Overnight Lotus Racing unveiled their 2010 Formula One racecar, the Lotus Cosworth T127.
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer, spoke at the launch and here’s a bit of what he had to say, “The last few months have been some of the most challenging of my career, but it’s been a challenge the whole team and I have thrived on since we first started work on the car up in Norfolk.
“I’m delighted that we’ve reached this point, and now we have a beautiful car that gives us a great base to work from for the season ahead and a fighting chance of going racing in the right way, with a winning mentality. The hard part starts now, and I know everyone in the team and I are up for whatever lies ahead.”
More images available after the break.
LOTUS RACING UNVEILS LOTUS COSWORTH T127
12 February 2010 – Lotus Racing today unveiled its 2010 challenger, the Lotus Cosworth T127, at a glittering event in London’s Royal Horticultural Hall. Team Principal Tony Fernandes was joined on stage by Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne and drivers Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen and Fairuz Fauzy to take the wraps off the car in front of a 500 strong live audience.
As the lights came up the car’s stunning green and yellow livery was seen for the first time, striking an emotional chord with both young and old alike and evoking memories of some of motor racing’s most iconic moments in an entirely contemporary fashion.
Tony Fernandes gave his thoughts on the astonishing achievement the Lotus Racing team has accomplished in launching the car just five short months since the team was granted its entry to the FIA Formula One World Championships, saying: “I am extremely proud to be here today and to be able to show the world the fruits of the team’s hard work over the last five months. It’s humbling for me and my fellow shareholders, Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin to see how a team that five months ago didn’t even exist is now a thriving workforce, full of enthusiasm and passion for Lotus Racing and the challenges ahead and capable of producing such a beautiful machine in such a short time. “Now we’ve achieved two major milestones; confirming our entry and unveiling our car, but now the real work starts. Next we move on to testing and the season ahead and I’m confident that the team will exceed expectations wherever we go, and will do so on a wave of support around the world that has been growing daily since we first unleashed Lotus Racing back in September ’09.”
Mike Gascoyne added his thoughts, saying “The last few months have been some of the most challenging of my career, but it’s been a challenge the whole team and I have thrived on since we first started work on the car up in Norfolk. I’m delighted that we’ve reached this point, and now we have a beautiful car that gives us a great base to work from for the season ahead and a fighting chance of going racing in the right way, with a winning mentality. The hard part starts now, and I know everyone in the team and I are up for whatever lies ahead.”
The Lotus Racing T127 is powered by Cosworth and will use an Xtrac gearbox and, in line with all 2010 teams, will be running on Bridgestone tyres.
LOTUS RACING BRIEF HISTORY
12 February 2010 – Lotus Racing was officially born on September 12th 2009 when the FIA granted the new team its entry into the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. Headed up by Team Principal Tony Fernandes, supported by Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne and Chief Executive Riad Asmat, the team made its base in Hingham, Norfolk, near to the home of Group Lotus, a few miles up the Norfolk roads in Hethel.
Lotus Racing’s origins began before September, with Tony and fellow shareholders Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin leading a consortium of Malaysian business interests who joined forces to provide initial funding for the nascent team under the parent company 1Malaysia Racing Team banner. Tony immediately began appointing key senior management positions, including Riad Asmat joining as Chief Executive Officer and Lee Chung Han as Chief Financial Officer, while Mike Gascoyne began work on the technical program in the UK and across Europe.
As the team moved into its new Hingham, UK home work began immediately on building the 2010 cars, with Mike directing the technical efforts across centres of excellence in design, wind tunnel, composite manufacturing and a host of ancillary support services throughout Europe in an intensive effort to be ready for the rapidly approaching season ahead. With the car build process under way, a similar effort was also being undertaken in creating the team itself, with new staff being taken on every day, and the fabric of the team’s identity being created from scratch.
In December one of the first major milestones was reached, with a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur unveiling the first Lotus Racing drivers – Italy’s Jarno Trulli, Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen and Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy. The combination of race winning experience, youth and passion give the team a good platform from which to establish the true pace of the car and have a fighting chance of exceeding expectations in the season ahead.
December brought the UK’s worst winter for 30 years and as staff numbers at the Hingham factory swelled work continued apace. Jarno, Heikki and Fairuz all spent time in snowy Norfolk, having their seats fitted and familiarising themselves with their new Race Engineers, pit crews and support staff. Chassis 01 passed all its crash tests in early January and soon afterwards arrived at the factory for the engineers and mechanics to get to work on the actual build process. As the team’s hours in the factory increased, the car itself began to take shape, and by early February a few all night sessions saw the months of hard work culminate in the first Cosworth engine fire up in the factory.
Two days later the now 130 strong staff gathered in the factory’s race bays to see the car in its final build specification for the very first time. As the final pieces of bodywork were fixed in place, the Lotus Racing team saw, for the very first time, the car’s green and yellow livery, bringing to mind some of motor racing’s most iconic images and leaving everyone involved with the impression that not only was the car technically beautiful, but also would exceed the expectations of motor racing fans around the world.
The next day the team moved to a very cold and snowy Silverstone for shakedown – a day where system checks and engineering procedures worked in harmony to finally see the Lotus Cosworth T127, as it had by then been designated, break cover on track for the very first time, with Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy at the wheel.
As the car’s speed built up so did the atmosphere amongst the 65 people amassed on site – five incredibly intensive months of hard work and pressure had paid off handsomely, with a stunning car on track, and the wail of the Cosworth V8 screaming around the Northamptonshire countryside.
Next stop London and the launch …