Posts Tagged ‘Lotus’


Lotus announce new sponsor

July 10, 2010

AirAsia X officially announced a partnership with Lotus Racing, during the world famous British Grand Prix held at the home of British Motor Racing, Silverstone from 9 – 11 July.

AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani and Lotus Racing CEO, Riad Asmat were on hand for the photo call at the Lotus Racing garage along with drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen. Next to them was the Lotus Racing T127 displaying the freshly placed AirAsia logos on the car.

This announcement is very timely, given that AirAsia X flies directly to a number of destinations where races take place in the current Formula 1™ calendar such as the UK (via Stansted), Melbourne, Malaysia and Shanghai (via Hangzhou). Soon, Korea and Japan can be added to the list as the destinations are soon to be a part of the airline’s rapid growth.

Commenting on the partnership, Azran states, “Teaming up with Lotus Racing is an exciting step for AirAsia X. We admire Lotus Racing as a team which always strives for excellence, a trait similar to that of AirAsia X. Furthermore, as we expand our route network, it is essential that we build our global platform, and a great way to do so is via involvement in Formula One™. Particularly in our upcoming markets of Korea and Japan later this year, and France in early 2011, all of which host legs on the Formula One™ calendar.

“There were people who once doubted AirAsia X’s low cost long haul model, questioning whether it could survive in the current global travel market. We proved them wrong by becoming one of the best in the world! Lotus Racing too had their fair share of skepticism. No one thought the team could even make it to the grid in such a short period of time, let alone be worthy contenders on the track. But they silenced the critics not only by producing the cars on time for the race season, but also by becoming serious contenders in the competition. There’s a lot that we can learn from each other, and we look forward to this relationship with Lotus Racing, taking AirAsia X further into the realms of sports sponsorship,” Azran said.

Riad Asmat, Lotus Racing CEO, added his thoughts, saying: “We are extremely proud to welcome AirAsia X into the Lotus Racing family and are very excited about working together in partnership over the coming seasons. We are both growing fast, and the natural synergies between our two companies will provide us with many very exciting opportunities for Lotus Racing fans and AirAsia X passengers alike – frankly, we can’t wait to get started!”

Partnerships such as with the UK British MotoGP in June (the inaugural AirAsia British Grand Prix), also held at Silverstone, is another example of how powerful sports sponsorships can be as both branding and commercial tools for AirAsia.

AirAsia X’s relationship with sports sponsorship began in 2009 with the announcement of being ‘Proud Sponsors’ of the Oakland Raiders, one of the most prolific teams in the National Football League (NFL) in the United States. The airline also sponsors the Gold Coast Airport Marathon which took place earlier this month, with CEO Azran leading a team of 20 staff runners, as well as providing sponsorship to two runners from Cambodia and Singapore in a bid to enhance the accessibility of Australia to all ASEAN communities through use of their sister airline, low-cost short-haul AirAsia.

Sports sponsorship is very important to AirAsia and AirAsia X, being the most homogeneous mass market which unites countless communities. Through sports sponsorship, AirAsia and AirAsia X is able to not only fulfill the larger vision of the airline by making dreams come true, but also to establish its brand’s equity value – a significant part of its branding effort, enabling AirAsia to become a household brand.

About AirAsia and AirAsia X

AirAsia, the leading and largest low-cost carrier in Asia, services the most extensive network with approximately 132 routes covering destinations in Asia, Australia and Europe. Within 8 years of operations, AirAsia has carried more than 92 million guests and grown its fleet from just two aircraft to approximately 96. The airline today is proud to be a truly Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) airline with established operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, servicing a network stretching across all Asean countries, China, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia. This is further complemented by AirAsia X, its low-cost long-haul affiliate carrier that currently flies to destinations in China, Australia, Taipei and the UK. AirAsia is the regional carrier with the largest destination network and highest flight frequencies. AirAsia was named World’s Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax for two consecutive years in 2009 and 2010.


