Lotus boss escapes points after being caught speeding at 102mph

The boss of Norfolk-based Lotus, Jean-Marc Gales, has been banned from driving for 30 days after being caught topping 100mph on the public roads.

Gales was behind the wheel of a new Lotus sports car when he was caught on a dual carriageway near the manufacturer's factory in Hethel.

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The Luxembourg-born businessman admitted the charge in his absence at court, taking a £666 fine. However, Gales' lawyer asked magistrates at Norwich crown court for a 30-day ban rather than having more points added to his license.

He argued that the three points usually attached to a speeding penalty would put Gales dangerously close to having 12 on his license, which can lead to a six-month driving ban.

The court heard it was vital for Gales to test-drive new Lotus cars on the road, and said that the executive had been "responsible for the remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the company" since his appointment as CEO in 2014.

Simon Nicholls, defending, said: "He travels this country Monday to Friday to develop Lotus cars along with its Chinese backers.

"Of course he was driving very carefully but was not driving in accordance with the speed limit."

Presiding magistrate Mary Wyndham said Gales should avoid using the A11 to test future Lotus models, and instead stick to the test track.

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