Registration for the final 2013 Autocross is now open

October 22nd, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2013 Golden Gate Lotus Club autox season.

The GGLC is pleased to announce that the last autox event of the season will be held on Nov 9th.

The event is now open for registration for club members at MotorsportsReg.
The price is the same as last year. First time autox’ers (first time at a GGLC event) are eligible for a discount, so invite your friends along too. Non-members will be able to register one week later.

This season we have 8 classes that you can participate in. Please read over the details on the club autocross page.

For Lotus Elise/Exige/Evora drivers, please choose your class that you want to participate in and also use the online classification tool to calculate your index points. For non-Lotus cars, please use the appropriate SCCA class.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this year’s events or any other autox topic.

See you all soon,

Colm.

Registration for GGLC AutoX and BBQ (Marina, 26-Oct-13) is now open

October 3rd, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2013 Golden Gate Lotus Club autox season.

The GGLC is pleased to announce that we will hold our annual BBQ during the next autox event on Oct 26th.

The event is now open for registration for club members at: http://www.motorsportreg.com/index.cfm/event/event.advert/uidEvent/F7459E64-ECCD-2038-87413BB9BF9E4A54
The price is the same as last year. First time autox’ers (first time at a GGLC event) are eligible for a discount, so invite your friends along too. Non-members will be able to register one week later.

This season we have 8 classes that you can participate in. Please read over the details on the club page at http://www.gglotus.org/ggautox/ggautox.htm.

For Lotus Elise/Exige/Evora drivers, please choose your class that you want to participate in and also use the classification tool at http://www.gglotus.org/ggautox/classify.html to calculate your index points. For non-Lotus cars, please use the appropriate SCCA class.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this year’s events or any other autox topic.

See you all soon,

Colm.

Registration for AutoX #6 (22-Sept) is now open

August 31st, 2013

Announcing registration for Round #6 of the 2013 GGLC Autocross Series on Sept 22, 2013 at the Marina Airport.

Registration opens today at 6 pm PDT for GGLC members. Non-Members will be able to register after Sept 7th.

Registration is limited. There will be 3 run groups. Entrants are required to work. Lunch is included with registration. $60 for GGLC members, $70 for non-members. Registration will close on Sept 19. In the event of a sell-out a wait list will be started.

For details visit the GGLC Autocross web page.

To register go to MotorSportReg.

Please be sure to print, sign and bring a signed waiver for the City of Marina.

This is a Sunday event. Traffic returning to the Bay Area may be heavy. We suggest you visit the alternative route from the Marina Airport to Hwy 101 North. You can find details on the GGLC AutoX web page.

Loyalty has its rewards

August 21st, 2013

GGLC video shoot

Now, the time has come for you to get an extraordinary deal on a new Lotus Evora or Evora S. If you are currently the owner of a registered Lotus road car, simply visit your nearest Lotus dealer, negotiate your best deal on a new Evora AND then receive an additional $5,000 rebate from Lotus Cars USA as our “thank you” for being one of the Lotus faithful!

This offer is good on your retail purchase of any new and untitled 2012 or 2013 Evora or Evora S and you must take delivery no later than Monday, September 30, 2013. You must be the owner of a currently registered Lotus road car to qualify for this offer.

CONTACT YOUR NEAREST LOTUS DEALER TO CONFIRM THAT YOU QUALIFY FOR THIS LOTUS OWNER LOYALTY REBATE OFFER.

Fall 2013 Sierra Foothills Tour! (19-20 Oct)

August 18th, 2013

An overnight event in the Sierra foothills! We will start with an open house at Dave Bean Engineering in San Andreas on Saturday morning. Then it’s off to lunch the Pickle Patch deli. After lunch we find some scenic and “Lotus” back roads to Sutter Creek for a stop and then on to the historical and picturesqe town of Volcano.

