS on Technorati **