The Electronic Telegraph 21 December 1994
BY TIMOTHY COLLINGS DAVID HUNT, the new owner of the Lotus Formula One team, has launched an impassioned appeal for help from sponsors and investors to keep Britain's most famous motor racing operation alive.
Hunt, 34, the younger brother of former world drivers' champion James Hunt, announced last week that he was temporarily laying off the entire workforce at Lotus until he could find the funds to build the team's 1995 car.
When he made his announcement it was seen as a signal that the team were on the brink of collapse. But Hunt believes his bold decision may prove to be the team's salvation.
"What people most need to understand about this is that Team Lotus Grand Prix are a different company to Team Lotus, which went into liquidation," he said. "The debt has gone and financially the team are in far better shape than it has been for years.
"We have no debt at all and we have a package of sponsorships in place from March, when the season starts. The problem is that we don't have the cash flow to cover the next couple of months and that is why I had to lay everyone off."
Hunt believes that if he and Lotus can attract a sponsor or investor to help cover the estimated #2 million needed to restart work on building the team's new 112 car, the team will have a healthy future.
"I just have to keep the show on the road until the end of February," he said. "I believe Lotus are special and very much worth all the effort required to save them. I felt this when I bought the team and I am determined to do all I can.
"When I bought the team from the administrators they were in dire straits and facing a choice between breaking everything up for sale or selling them off. I took a huge personal risk and decided to try and save the team.
"Now, however, I am looking for some help from someone or from several people prepared to put money in - and if necessary I am prepared to give them the appropriate equity in the team, or even to stand aside completely.
"If they want to do it themselves, I will do that. I just want to do what is best for the team."
-------- Reproduced here with the kind permission of "The Electronic Telegraph"
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Kelvin Fielding (moderator motor.racing @CIX)