Overnight in Volcano
12 rooms have been reserved for overnight accomodations in Volcano. You can select from:

  • 2 Queen bed rooms at the Union Inn at $145/night (includes breakfast)
  • 2 King bed rooms at the Union Inn at $164/night (includes breakfast)
  • 6 rooms at the St. George Hotel at $98/night
  • 1 Queen Suite at the St. George Hotel at $130/night
  • 1 King Suite at the St. George Hotel at $140/night

The above rooms will be held until Oct 1st. To reserve a room call the Union Inn at (209) 296-7711 or the St. George Hotel at (209) 296-4458

Once these rooms are booked you will need to stay in Sutter Creek, about 30 minute drive. In Sutter Creek you can find the Days Inn (800) 225-3297 or the American Exchange Hotel (209) 267-0242.

Just Saturday or Just Sunday
You don’t have to do both days. You can join the tour on either Saturday or just Sunday.

If you want to do only Saturday, just meet the group at Dave Bean Engineering in San Andreas and then depart after arriving in Volcano.

Those joining the event on Sunday may meet overnighters for breakfast in Volcano on Sunday morning. After breakfast and some sightseeing in Volcano we’ll drive on some lightly traveled and scenic roads between Volcano and Somerset/Fair Play. In Somerset/Fair Play the group will visit one or two wineries with lunch at one of the wineries. Somerset/Fair Play/Plymouth is roughly an hour’s drive from Sacramento or about a three hour drive for those returning to the Bay area.

The event is designed so you can participate in both days or either Saturday or Sunday. RSVP is needed in all cases.

RSVP by email to oct-drive@gglotus.org

You can find the latest information about the event on the GGLC website: http://www.gglotus.org/ggcalend/f13foothills.htm

Thunderhill Registration is now Open (12-Sept-13)

August 9th, 2013

Annoying Scott   :-)

Registration is now open for the Golden Gate Lotus Club Thunderhill Track Day on September 12th, 2013 in Willows, California. This event will be run BACKWARDS (clockwise direction), with the Cyclone. Please note that this is currently our last scheduled track day for the year.

We will be running our regular Thunderhill format which allows you to bridge run groups. There will be three run groups but you will sign up for either Novice/Intermediate or Intermediate/Advanced. We will be offering early bird pricing for this event at $135 for GGLC members, and $155 for non-members. This price will increase to $155 for members and $175 for non-memberes after August 23rd, so sign up early! Additional drivers sharing a car are $50. You can become a GGLC member for $25.

We will accept 3-4 beginners at this event. Please send us an email at events@gglotus.org if you are interested and we will let you know the details of that arrangement.

Click here to sign up via MotorsportReg.com to sign up.

Be advised that Thunderhill Raceway enforces a 104dB sound limit. Please read your confirmation email as it has been expanded to include the general schedule and other important information.

See you at the track.

John & Scott

Registration for AutoX #5 (24-Aug) is now Open

July 30th, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2013 Golden Gate Lotus Club autox season.

The fifth event of the season is now open for registration for everybody at MotorsportsReg
The price is the same as last year. First time autox’ers (first time at a GGLC event) are eligible for a discount, so invite your friends along too. Non-members will be able to register one week later.

This season we have 8 classes that you can participate in. Please read over the details on the club autocross page.

For Lotus Elise/Exige/Evora drivers, please choose your class that you want to participate in and also use the index classification tool to calculate your index points. For non-Lotus cars, please use the appropriate SCCA class.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this year’s events or any other autox topic.

See you all soon,

Colm
GGLC Autocross Chair

2000 miles in a Seven

July 14th, 2013

One of things that I’ve always wanted to do in the Seven was go on a long road trip. However I’ve always been afraid of mechanical breakdowns which is why I took the Elise to LOG 31 in Vegas two years ago. Once the 2013 West Coast Lotus meet was announced for Seattle in July, I started toying with the idea of taking the Seven but kept prepping both cars so that I could make a last minute decision. As luck would have it I was changing the oil on the Elise a couple of days before the trip and found a transmission leak which meant that the Seven was now the only option for the 2000 mile trip.

I started checking weather forecasts along the route and thankfully it appeared to be little chance of rain which is a good thing in a roof/door/window/windshield-less car with potentially dodgy electrics. I did see that a heat wave was expected with temperatures in excess of 100F but having done a 98F trip down to Buttonwillow in the past I felt pretty confident that I would be able to handle it with my cool suit. In terms of mechanical reliability I had driven the car several hundred street miles in the past few months which made me feel good about making it to Seattle without an issue. The risky bit would be the track day at Pacific Raceway but if a terminal issue cropped up Rob @ DiestchWerks said he would be able to trailer it back on his race trailer if needed. With all this worked out I decided to take the Seven on an epic roadtrip.

