F1 News: Stefan GP Can’t Get Tires, LotusF1 Officially Opens


WHat Happens When It’s an Extraordinarily Slow News Day

12:21am EST — In another twist of drama, Stefan GP has called off its projected test in Portimao because the team lacks a tire supplier, and LotusF1 fills column inches with an “official” factory opening ceremony.

Stefan GP Cancels Testing:
Stefan GP, the team who wants to be on the grid in 2010 but lacks an entry, has canceled a projected test session in Portugal.  Team owner Zoran Stefanovic told Autosport, “We have no tyres and will not test on tyres that are not suitable for the car to go testing at full speed.”  Apparently, “Bridgestone is only contracted to supply F1 tyres to those outfits that have an entry to the world championship, and the Japanese tyre manufacturer was unable to provide alternative GP2 rubber at such short notice.”
This is particularly a problem for Stefan GP, since their entire mission without a FIA entry was to provide the car and a testing venue, for a price, to any team or driver who needed practice on a 2010 spec car.  With no tires, the team will be unable to sell even that.

LotusF1 “Opens” Factory:
According to a press release from the team, “Tun Dr. Mahathir, ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia…and one of Asia’s most influential political figures, was joined by Lotus Racing Team Principal Tony Fernandes, Deputy Team Principals Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin and Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne for the official ceremony to declare the factory open.”  Despite the fact that the factory has obviously been open for some time, as it has produced a car suitable for a shakedown at Silverstone and testing at Jerez, “Tun Dr. Mahathir…was then seated in the Lotus Cosworth T127 Chassis 02 while the engine was fired up” after a tour and a “detailed explanation of the different aspects of a modern Formula One team factory.”  Interestingly, the press release focused on the history of racing in Malaysia, rather than the history of Lotus, as the team has done often enough recently.  Fernandes noted that, “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.”

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