Lotus Racing. Barcelona day 2

February 26, 2010

A productive day for Lotus Racing as Jarno Trulli took the Lotus Cosworth T127 challenger onto the Barcelona track and completed another 70 laps. With strong sunshine and dry weather conditions, the Lotus Racing team were again first out on track and ready to begin testing, developing and improving the car.

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne gave his end of day round up; “It was a productive day in terms of set up direction with Jarno. We were able to identify some problems with the set up in the car and establish clear direction to improve it. We still have a long way to go, and a lot of time to come from the car.

“ We had a couple of minor hydraulics issues which stopped the car on track, but nothing major, so all in all it was a productive day and we’re aiming to continue in the same vein tomorrow.”

Jarno Trulli again picks up the wheel for day three of testing, and the team is looking forward to developing and progressing the car. Heikki Kovalainen then takes over on Sunday, for the final day of testing.


Lotus Racing. Barcelona day 1

February 25, 2010

76 more laps for Fairuz Fauzy on the first day of the Barcelona test marks another satisfactory day for Lotus Racing. In dry, sunny conditions the team completed all its objectives for the day and are now looking forward to seeing Jarno Trulli take over driving duties tomorrow and Saturday.

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne gave his thoughts on the day’s on track action, saying “It was a very productive day – 76 laps with no mechanical worries on the car. In the morning we conducted some engine LAMDA running which we completed successfully. We ran through a series of system set up checks, completed our first starts and evaluated a number of other control systems on the car, as well as monitoring temperatures and pressures throughout the car.

“All in all this was a successful day both on the track and we ticked off a lot of behind the scenes tasks ahead of the first race. Fairuz did a very good job today, with no mistakes, and we were able to complete our whole program.”

Jarno Trulli takes over tomorrow with more dry running ahead of the Lotus Racing team.


Lotus factory opened by former malaysian prime minister

February 22, 2010

Tun Dr. Mahathir, ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia, today conducted the official opening of the Lotus Racing factory in Hingham, Norfolk. Malaysia’s longest serving Prime Minister, and one of Asia’s most influential political figures, was joined by Lotus Racing Team Principal Tony Fernandes, Deputy Team Principals Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin and Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne for the official ceremony to declare the factory open.
During his tour Tun Dr. Mahathir was given a detailed explanation of the different aspects of a modern Formula One team factory. He was then seated in the Lotus Cosworth T127 Chassis 02 while the engine was fired up, giving the team’s esteemed guest a very rare insight into the conditions the team’s drivers, Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy, Italy’s Jarno Trulli and Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen work in at races and tests.
Tun Dr. Mahathir created the vision for the establishment and growth of motorsport in Malaysia, and therefore the birth of the Lotus Racing team. This visionary spirit was the driving force for the establishment of the Malaysian Grand Prix, held at the world-renowned Sepang International Circuit which was also created and built under his Premiership.
Tony Fernandes and fellow Lotus Racing shareholders Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin were honoured that Tun Dr. Mahathir oversaw such an important milestone in the team’s development, saying “It is very exciting for us and the team that Tun Dr. Mahathir has been able to come to Norfolk to officially open our factory. He is the Father of motor racing in Malaysia, the visionary behind the birth of the Sepang International Circuit and the Malaysian Grand Prix and has given us all the inspiration to reach for the skies and achieve our dreams – as such it is a tremendous honour for us to welcome him here and we are extremely proud he has opened our factory today. ”
Lotus Racing completed its first official test last week in Jerez and now moves to Barcelona for the final official test before the season kicks off in earnest in Bahrain from March 12th – 14th.


Goodbye Jerez, see you all in Barcelona

February 12, 2010

I’m typing this whilst sitting in Jerez airport waiting for the first of the flights which will get me back to London later tonight. Testing for the last 2 weeks has been interesting as it’s not normally something I would cover, but as I was asked and paid to come I did.

I’m not coming back to Jerez next week as it’s half term for the schools in the UK, so we’re grabbing the chance for a family holiday before the season starts in just a few short weeks. However I will be at the Barcelona test in 2 weeks for the duration.

