Lotus headed to Le Mans with Lola LMP2

The suitably rapid expansion of the Lotus Racing division is showing no signs of slowing down. The British marque has its own Formula One team, is supplying engines to the IndyCar Series, oversees both GP2 and GP3 teams, has competition versions of its road cars in various GT and rally championships, runs its own karting program, and offers enthusiasts top-notch trackday programs with the Evora GT and Exos/Type 125 single-seater. But that's not enough: now Lotus is gearing up to take on Le Mans.

The company was planning to design its own LMP2 racer, and it had snagged the designer of the 908 HDi away from the now-shuttered Peugeot Sport racing program. But that apparently didn't go quite as smoothly as planned, so Lotus has instead opted to back an independent team to run a second-tier Le Mans prototype on its behalf.

That team is Kodewa, headed up by former HRT F1 team principal Colin Kolles and his father Romulus. They'll be running a chassis built by Lola and powered by a BMW V8 prepared by Engine Developments – the same arrangement by which Lotus is powering its Indy program. The car, as you can see, features the same iconic black and gold livery as other Lotus racers, penned in this case by Daniel Simon – a former Volkswagen Group designer responsible for the Tron:Legacy lightcycles and the livery run on last year's HRT F111.

Look for the Lotus LMP2 to debut when the FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off here at Sebring in March, with a second car expected to join at Spa in May. Press release after the jump.
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Kodewa and Lotus choose Lola LMP for 2012

Two more Lola LMP2 Coupes have been announced by a new Lola customer today. The German-based Kodewa team has entered Lola LMP2 coupes, designed and built in Huntingdon UK, in the new FIA World Endurance Championship.

Recognising the innovative design technology and title winning pace of the Lola LMP range, Kodewa have partnered with Lotus Group who will supply the engines. The Lola B12/80 LMP2 Coupes are set to run in the black and gold livery, first made famous in the 1970's. It will be the second famous colour scheme to be represented by Lola in 2012, as the classic blue and orange of Gulf Oils will adorn the Gulf Racing Lola LMP2 cars this season.

Commenting on the latest order for Lola, Executive Chairman, Martin Birrane said: "We have had a very successful winter at Lola with eight LMP cars having been ordered. We believe that new entries in sports cars are recognising the technical capabilities and iconic brand of Lola. It is pleasing that Kodewa, sponsored by Lotus, has chosen Lola to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the Le Mans 24 hours, this year."

The cars will feature the latest Lola development bodywork (see above), refined in the company's on-site 50% scale wind tunnel in Huntingdon.

Lola continues to be the benchmark in LMP racing, having taken the 2011 Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series manufacturers' titles. Lola was also the first petrol powered LMP car to finish last years Le Mans 24 Hours.

The 2012 season begins for Lola at the Sebring 12 Hours in Florida on March 17th.

Lotus Information

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