Arguably more than any other automaker in the world, Lotus is ripe for a return to racing. Its products are uniquely track focused. Its history is rife with motorsport heritage. And its new chief executive comes to the company after stints at Red Bull and Ferrari, two outfits deeply involved in top-tier racing.
Unfortunately, as Dany Bahar points out, the formative Lotus F1 Racing team set to join the grand prix circus next season has little to do with the sportscar manufacturer and engineering concern which he now heads. Instead, the name is being furnished by parent company Proton to a consortium of investors in its native Malaysia. Bahar wants a slice of the action, and Proton would be wise to give it to him. But the executive who earned his reputation as a branding guru has more plans to get Lotus back into racing beyond the F1 team.
Speaking to a group of Lotus employees, Bahar reportedly disclosed that the company is looking at getting into a variety of racing series, including Indy, Le Mans and GT racing. That's some ambition for a company that hasn't seriously competed in decades, but if any team can pull it off, it's Bahar and Lotus.