The ex-prime minister of Malaysia officially opened the new Lotus Racing factory in Hingham, Norfolk today.
Tun Dr. Mahathir, Malaysia's longest serving Prime Minister and one of Asia's most influential political figures, attended the official ceremony to declare the factory open.
Team Principal Tony Fernandes, Deputy Team Principals Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin and Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne where all in attendance and Tun Dr. Mahathir was given a detailed tour of the modern Formula One factory. He was then seated in the new Lotus Cosworth T127 while the engine was fired up.
Tun Dr. Mahathir created the vision for the establishment, and the growth of motorsport in Malaysia, and therefore the birth of the Lotus Racing team. He was the driving force for the establishment of the Malaysian Grand Prix, held at the 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 by the presence of Tun Dr. Mahathir. “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 in Jerez, and looks well positioned in its target of being the best of the newcomers in the coming season. The team will also be at the final official test in Barcelona, which starts on Thursday.