It’s been a great year for Lotus, what with the success of the Evora sportscar, putting their name behind a new F1 team and now as they prepare for the forthcoming IndyCar race at Long Beach next weekend. We can understand why they would be more than a little pleased with themselves.

But rumours persist in and around the quiet villages near Hethel, that Lotus’ PR team may have discovered a rare elixir that is said to leave them in an elevated state of happiness and optimism for up to 8 hours at a time – long enough to sustain them through the average working day. Rival PR teams are said to be scouting the pubs in nearby Norwich for an alternative source of this most sought after treatment.

Think we’re making this up? Shame on you for doubting us.

Without further ado, I present Exhibit A, a press release sent out by Lotus this evening entitled “Once upon a time… 1977 “.

Once upon a time… 1977

Once upon a time (last week) at the Lotus headquarters in Hethel. The Communications Team were hard at work thinking about the kinds of things communications people think about. Imagine the scene…..


Suddenly a voice pipes up: “Guys, we need a press release for the IndyCar race in Long Beach next weekend. Something clever. Quirky. Creative. Any ideas?”

Uncomfortable silence….

And then a question (and any PR person worth their salt will tell you there’s no such thing as a stupid question): “Long Beach was on the F1 calendar – didn’t Lotus win in Long Beach?”

Answer (like a gunshot or a backfire): ”3rd of April 1977. Mario Andretti!”

Silence (but you can hear the brains ticking)….

And then out of nowhere (but slightly to the left): “When was Takuma Sato born?”

Stunned silence.

“What the heck has that to do with Long Beach?”

Silence and stifled giggles……

A few swift mouse clicks later: “Taku was born on the 28th of January 1977.”


Then (to the sound of numerous light bulbs clicking on): “Ah. Well. There we go. Good job.”

So this little story explains why we the Lotus crew ended up in a Norwich pub to celebrate the idea and raise a toast “To the 33rd birthday of Taku and Mario’s win and the ongoing success of Lotus.

The End.


Takuma Sato: “Long Beach is such a historical place for motor racing. Even though I’ve never been there I know the race is always an exciting one with a great atmosphere. I am getting a more comfortable feeling every time I jump in the car. I am getting used to the whole environment so I am pleased about this coming back to back race weekend especially after Barber where I collected many positives.”

Claudio Berro: “The results of the past few races don’t concern me too much, they’re definitely not reflective of Taku’s ability to perform long term. What matters most is the steady progress he and the team have made with the car, the more time spent out on track, the better he gets and the closer the team gets to the perfect set-up. I have every faith in Taku, if he can keep his cool and maintain his determination and focus, I have no doubt that he’ll do us proud.”

Well done folks and keep it up.

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach runs from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th April, and UK viewers with a Sky Sports subscription can watch it at 9pm on Sky Sports 4 this Sunday.