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Lotus hunting for cash

TEAM LOTUS is hunting for money to enable it to return to Formula 1 racing in 1999. The Team Lotus name is currently controlled by former racing driver David Hunt - brother of the late F1 World Champion James Hunt. He became involved in the last days of the old Team Lotus in 1994 but had to close down operations in January 1995 when sponsorship deals he hoped to conclude failed to materialize.

Lotus is a famous racing name and Hunt is hoping that this reputation and the interest being shown in F1 by large financial institutions will result in him being able to find the money to launch a revived team. "We have always maintained we would not bring the great brand name back to Formula 1 unless there was a proper budget and a real probability of adding to Team Lotus' illustrious heritage," Hunt said last weekend. "Everything is coming together positively and, together with our partners, we will be making a more detailed announcement before too long."

Hunt is believed to be trying hard to get support for his scheme from the Malaysia's Proton car company which bought 80% of Group Lotus in October last year.

Proton has expanded Lotus's production of the Elise sportscar with the intention of building the cars in factories in Malaysia in the future.

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