Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Partnership with PB Racing in Italy

A key strength of Sector111 has been the various partners we've developed over these last 7 years - all over the world. This has allowed us to introduce many new products to this tiny Lotus market. Leveraging the talents and expertise of our partners has been a huge benefit for all of us. To that end, September was a crazy month for me as I traveled all over including NY, MI, VA, England and Italy.

I went to visit PB Racing outside of Milan to discuss some of their new products and brainstorm ways for us to cooperate. PB Racing are a Lotus Dealer and also manage the Lotus Cup series. PB is run by a cool guy, Stefano d'Aste, who has a racing resume that is quite impressive. He and his Engineering Manager Dr. Federico Turrata are true Lotus enthusiasts. Their shop is full of S1 & S2 Elise, Exige and 211s. PB have developed many items for various Lotus models as well as providing development support to Lotus on cars like the 211 GT4.

Racing is a key part of PB Racing. In addition to racing themselves, they manage several arrive and drive clients within the Lotus Cup Italy. This affords them a clear view on what can fail in these cars when subjected to serious race conditions. Similarly, we found our participation in Lotus Challenge in the US has given us even more insight on product needs than regular HPDE days can. Racing against the clock truly requires a different perspective and different products.
One of the items that most racers need are multiple sets of wheels. PB have a very nice wheel that caught my attention. We will be getting a few sets of them as I think they are an excellent solution. These cast wheels are made in Italy and are very affordable. The quality is superb and unlike some other cheaper options, were designed to fit the Lotus. PB have been running them successfully in the Cup series for two+ years with no failures. I like the way they look and think they will become quite popular here. The sizes are 16x7 & 17x8 with offsets that are fairly conservative. We expect the pricing to be less than $1500/set but will know soon once we have the final landed costs.

One key product that they have developed is a TVS supercharger kit for the Evora. They've cast some nice manifolds and are now finishing the brackets and engine mounts. We will get this kit over here soon and will plan to offer it to Evora customers. We will need to sort the ECU tuning for our lovely 91 octane fuel but should be able to use the rest of the kit.

I'm pretty excited as I expect some very tasty bits will be the fruit of this partnership. Stay tuned.

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