Peter Anderson | Mar 5, 2012

When the words 'Lotus' and 'racing' are found in the same sentence, black-and-white footage of Jim Clark drifting his Formula 1 machine around Brands Hatch immediately spring to mind.

Having pulled off the coup of the 2012 F1 season with the signing of 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus has turned its attention to the rallying and endurance racing worlds.

The company last tasted success in the World Rally Championship in 1982 with the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. For 2012, Lotus and 2011 champions United Business will be entering the FIA European Rally Championship with a specially-prepared Exige R-GT.

Former Super 2000 World Rally champion Bernando Sousa will pilot the black and gold car on the Mille Miglia in April.

"Lotus, of course, has been successful in rallying before,' Lotus Racing Director Claudio Berro said. "So in many ways, we are going back to our roots."

Lotus will also field a Lotus Evora in the GTE Pro class of the 2012 European Le Mans series.

The 340kW V6-powered Evora GTE will be prepared by the factory and run by Lotus Guidici Racing, with driver Johnny Mowlem at the wheel for the opening round at Le Castellet in France. A second driver will be announced before the opening round on April 1.

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