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Page last updated at 15:07 GMT, Sunday, 21 November 2010

Mike Gascoyne perplexed by Lotus naming rights row

Lotus Racing's Mike Gascoyne
Gascoyne recently signed a new five-year deal to remain with the team

Lotus Racing's chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne says he cannot grasp why Group Lotus are fighting his team's use of the brand in Formula One.

The team came 10th in the constructor's championship in 2010 - their first season back in the sport.

He said: "We don't understand why Group Lotus don't want to support us. We think we brought the brand great value.

"The shareholders have invested something like £80m into the brand and development of the team."

He told BBC Radio Norfolk: "But that's not in my hands, my job doesn't change with the name, and the same with all the engineering staff."

Group Lotus initially agreed to let Malaysian team principle Tony Fernandes use the name Lotus Racing, but he has since brokered a separate deal to rebrand as Team Lotus in 2011.

The Malaysian-owned car manufacturer disputes the right of David Hunt to sell Fernandes the Team Lotus rights he acquired after the team went bust in 1994.

With Lotus Racing based in Hingham, and Group Lotus just 10 miles away in Hethel, Gascoyne feels sorry for everyone stuck in the middle of the dispute.

"I think it's a great shame for everyone in Norfolk because we're a Norfolk-based team, we brought the Lotus name back to Formula One and did it proud," he said.

"We don't quite understand why we don't have the support of Group Lotus in that."

Gascoyne also expressed surprise at Friday's announcement that Group Lotus were to extend their involvement in Indy Car, becoming a sanctioned engine supplier for the 2012 season.

"They seem to want to do every racing series that there is. For a loss-making car company that seems to be slightly perplexing, but good luck to them," he said.



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