Piranha Motorsport to field Lotus 2-11 in British GT4
The Lotus name is to return to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship for a full-season campaign in 2010, Piranha Motorsport announcing plans to contest the country's premier sports car series with a Lotus 2-Eleven and drivers Chris Bialan and Simon Mason.
Following an encouraging debut in British GT at Brands Hatch last September the car - the ex-works factory development and Dubai 24 Hour machine - has undergone a ground-up rebuild and a number of Lotus Sport-designed upgrades.
Caterham and Speed Series race-winner Bialan and former Rockingham chief instructor Mason say it will be a competitive prospect in the championship's GT4 category against the Ginetta, Nissan, Aston Martin and KTM opposition. "We are very serious about the challenge ahead," says Mason, "and we are not entering the British GT arena lightly. We proved at Brands Hatch that the car is quick and reliable, and we believe that the upgrades we have made will make it more than competitive."
Bialan started his competition career in the Caterham Academy in 2005 and was Caterham Roadsport B championship runner-up the following season with six race wins. Chris showed front-running pace in the Caterham Eurocup in 2007 before switching with success to the V de V sports car series in '08. Mason was Britcar Driver of the Year in 2005 and has a hat-trick of Britcar 24 Hours top-eight finishes to his credit.
Said series manager Benjamin Franasovicci: "I am pleased to see the Lotus 2-Eleven of Simon and Chris joining us for a full season in GT4 - we enjoy a special relation with Lotus, and Chris Arnold and his team have worked hard to make the 2-Eleven competitive. We expect some more Lotus machinery to join us and I am positive, from feedback received at the show this week, that we will see a healthy GT4 grid."
The Piranha Motorsport Lotus is currently on display at Autosports International at Birmingham's NEC, and will shortly embark on an extensive testing programme ahead of the opening rounds of the 2010 Avon Tyres British GT Championship, scheduled for 5 April at Oulton Park. British GT is sponsored by UK tyre manufacturer Avon Tyres and is further supported by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and The Independent.