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New Lotus GTl Racer unveiled
Date: 5 March 1996  Contact: William Anthony   Embargo: Immediate

The Lotus Esprit GTl is an all-new race car built to be fully competitive in international long-distance sports car racing. The turbo va engine is developed from the new roadgoing Lotus va, and will ensure class-leading performance. A works team is ente red in the famous Le Mans 24 Hour Race and in the l l-race BPR International GT Championship.

The new car, Lotus type number 114, designed by Martin Ogilvie, is the latest in a famous line of sports-ra cing cars from the British company. It is designed to compete in the top (GT1) category of international endurance sports car racing , and to be capable of challenging for outright victory against the other famous names in this fast-growing category. Last year, the lone works GT3 Lotus Esprit won its class at the Silverstone round of the International GT series. Driven by Alessandro Zanardi and Alex Portman, the car was running as high as third place overall, and finished fourth – a testament to the capabilities of the Lotus chassis .

This year, the all-new chassis is enhanced with a new roll-cage. carbon brakes, a six-speed sequential gearbox, Michelin Pilot Sx tyres , and of course the all-new production-based Lotus turbolintercooled va engine - an exciting new package with which to take on the GT1 establishment. The car will be running on the minimum weight limit (900 kg). With the new engine del ivering 520 bhp from the restricted intake, the car will be competitive, and will benefit from better specific fuel consumption and reduced tyre and brake wear , important in endurance racing .

The BPR International GT Championship opens at the Paul Ricard circuit on 3 March, and the Lotus works team has entered one car for this first race. Experienced former F1 and sports car driver Jan Lammers will drive for the season, as will Alex Portman who partnered Zanardi so ably iast year. Lotus intend to field two cars for the rest of the season and full details of drivers and corporate supporters will be announced as the season gets under way.

Lotus Esprit GT1 • Specification:

Dimensions: Overall length 4.3 m
Overall width 1.95 m
Height 1.1 m
Wheelbase 2.44 m
Track front 1.54 m
rear 1.62 m
Weight: 900 kg (or minimum permitted)
Engine: Lotus 32-valve V8, turbocharged and intercooled, over 500 bhp
Gearbox: Hewland TGT200, transverse, 6 speed, sequential
Clutch: AP 4 plate, hydrau lically operated
Brakes: AP 14" carbon discs and pads, AP 6-pot callipers (front & rear)
Wheels: Dymag 18" Magnesium centre-lock Front 10.5" wide : Rear 13" wide
Tyres: Michelin Pilot Sx Slicks or Wets Front 27/65-18 : Rear 30170-18
Structure: Steel backbone chassis with integrated roll cage; fibreglass bodyshell with carbon fibre closing panels, roof, sills and bumpers
Suspension: Fabricated steel uprights, front and rear, front double wishbones, rear lateral links and trailing arms. Penske racing shocks all round.
Aerodynamics: Twin element carbon fibre rear wing, carbon fibre splitter, floor and diffuser
Fuel cells: Twin Premier Fuels "bag-tanks" - 100 litre capacity
Cooling: Front-mounted, top-exit Behr core aluminium radiators for engine and intercooler
Electrical system: Lotus designed loom manufactured using Raychem wiring materials and Amphenol connectors. Lotus-designed 32 channel data system

Hethel, Norwich, Norfolk , NR14 SEZ, Ensland. Telephone : (01953) 608000 Telefax: (01953) 608300