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Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Wednesday, 29 September 2010 12:30 UK

Lotus Racing technical boss Mike Gascoyne pens new deal

Lotus Racing chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne
Gascoyne has over 20 years experience working in Formula 1

Lotus Racing chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne has signed a new contract to stay with the team until 2015.

The reborn Lotus team, led by Malaysian airline tycoon Tony Fernandes, re-entered Formula 1 this season but have yet to score a championship point.

Gascoyne said: "Having started the team from scratch with Tony it was always my intention to finish my career here.

"So it's great to have formally agreed a five-year deal. I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to the whole team."

The 47-year-old added: "We've had a great start to our partnership together, and I'm looking forward to continuing that for the next five years, and even beyond that."

The news is a boost for Lotus, who are facing a legal battle with Malaysian car manufacturer Proton, owner of the British-based Lotus sports car company that also has a motor racing division, over plans to change their name to Team Lotus next season.

606: DEBATE
AXLE TRAMP

Both sides have issued statements over the last few days, highlighting their sporting aspirations and positioning themselves as true heirs to the team founded in the 1950s by the late Colin Chapman.

The F1 team say they have started proceedings in the High Court in London to assert their rights to call themselves Team Lotus in 2011.

And Lotus team principal Fernandes was eager to focus instead on the positives of tying Gascoyne to a long-term agreement.

"Mike's five year deal is a major announcement for the whole Lotus Racing team," he said.

"It shows just how serious we are, not only about how far ahead we are setting our aspirations, but also as a reward to Mike for the incredibly hard work he and the team have already put in to get us from literally four people back in September 2009 to our current position as a serious F1 player with a very bright future ahead of us."

Gascoyne started his motorsport career in 1989 when he joined McLaren as a wind tunnel aerodynamicist before working in technical roles at Tyrell, Jordan, Benetton-Renault, Toyota and Spyker, which became Force India after its sale to Vijay Mallya in 2008. He left his role as Chief Technology Officer in November 2008.

In 2009 he was part of plans by the Litespeed F3 team to enter Formula 1 in 2010 under the Team Lotus name. They failed to gain entry, but Gascoyne continued to work on the plans and got backing from the Malaysian government to form Lotus Racing, which was granted a late entry to the Formula 1 grid.

It was a battle to get the cars ready for the start of the season and the team's two drivers, Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli are yet to finish in the points.



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see also
Lotus naming rights row deepens
27 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus revive historic team name
24 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus will return to F1 in 2010
15 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Lotus
14 Nov 10 |  Drivers & Teams


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