“It feels a bit like we’ve gone back seven years and started all over again” says Lotus racing boss, Gav Kershaw, when I ask him what things are like up at company HQ nowadays.
“But that’s OK because all the stuff in the middle you can mostly keep,” he goes on to explain, with a mixture of cheekiness and complete bewilderment at what went on during the interim at Lotus, quite clearly evident in his tone.
I was up at Hethel – for the first time in a long time – to have a go in Kershaw’s new breed of racing Lotuses: an Evora GT4 – which was lovely but maybe a touch too easy to drive for an old school like me – plus a pair of Exige V6 Cup cars, both of which were stonking good fun, not to mention eyeball-wideningly quick, especially the V6 Cup R.
But the best part of all about my day up at Hethel, howling around in the company’s new club racers, had nothing to do with the cars themselves.
Instead it was the sense of relief evident in the people who still work there. Relief that the madness has at long last ended; that the virus has been identified and neutralised, and that – finally – things are returning back to normal again at Lotus.