Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lotus hi-tech hub will materialise in Sepang

The New Strait Times ran an interesting article today:
Lotus hi-tech hub will materialise in Sepang

LOTUS Racing will not allow the dream of a Formula One production line operating out of the Sepang Circuit to die, pledged their deputy team principals.

"When we got started, it was an idea among just the three of us," said SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin, relating to the investments made by team principal Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes and fellow-deputy Datuk Kamarudin Meranun.

Thought I'd embed my old Bernama TV interview:

Good luck to the Lotus F1 founders. They are leveraging the brand in a smart way (in my opinion).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Video of Nandakumar former Lotus designer

Last weekend I was interviewed by a local Malaysian Journalist. He mentioned he knew Nandakumar.
I am now in contact with Kumar. He has opened his own business,Radical Chassis Solutions, selling motorsport accessories.
I phoned Kumar, who was his usual exhuberent self. I hope to meet in him in the next few weeks.
I have embedded a youtube ideo of Nandakumar.

I am still carrying on with the project, regardless of my latest knockback from group Lotus. I have a strong gut feeling that a breakthrough is just around the corner!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A negative response from Lotus.Good luck to the new management.

I have always viewed this project with a view to using Proton/Lotus as an integral partner. Today, I received official confirmation.
This project is not on their roadmap.
Previously, I have heard a similar thing from SepangF1 management.
I still believe in the validity of the proposal. I am sure that the Sepang Centre of Excellence proposed by LotusF1 will be a success.
I am equally sure that the Iskandar region will see a Motorsport University.
Oh well, back to the drawing board!
I receive a lot of traffic from Singapore. Perhaps I have been barking up the wrong tree.
In any event I would like to wish Group Lotus and it's new management team all the best in the future. While I'm at it Good luck to Lotus F1 in Melbourne this weekend.

  A good friend sent me this on St Patricks Day

  Answers below

Monday, March 22, 2010

UK Motorsport Industry feels threatened

The BBC has an rticle on it's webpage:
UK motorsport industry in danger of being 'sidelined'
'Address problem'

"We find it difficult to imagine any other country sidelining such an important industry," the committee's chairman Peter Luff said.

"The government needs to address this problem if the UK is to maintain this pre-eminent international industry and help it flourish."

The UK motorsport business is centred around Silverstone in Northamptonshire, and supports 38,500 jobs and generates annual sales of more than £6bn.

The Commons committee now wants to see a specialist policy team set up, within Lord Mandelson's business department, with responsibility for the motorsport industry.

There are also worries that students in the UK prefer to study motorsport management rather than the more challenging subject of technical engineering.

The UK is responsible for a large proportion of the worlds motorsport technology. I assume Malaysia is now seen as a threat to that dominance.
LotusF1 has openly stated it's intention to transfer technology from Europe to Asia.

Interesting times!

The article goes on to say...

It said these overseas moves to capture motorsport business, often spearheaded by investment in hosting a Formula One race, posed a threat to the UK's current leading position.

The MIA said the industry was an "economic asset which requires less complacency and better awareness and active appreciation from government".

Meanwhile, the committee also noted in its report that the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was one of only two races in the FI calendar not to have financial support from the host government.

I think with the age of virtual learning, and the great respect emerging nations have for education, design and development is now a global possibility.

OEM's have for years talked about having 24hr a day design capability. The UK does 8 hours and transfers the files to Malaysia who design 8 hours and pass the files to the USA and so on.

The practicalities of doing this have not been overcome. Group Lotus for example have design centres in England Malaysia and the USA. Theoretically they could do this.

LotusF1 have designers in Germany (ex Toyota) assembly in the UK and corporate offices in Malaysia. Long term I assume they are looking at combining everything under one roof... Malaysia.

The times they are a changing!

I can certainly see that the possibility to deliver educational products 24 hours a day virtually globally is a very real possibilty.

I have embedded my old TV interview - thanks Bernama

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lotus looking for motorsport manager. Petrobas sponsor lotus F1. FederationD defunct?

DjanFor those interested Group Lotus are advertising for a ...
65 - Manager Motorsport Engineering

If this position were on offer at LotusF1 I think there would thousands of applicants!

This position would I assume entail working for Claudio Berra, the motorsport director.

I have been in contact with Claudio about my 'Proposal'. I have got to think he can see some synergy between what I want to achieve, and his motorsport vision. Maybe not.

Incidentally, I notice the FederationD website appears to be defunct. Tengku Djan, a Malaysian drifter and head of Proton (Group Lotus owner) motorsports was a contributer and official driver. Djan was under Riad Asmat at Proton before his move to Lotus Formula one, based in Sepang. perhaps he will have a part to play in Riad's Centre of Excellence.

Petrobras not Petronas look to be the new OIL and GAS industry sponsors for Lotus F1.

They, Like Petronas have a big sports budget. Maybe I should have sent them my proposal!

Here is a link to my Quick and dirty business plan.

Below is the slideshare version of my webpage.

