Lotus opens new on-site test track

Lotus Hethel circuit – Click above for high-res image gallery

There are a great many things that Lotus does well. The company's own sports cars are some of the best-handling machines money can buy, and Lotus also performs magic on other automakers' chassis on a consultational basis. Turns out, it lays out some pretty serious race tracks, too.

The Top Gear test track, for one, was designed by Lotus. And now the Hethel-based automaker has built its own on-site test track.

Not unlike the Nürburgring, the 2.2-mile circuit is split into two loops: the 1.3-mile north loop with two long straights connected by a hairpin, and the 0.8-mile south loop, packed with curves and elevation changes named after famous racing drivers who've piloted for Lotus. There's also a skid pad near the center, and a pit lane complex with 12 two-car garages.

The kicker, though, is that the circuit is fully FIA-certified, meaning that it's capable of hosting a wide variety of races on premises, from GT racing to F1 test sessions. The facility's proximity to the Snetterton circuit, however, might limit those prospects. Check out the layout and shots of the track in the high-res image gallery.

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