New facility will be able to host race meetings and also used to develop new Lotus sports cars

Lotus has opened its new test track in Hethel, a facility which is now capable of holding race meetings or even Formula 1 testing.

The 3.6km-long, 12-metre wide track boasts 12 pit-lane garages – these will be able to hold 24 cars at one time. The circuit conforms to current FIA safety regulation, which, in theory, will allow the new track to hold events such as GT racing and F1 testing.

Read more on all of Lotus's new race carsSteve Cropley blog - Lotus may just pull it off

Lotus has spent more than £10 million on the new facility, although it has yet to decide whether it will host race meetings because Snetterton is in such close proximity to the new circuit.

Lotus Renault GP's current roster of drivers were on hand to open the new facility today and they were joined by Jean Alesi and Lotus's former F1 star and 1992 F1 world champion Nigel Mansell.

The circuit will be used day-to-day for Lotus to develop its new five-strong range of sports cars, as well as its numerous race cars in categories including GP2, GP3 and GT racers.Read more on the new Lotus Esprit

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