Lotus Challenge Series - Click above for a high-res image gallery

After attending the second event of the 2008 Lotus Challenge Series last May, we were convinced the up-start had potential. Lotus Cars USA seems to agree and has become the title sponsor for the 2009 season.

In its inaugural year, the series stuck to California for six of its events, along with two races at the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada. For 2009, the campaign is expanding to ten events in the western US, including stints at Laguna Seca and Infineon, with four more events planned in Texas.

The series – part track day and part time-attack – brings together Lotus enthusiasts of all stripes, divides the field according to experience level and vehicle infiniti/modifications, and sets them loose for a weekend of down-and-dirty track action. You can get all the details, along with the 2009 schedule, in the press release after the break, and check out the Lotus Challenge website to sign up for any of the 2009 events.


Related GalleryLotus Challenge - Buttonwillow - April 2008


PRESS RELEASE

Lotus Cars USA, Inc. Announces Title Sponsorship of Growing Lotus Challenge Series

Duluth, GA, June 25, 2009 – Lotus Cars USA, Inc. is pleased to announce that Lotus will be the Title Sponsor of the growing Lotus Challenge Series.

The Lotus Challenge Series was begun in 2008 by long-time Lotus enthusiast Jim Navarro along with critical support from other Lotus aficionados Jack Fried and Robb Bonanno. To help expand the Lotus Challenge Series to the east and continually improve the series, Jim recently took on a fellow racer as a partner in the series – Tom Hughes.

"When the Series 2 Elise came to the United States market for the first time in 2004, I immediately bought one and drove it straight to the track," said Lotus Challenge Series founder and President Jim Navarro. "I decided it would be great to have a time trial and club race series where like-minded Lotus enthusiasts could enjoy their cars and improve their driving skills together, so Jack, Robb and I worked hard to build up the series last year. I'm proud of what we've built thus far in the Lotus Challenge Series and I particularly appreciate that all of our participants understand our series emphasizes safety and intelligence on the race track and they all drive accordingly."

The inaugural year of the Lotus Challenge Series in 2008 was comprised of eight events with six at various California tracks and two events at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada. The first year of the series was a great success with full grids and a lot of fun and camaraderie enjoyed by all the Lotus racing participants.

With a good, solid first full year of learning and experience under their belt, the Lotus Challenge Series has been expanded for the 2009 season to 10 western US events (see included schedule), initially, and is now in the process of expanding further with an additional 4 events being planned for Lotus owners to enjoy in Texas. As the race schedule is expanding for the series, the variety of the venues is as well with upcoming events scheduled at the revered Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey and famous Infineon Raceway in Sonoma.

"The Lotus Challenge Series is a very well run organization that's expanding through providing Lotus owners a fun, safe and positive environment in which to enjoy their Lotus vehicles and improve their driving skills," said Lotus Cars USA, Inc. Director of Operations Arnie Johnson. "What Jim Navarro, Tom Hughes, Jack Fried, Robb Bonanno and all of the participants in the Lotus Challenge Series are doing is fostering tremendous enthusiasm and goodwill for our treasured Lotus marque. We're extremely proud to support the expansion of the Lotus Challenge Series as the title sponsor and show some of our most devoted Lotus owners how much we appreciate them."

The full array of Lotus' current North American product offering competes in the Lotus Challenge Series including various Elise and Exige models and the track-only Exige Cup Car 255 and the current ultimate track-only Lotus 2-Eleven.

Lotus Challenge Series 2009 Competition Schedule:
  • January 23 - Streets of Willow, Willow Springs
  • February 21 – 22 - Streets of Willow, (SCCA School)
  • March 28 – 29 - Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch
  • April 23 - Willow Springs International Raceway
  • May 30 – 31 - Buttonwillow Raceway Park
  • July 16 – 17 - Laguna Seca Raceway
  • August 8 - Streets of Willow, Willow Springs
  • September 3 - Buttonwillow Raceway Park
  • October 8 – 9 - Infineon Raceway
  • November 8 – 9 - Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch
As the Lotus Challenge Series continues to grow in participation and expand into other parts of the country, the dates and details for new events in the south and on the east coast for 2010 will be announced in August 2009.