2019 Paul Ricard Friday 60 mins
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Lotus Cup Europe is firmly established as one of the continent’s strongest single-marque championships. Originally set up by Lotus as a direct response to customer and dealer interest for a fun but professionally run series, it has attracted competitors from across the continent.
Lotus Cup Europe was granted FIA International Series status in 2013, similar to prestigious Championships such as DTM, GT World Series & European Le Mans Series.
The championship is open to a wide range of cars from the Elise through to the current Emira GT4, with entries being split into four groups: GT Cup, Exige Cup, 2-Eleven/Open and Production.
Championship points are scored according to group position. This means that drivers from all four groups have a chance of competing for the overall title. Current champion Bence Balogh won from the GT Cup ranks last year in his Evora GT4 whilst Jean-Pierre Genoud-Prachex was runner up in his 2-Eleven with Jason McInulty third in his Production Elise Cup R.
In 2023, 14 races will be held across 7 events. Race weekends feature two free practice sessions followed by qualifying. Most rounds then feature two races incorporating rolling and standing starts while at Le Mans there will be three races as part of the 24 Heures Camions event. On the second visit of the season to Spa-Francorchamps there will be a one off 50-minute pit stop race.
The vast majority of events have been broadcast either as part of an exclusive programme or via live streaming over the last ten years, something that will continue in 2023. The championship enjoys unrivalled support from the Lotus community, with many owners and enthusiasts attending events. This is backed up by social media activity, where close to 60,000 Facebook & Instagram followers gave the Lotus Cup Europe pages over 2.9 million views and 90,000 likes in 2022.
The championship is open to drivers at all levels of experience, provided that they hold an International D licence or higher. Whilst the series has grown hugely since its inception over a decade ago, the emphasis has firmly remained as a fun and social environment in which to compete.
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