Lotus CEO Nailed At 102 MPH Said He Needs To Test Cars Himself

Image: The Lotus Forum/YouTube (screengrab)

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales got pulled over in one of his company’s sports cars last January for doing 102 mph in a 70 mph zone. But a judge allowed Gales to get by without a single point on his license, because the boss’s lawyer argued that it was “vital” that Gales continue test driving cars himself.

Gales was driving along the A11 last January near Lotus’s headquarters in Norwich, The Telegraph reports, when he got caught driving 32 mph over the speed limit, an offense for which The Telegraph says sentencing guidelines recommend “six points or [for the offender to be] disqualified for between seven and 56 days.”

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The former punishment would be a bit of an issue, as apparently the CEO of the British sports car company had gotten in trouble with the traffic police before, amassed eight points on his license (five of which allegedly came from doing 96 mph on the same road in 2014). An additional three points, The Sun reports, would bring him to over 12, meaning he’d face a six month driving ban.

Since The Telegraph says Gales “likes to test drive cars himself,” his lawyer pushed the magistrate for a short driving ban rather than any additional points, saying the ruling would be “in everyone’s interest.” The Sun describes in further detail why it’s “vital” for Gales to drive his company’s cars, saying:

His solicitor Simon Nicholls argued that a short ban was preferable as it was “vital” that Gales was able to test drive new Lotus cars himself on the road, and that although Lotus had engineers to take new cars on the road, as head of Lotus he liked to test the cars personally and see how they handled.

Lucky for Gales, the magistrate agreed to a 30-day driving ban, and no additional points, though she did warn Gale’s lawyer that the Lotus boss should keep his vehicle testing on the test track. Gales also had to pay a £666 fine, and an additional £166 in other charges.

But at least in 30 days, he’ll be able to return to hooning the crap out of Lotus sports cars driving responsibly on public roads. A CEO who actually gets out there and drives his company’s cars? That’s just cool.

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David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio