Colin Kolles saga: The mysterious LMP1 car

So what's the deal behind the CLM P1/01 that quietly made its debut at Austin last weekend? To tell you the truth, few know.

Colin Kolles saga: The mysterious LMP1 car
#9 Lotus CLM P1/01 - AER: Christophe Bouchut, James Rossiter, Lucas Auer
#9 Lotus CLM P1/01 - AER: Christophe Bouchut, James Rossiter, Lucas Auer
Lotus T129 LMP1 presentation: the new Lotus T129 LMP1
#9 Lotus CLM P1/01 - AER: Christophe Bouchut, James Rossiter, Lucas Auer
#31 Lotus Lotus T128: Kevin Weeda, James Rossiter, Vitantonio Liuzzi
#31 Lotus Lotus T128: Kevin Weeda, Christophe Bouchut, Vitantonio Liuzzi
Lotus T129 LMP1 presentation: Pierre Kaffer, Christophe Bouchut and Christijan Albers unveil the new Lotus T129 LMP1

Between the new Lotus P1/01 mysteriously taking on the name CLM P1/01 only a few days before its debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship and questions surrounding the new car's LMP1-L class entry, we're not sure what to think of the sleek black and gold machine that showed up at Austin, looking strangely similar to the Lotus T128, designed by ADESS AG.

CLM?

In fact, what does the new moniker CLM mean anyway? According to French magazine Auto Hebdo, CLM could mean Caterham Le Mans. The link between Caterham and Colin Kolles is known, even if Lotus (the team, not the constructor) remains very quiet on Kolles' involvement in the LMP1-L project.

On track at Austin, the CLM P1/01 showed positive signs and ran decent, despite failing to keep up with the Rebellions.

2013 Le Mans misadventure 

Having made its WEC debut last year in the LMP2 class, the Lotus T128 had highs and lows, including a third place finish at COTA. But the 2013 Le Mans week was complicated by the team having equipment seized before the start of practice for the 24-hour classic. Various parties associated with the project had filed complaints.

According to a source with access to documents, the legal procedure announced by Kolles during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2013, and later revealed to have been brought forth by Stéphane Chosse, CEO of ADESS AG (designing firm of the T128), has been thrown out due to a lack of evidence. In addition, a Munich court declared Colin Kolles' statements regarding the team during the 24 Hours of Le Mans week as illegal. There are currently several other complaints awaiting investigation.

Remember that the Praga LMP2 is also a T128, with Jan Charouz still hoping to put the car into racing action, which he confirmed last weekend. Between the T128, T129, Lotus Praga, Lotus LMP, Lotus P1/01 and the CLM P1/01…it's all starting to get confusing.

 

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