Legendary British sports car marque Lotus will make its debut as a course car at Belgium’s Geko Ypres rally on the 21 – 23 June. Portuguese driver Bernardo Sousa, who is set to race the Lotus Exige R-GT later this year, will drive this official car ahead of its entry in the FIA European Rally Championship and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
As part of the continuous development programme of the Exige R-GT, which has undergone tests in Italy, comes its first participation, albeit as a course car, in a rally event. The Geko Ypres Rally, which takes place in the town of Ypres in West Flanders, will be the fans first opportunity to see the car up close and running, and with the team of Bernardo Sousa and Corrado Mancini on board.
The Lotus International Team will be present in full at Ypres. The race will be the first official event for the team, and represents a useful opportunity to bed itself in.
Ypres is one of the most charming and characteristic rallies in the European series and the IRC. The participation of the Lotus International Rally Team will be used to continue testing and to fine tune the set-up of the car, equipped with a new suspension evolution, Michelin tyres thanks to a new technical partnership with the French company, and of further refined electronics.
Claudio Berro said: “Development of the Exige R-GT is going well whilst we are awaiting further clarifications of the GT category, which are due to be made by the FIA at their World Motor Sport Council meeting on June 15. But, until then, we’re looking forward to Ypres which will give us some useful mileage, and show off this spectacular car to the rally world.”
Bernardo Sousa commented: “I am very pleased to be at the Geko Ypres Rally, even if I’m only driving the Exige as a course car. This presence will certainly help us to start having some stage time comparisons against those who will be our next opponents. During the tests the car has improved continuously and I am discovering its great potential day after day.”