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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chapmans side with Group Lotus


Friday, December 24, 2010 10:11 PM

Chapmans side with Group Lotus

SOURCE: Star Motoring

LONDON: Tony Fernandes's Team Lotus has been dealt a blow after Colin Chapman's family swung their support to Proton's Group Lotus in the latest development.

The Chapmans said they initially supported Lotus Racing, which was recently renamed Team Lotus because it had the support of  Lotus, the sports car maker. The family subsequently had a change of heart when Lotus revoked Lotus Racing's licence to use the Lotus name.

 There is an ongoing legal dispute in the British court over the use of the legendary brand.

Group Lotus has the rights to the Lotus road car brand, but there is dispute over ownership of the famous name in motorsports.

Lotus Racing took Proton to court for disputing its rights to the “Team Lotus” name.

The privately-funded team said it owned the rights following the purchase of Team Lotus Ventures Ltd from former British racing driver David Hunt several months ago.

Hunt owns the rights to Team Lotus, which is a separate entity from Lotus’ car manufacturing operations.

In the convoluted row, Group Lotus has recently teamed up with Renault F1 to form the Lotus Renault team that will compete with Team Lotus in the 2011 F1 season.

"The Chapman family is impressed by the exciting developments under way at Group Lotus, and it is very grateful to Proton for the significant investment that is being made, to secure a strong future for the excellent workforce at the Hethel factory," Clive Chapman, the son of founder Colin and owner of Classic Team Lotus, said in a statement.

Clive said that if it was up to him, the Team Lotus name should not have returned to F1. His father had established the name in 1958.

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