Riad Asmat interview. CEO Lotus F1

In view of my last posting, where I mention my negative relationship with my fellow Group Lotus ex pats. Here is a partial from a recent interview with the CEO of lotus F1 Riad Asmat now based in SepangF1 Circuit.
This article is taken from Joe Saward's Grand Prix Blog
Riad CEO Lotus F1

The operational base is currently in the UK with technical partners across Europe, how is the workload split between Europe and Malaysia?

“The majority of technical work is currently being undertaken at our factory in Hingham in the UK but we have a long-term plan also to establish a technical centre of excellence at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. In the short-term, because we are still very new to Formula 1, we are working with trusted technical partners in Germany and Italy who are providing great support, while we also have partnerships with two Malaysian universities and specialist technical centres.

I would have to say that in setting up a Centre of excellence in Sepang. LotusF1 are utilising a very similar template to the one proposed by me. I am pretty sure the Malaysian universities are UTM and Petronas.

So this template gets Riad the CEO job for Lotus F1. I would therefore say that this would at least indicate that Lotus F1 think that the proposal is worth exploring, even if "the boys" on the ground at Group Lotus do not.

Good luck to Riad, Alex and all those with the vision to explore the many possibilities out there.

I'm glad the organisation that you serve appreciates your efforts.

I have embedded my old presentation. Thanks to my buddy Tilo for the graphic assistance on this presentation.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Saint Patricks day

Happy Saint Patricks day to everyone.
My family is Irish, I and my siblings were all born and brought up in the UK. It is not a big event there.
When in America the green beer flowed and processions took place in downtown Detroit! I took part in the 10km fun run a few times.

On this day about some years ago I was here in KL. I received a call from the then head ex pat for Lotus Engineering Malaysia.
The Lotus ex pat was too the point. I was not welcome in Lotus now or at any time in the future in any capacity.

I was glad the telephone call was a short one.
Thankfully, not everyone feels the same way about me. I had some very positive references from GM management. I liked them, they liked me.

It is no secret that I am not everyones cup of tea... Or pint of green beer!
Enjoy the day!

Lotus now appear to be moving in the right direction. I am pleased. The new management appear to have their collective heads pointed in the right direction.

I have embedded a video that talks about Group lotus joining Indy car.
Go Lotus!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mario Andretti to work with LotusF1. Group Lotus enter Indy

It is the start of the F1 series, and I see Mario Andretti is being courted by Lotus F1 to work with them...
Mario standing in front of a JPS Lotus

This pic was taken from a NY times article.
In the early to mid 1990's I volunteered for the Champ cars series on it's Belle Isle, Detroit leg. I was issued a go anywhere pass! I would often be within feet of Mario and Paul Newmann.
Mario and Paul

Sadly, I never took any photo's ... One year David Coultard, Jackie and Paul Stewart were wandering around the pits and I have a pic with Jackie on the wall in England.
I hope Mario comes onboard. He raced with his Son for Newman Haas, and has a long and proud history in motorsport, not just racing for Lotus.
(Group) Lotus enter Indy racing this year. Lovely looking car.Katuma Sato will drive it. It's a shame Mario and Emerson have retired!!

Lotus also gave Nigel Mansell a drive. He was also at Belle Isle. He kept pretty much to his Motorhome when not racing. Picture taken from
Nigel with Colin Chapman and British royal Prince Michael of Kent

The Bahrian race will be starting soon. Vettel is on pole surrounded by Ferrari's. I hope the race isn't a procession where all if any overtaking takes place at the first corner!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Any titled gentry out there... Speak up please!

I've settled back into KL. Getting into a routine. I have sent out an email to potential interested parties.
No replies.
Whilst I obviously think this is a worthwhile project, It has been many years since I first proposed this. I have never seen any likelyhood of group Lotus being in the slightest bit interested. Initially when I first came up with this concept I was in the employ of Lotus, and was tasked with drawing up a five year plan...

Obviously, in Hethel they have gone ahead, and have support from the local government, and UK royalty!
23rd February 2010

Duke of York visiting LotusF1 after speaking at the Hethel engineering centre

The Duke of York, Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, this afternoon visited Hethel Engineering Centre, Chapman Way, Hethel, near Norwich, Norfolk. His Royal Highness, Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, afterwards visited Lotus Racing, Racing Technology Norfolk, Ironside Way, Hingham, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk (Mr. Richard Jewson).

I can only think that when Lotus ask the guys on the ground in Malaysia,(the ex pats) they show no interest in actively supporting this proposal. I have received little feedback from Lotus. Mike Kimberley spoke to me once when he was CEO. It was negative. He was very forthright in his views. It was obvious he had taken the time to consult with many of his team, and others! I was grateful he at least took the time to call.

I am in contact with the new group Lotus CEO and some of his management team. So far I have not received any feedback, other than a request to clarify how Lotus would be expected to contribute/participate in this project. I expect that the new management will seek advice on me and the project. So I assume that the same people who advised Mike Kimberley will once again get the opportunity to air their opinions.

I sincerely hope they ignore them.

 Perhaps Proton, the owner of Lotus might want to look closely at this. They might view this more as an extension of their globalisation plan, as opposed to some kind of a threat to the britishness of Lotus.
Oh well the weathers nice. Eventually the penny will drop...  In the meantime I'll carry on promoting the project.
Any titled gentry out there who would like to support this... speak up please!