Have we actually learnt anything from the 2 weeks of testing so far? Not really. Virgin Racing have discovered that there is no way to get parts from the UK to Jerez in a hurry short of chartering a plane. Hold on doesn’t the beardy one have a few of those knocking round? The Spanish fans still love Fernando Alonso, especially in a Ferrari, but only when it’s not raining. Remember that on the last day in Valencia there were more people in the stands than at Bahrain, Turkey and Valencia during the 2009 races. Maybe people should start to pay attention to that.

That’s pretty much all i’ve got to say at the moment. There will be an update from this afternoons Lotus launch as soon as I get it and am able to upload.


“Bring it on, the sexier the better.” Fernandes responds to Branson

December 16, 2009

“Bring it on, the sexier the better.” That was the response from Tony Fernandes to Sir Richard Branson’s challenge over the loser in the Formula 1 stakes having to dress up as an airline stewardess on the winner’s airline – AirAsia or Virgin Atlantic.

The Lotus F1 Racing team, of which Fernandes is Team Principal, has even taken the liberty to pick out a lovely crew uniform for Branson.

“Our passengers will be delighted to be served by a Knight of the Realm. But knowing Richard, the real challenge will be to prevent him from asking our guests “coffee, tea or me? That would be scary,” said Fernandes, who is a founder and Group CEO of AirAsia, which is Asia’s largest low-cost carrier.


CTRM to support Lotus F1 Racing build car components

December 3, 2009

Langkawi, 3 December 2009
1Malaysia Racing Team Sdn Bhd (1MRT), the parent company of Lotus F1 Racing team, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM) for the latter to undertake research and development (R&D) that includes for the manufacturing of components for the Lotus F1 cars.
1MRT is primarily involved in the engineering and assembling of Lotus F1 cars. With this collaboration, CTRM will be offering its technology and expertise in composites manufacturing to 1MRT and the Lotus F1 Racing. Lotus F1 Racing CEO, Riad Asmat and CTRM Chief Financial Officer Burhanuddin Hilmi signed for their respective companies. The signing, held on the sideline of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2009 here, was witnessed by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin Yassin. Also present were 1MRT Principal, Dato’ Sri Tony Fernandes, CTRM Chairman, YBhg Datuk Wira Syed Ali Tan Sri Syed Abbas AlHabshee and CTRM CEO Datuk Rosdi Mahmud.
Datuk Rosdi said: “CTRM is proud to be collaborating with 1MRT and Lotus F1 Racing and we are excited to see Malaysian-built cars on the race tracks next year. This collaboration will certainly enhance our strategic role to develop high technology-based industry in Malaysia, namely the aerospace and composites industry, and now motorsports.”
1MRT Principal Dato’ Sri Tony Fernandes commented: “Today is a historic day as it is going to be the first time a Malaysian company is going to build a Formula 1 car. This shows that Malaysian technology can compete on the world stage. I am sure this collaboration will see both Malaysian companies benefit via technology and expertise transfer.”
Riad explained: “This MOU will facilitate negotiation and discussion between 1MRT and CTRM on matters relating to the collaborative research and development. Lotus F1 Racing has reached many important milestones in preparation for our debut in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2010, with the car having successfully passed our own strict internal crash tests recently. The collaboration between Lotus F1 Racing and CTRM will be a further boost for Lotus F1 Racing’s ongoing technical development and technology transfer to Malaysia.”

Lotus F1 Racing is one step closer towards achieving its target of becoming the best among new teams next season when its cars are placed 18th and 19th – the best positions among the new teams – in the full entry list of constructors and drivers as announced by the FIA on 30 November. The team are still in talks with potential drivers and will make an announcement soon. Announced by the Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak in September 2009, Lotus F1 Racing will be one the new additions to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2010 and will bring the legendary Lotus name back into Formula 1 for the first time in over 15 years. Lotus F1 Racing will be flying the Malaysian flag in the championship with full support from the Malaysian Government and its 1Malaysia initiative. The team is fully financed by Malaysian entrepreneurs, which gives the team a strong Malaysian character throughout all areas of its operation.