26 April 2012
CZECH AND SLOVAK RALLY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Lotus is set to make its debut in the 2012 Czech Sprintrally Championship and Slovak Rally Championship, in partnership with well-established Czech team, the Charouz Racing System.
Lotus will compete with Martin Semerad and Igor Drotar at the wheel. Both drivers will race Lotus Exige R-GT cars, which will be hot news on Czech and Slovak stages.
Martin Semerad will be at the wheel of the Exige for selected rounds of the Czech championship. Despite his young age (*1990) Martin is an experienced driver. For the 2009 season he was handed a big opportunity when he was selected in a project for talented young drivers, the Pirelli Star Driver Team; he completed eight World Rally Championship rounds in a production car. In the following seasons (2010 and 2011) his WRC program was just as interesting – Martin again entered PWRC and fought for the highest positions.
Martin Semerad: “It’s a big challenge for me, because I haven’t driven a rear-wheel-drive car yet. These days rear-wheel-drive cars in rallying are rare, so the Lotus Exige R-GT will be very spectacular on Czech and Slovak stages. We don’t know what to expect, but we would like to fight for the Top 10 in the overall rankings. Opening rounds will be first steps of a learning curve; we will learn about our car and how it works, alongside the development will constantly continue. It won’t be easy, but I hope at the end of the season we will achieve decent results.”
In the Slovak Rally Championship, the Lotus Exige R-GT will be driven by the experienced Igor Drotar, who spent last season at the wheel of World Rally Cars attending both Slovak and Czech rally championships.
Igor Drotar: “I am looking forward to returning to rear-wheel-drive, which was something I raced at the beginning of my career. Our aim is to be first among the two-wheel-drive cars. The Exige is developed by a fantastic manufacturer, Lotus, so it’s sure to be really exciting. I am eagerly looking forward to the first drive.”