Epic road trip begins

I started out with fellow Ultralite owner and GGLC member Jim R who was going to drive up with me till Shasta City. We started out at 7 am as I wanted to cover as much ground as possible before sunset and had set myself the goal of reaching Medford at the very least with Eugene as a stretch goal. Since the planed distance was only just over 400 miles, we even took a slightly longer route to get the obligatory pic with the Golden Gate Bridge just like my last trip tor WCLM 08.

Required photo op

The first couple of hours went quite well and we covered 100+ miles before it warmed up enough that I had to start up the cool shirt which is basically a shirt which pumps cold water through it to keep the wearer cool. They were originally designed for surgeons but are now used by firemen, military, hazmat and of course racing. I originally picked up a cool shirt to use it in Lemons racing but after I got the Seven I realised that it was the perfect way to stay cool in the car as well. Jim and I made it up to Shasta Lake before stopping for a bite to eat at the Basshole Bar & Grill in Lakeshore CA just after noon.

By this time the time the mercury was really rising and Jim decided to head home while I continued on to towards Oregon. As I entered the mountains below Mt Shasta the weather was quite pleasant (though assisted by the Cool Shirt :)) and I was feeling quite good about my progress for the day. That came to crashing halt as I got passed the mountains and entered Oregon where the weather really shot up. The temperatures in Ashland were well above 100F (Jim saw 108F at one point on his way back) and it was so hot that I literally just pulled off the highway and parked under a tree.

Heat break

At this point the ice cooler part in the Cool Shirt came in handy as it meant that I had some cold refreshments to help cool myself down. I then decided to try driving a little bit without my helmet on but the hot air hitting me in the face made it hard to breathe so I put the helmet back on and kept going in short 30 min stretches. By around 5 pm the temps started dropping and by the time I got to Eugene at 6 it was pleasant enough that I took the helmet off off and cruised up to Salem, OR where I spent the night. The next day I was up and running again and made it to Seattle despite some extreme heat and traffic in the Olympia area. My dash got so hot at one point that my phone overheated and shut down. In the end I did make it to Seattle with the car running like a champ with only the organic bit behind the wheel having issues with the heat (see below). BTW if you think I’m complaining too much about the heat, it was so bad that the WDOT had to shut down a bridge and water its deck to prevent excessive heat expansion.

This is what 850 miles in 100 degree weather looks like

The first official event at the West Coast Lotus meet was a track day at Pacific Raceways which was put on by the folks at ProFormance Racing School. We started out with some lead-follow laps as most of us had never driven the track before. Pacific Raceway is a fairly technical track with 350 feet of elevation change which means you have a lot of blind late apex corners. Plus the track is very different from my usual tracks with very little run-off or exit kerbing and plenty of surrounding greenery – it feels more like a hillclimb course instead of a closed circuit track.

After a few sighter laps and some conversations with the instructors I was able to work out a reasonable line and really got into the groove at the track. As you can see from the video below I was not pushing very hard as I did not want to break anything at the track. One thing to note is that I did discover that top speed on my car is 125 mph which I hit 2/3rd of the way down the looong straight – it was actually a bit disappointing as I thought that the Seven was a bit faster than that but I guess crappy aero performance really does take its toll. We did have a modified Elise (slicks, 300 hp, sequential gearbox, paddleshift) that was quite a bit faster and was hitting 140 mph down the same straight.

The most interesting moment of the video above was when I go off at the 14:20 mark. This was due to a stuck throttle though luckily it was stuck partially open and not at full throttle. I didnt realise this initially as the revs do go down when I get off the gas but the car did not slow down enough. I keep adding more brake pressure and end up locking the front wheels before I go off the course. At this point I go both feet in and the engine revs rise to ~4k rpm and I realise what the problem was. I was able to use partial clutch to get into the pits and killed the engine as soon as I got in. When I opened the hood I found that the bracket that the external throttle release spring attached to had broken off and the stock throttle spring was not strong enough to close it all the way which is why the engine was stuck at part throttle. I was able to ziptie the spring back together to get the car going again but called it quits for the track day as I didnt want to risk it happening again on course.

