Former Sauber Formula 1 team technical director James Key is set to join the motorsport division of Lotus Cars. The Briton, who resigned last week to take up a job offer in the UK, is believed to have accepted an offer to become technical director of the racing programs run by Lotus Cars. His new position could be announced within days.
It is understood that Key's focus when he arrives at Lotus headquarters at Hethel in Norfolk, England, will be on the British sports car manufacturer's planned GT3 contender. This car, likely to compete for the first time in 2013, will be based on the Evora chassis already racing in the GTE and GT4 categories. It is likely to be powered by a V8 engine rather than existing cars' Toyota-based V6.
Key will also have an involvement in the Lotus LMP2 program with the German Kodewa squad, which has one entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours with a Lola coupe powered by a Lotus-badged Judd V8. The 40-year-old worked with Kodewa founder Colin Kolles during his stint at Midland F1 (formerly Jordan).
There is also a possibility that Key could be involved in the LMP1 category. Lotus is exploring another badging deal similar to the arrangement it has with Kodewa. Rebellion Racing, which is running a pair of Toyota-engined Lola coupes in 2012, is favorite for the deal.
Lotus motorsport boss Claudio Berro would not comment on the likelihood of Key joining the company.