Despite earlier impressions to the contrary, it now seems that some sort of working relationship is developing between Group Lotus and the newly-formed Lotus F1 Grand Prix team, for the race team's driver, Jarno Trulli, is to assist with testing the Evora Cup race car that was unveiled at the recent Autosport International show. Starting with a couple of test days at Snetterton this week, the Italian ace will be working alongside Lotus Engineering test driver Gavan Kershaw to get the ultimate out of the machine Lotus Motorsport are preparing for a one-make race series. The days will also see Lotus testing an evolution of the award winning Lotus 2-Eleven GT4. The days have been opened up to the Media as well as those involved in Motorsport  and will hopefully start the process of putting Lotus at the forefront of European and World Motorsport. 

Naturally, we hope that the arrangement is productive and will lead to the Grand Prix team drivers having some input into the development of other models in the future - both road and race - as it can only enhance the reputation of the marque. It will not have passed unnoticed by the current Lotus management that Ferrari, for instance, deployed the services of Michael Schumacher extensively during the development of more than a few recent models, whilst rivals Porsche have the benefit of rally legend Walter Rohrl on their team. Ford, too, had the benefit of Jackie Stewart's wisdom.

The arrangement is not without precedent at Lotus either. As far back as the early 1960's Jim Clark assisted with the development work on the Mk1 Lotus Cortina, whilst twenty years later Nigel Mansell played a big part in testing of the Active Ride suspension system, both in Formula 1 and on the Esprit.