You get the feeling that when Jarno was invited over to Lotus’ cold and windswept Hethel HQ, that he was hoping to see the car that he will contesting in the 2010 Formula 1 championship. Instead he was given the keys to an Evora..
But perhaps that’s no bad thing, of all the models to choose in which to become acclimatised with the Norfolk brand the Evora has to be one of the most enjoyable, especially judging by the weather conditions on the day.
It was an exciting day, with Jarno enjoying a visit to the production facilities (those guys can’t be getting much work done these days, considering how many motorsport legends they’ve been hosting in this quiet part of Norfolk) meeting Lotus staff and driving the new Lotus Evora – the first Lotus he has ever driven.
Jarno was also given a special tour of the Classic Team Lotus workshops by Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman. During the visit to Classic Team Lotus Jarno viewed some of the most successful and iconic F1 racing cars of all time. The tour was steeped in Lotus heritage and included some of the F1 cars that helped Lotus to achieve 79 GP wins, seven constructor’s titles and 6 drivers’ championships, including, Emerson Fittipaldi’s Type 72, Graham Hill’s Type 49 and Jim Clark’s Type 25.
Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “The family gets bigger with the arrival of Jarno. It was very special to host Jarno at Group Lotus, he is an exceptional driving talent and we wish him and Lotus F1 Racing every success for the 2010 F1 season.” He continued, “We take great pride in the sports cars that we produce at Hethel and Jarno’s visit provided a great opportunity to show off the multi-award winning cars that we produce and the advanced niche production facilities at Hethel.”
Jarno enjoyed his time driving the Lotus Evora and visiting the home of the iconic Lotus marque, commenting, “Gino Rosato and I come from the same region of Italy, Abruzzo, we have been close friends for years and it was always a dream of ours to work together. Claudio Berro and Dany Bahar are also old friends and I honestly never thought that I would get the opportunity to work with these great people.”
He went on to say,” It was a great occasion and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the fantastic Classic Lotus F1 cars and new Lotus models. The facilities at Group Lotus are very impressive and I was amazed at the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into the production of Lotus cars. The Lotus Evora lived up to all my expectations of what a Lotus would be like to drive. It is clearly a very well engineered car that provides an exceptionally rewarding drive and I am looking forward to Lotus’ exciting future.”