Went off with a broken throttle return supporting bracket. Back running with a quick ziptie fix

After the track day I headed over to the event hotel which had organized some excellent “Lotus Parking” for the duration of the event. This meant that we not only got to see the cars all together, but we also got to chat with all the owners as we came in and out of the lot. After the cocktails and reception many of us headed out into the parking lot to check out the cars and shoot the breeze with other Lotus fans.

Lotus everywhere

Day 2 started with an excellent tour of Paul Allens Flying Heritage Collection. Nothing to do with Lotus but it is an excellent collection of WW2 era machinery including airplanes, rockets and tanks. Many of the airplanes are still airworthy and are flown a few times a year. Its also right next to the Boeing Dreamliner factory where a bunch of planes were getting fitted for their customers. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes mechanical objects.

In the afternoon we headed over to the parking lot of Bellevue Community college for the WCLM autocross. It was a very tight course that you lapped multiple times to set a time. Most people were doing the course in first gear though due to my low gearing I was able to launch and do the entire run in second gear instead. The following video is of my 31.165 second run which ended up as the top time of the event. I was even able to avoid hitting “my cone” which folks were taking odds on whether I would hit it. Facebook users can see more photos from the autocross at the WCLM FB album

After the autocross we headed over to the Snoqualamie Casino where we had an excellent buffet dinner along with drinks on the roof right in the shadow of the mountains. Plus it was another great chance to check out the cars and we got a lot of regular casino guests coming by to ogle at the cars.

WCLM Dinner

I was feeling a bit under the weather on day 3 so I skipped the SOVREN Historic Races and the parade laps at Pacific Raceway. I directly went over to the LeMay museum in the afternoon where we were taking a group photograph before dinner and a private tour of the museum itself. The album below shows some of the cars on display in the museum, as well as some shots of the cars lined up for the group photo. Another wonderful place to attend and much better organized than the original warehouses that they used when I first visited the LeMay in 2010. After the LeMay trip I was hanging out with some Canadian attendees at the hotel who were quite surprised to learn that I had driven the Seven all the way from CA. Hopefully at the next WCLM we can have a some of them drive all the from Canada instead ;-)

The final stop on the WLCM calendar was at the Griots Garage retail store in Tacoma where we got look at some of their cars and also got a demonstration of their car car products. Not very Lotus specific, but they are definitely car guys as evidenced by their McLaren display below. I have to say that Doug and the ELCC really put on a great WCLM and are going to get a lot of repeat business the next time they host a WCLM.

McLaren

After lunch I headed out around 2pm with the goal of making it back to Eugene, OR before nightfall. The return trip was going well until I stopped just before the WA-OR border and noticed that the left side of the car was covered with coolant. The upper radiator hose had sprung a leak and was dripping coolant under pressure.

And now we're dumping coolant

I filled it up with some water and Rob @ DiestchWerks a call to see if I could get him to trailer the car back. It ended up he was about 45 minutes ahead of me so I limped the car over there while he stopped at an auto parts to see what he could find. In the end he cut the hose at the point that it was leaking at and used a plastic coupler and some hose clamps to put it back together again. I then got back on the road and started driving with frequent stops to check the coolant levels and to watch for any further leaks. I was able to make it to Canyonville before nightfall and stayed at the Seven Feather Casino which was the site of the WCLM 08.

Spending the night at the home of WCLM 08

I decided to drop my original plan to drive straight down I-5 as the temperatures in the central valley were expected to be well over 100F and I did not want to put additional stress on my cooling system. Instead I took US-199 over from Grants Pass to Eureka and then took 101 all the way to SF. This turned out to be a great decision because though the trip would be longer, it was much much cooler plus US-199 is an fun road to drive in a sports car.

Lunch at the Samoa Cookhouse

After having lunch at the Samoa Cookhouse above, I took the famous Avenue of the Giants route through Humboldt Redwood Park which was another fun detour.

The Avenue of the Giants in a not very giant car

At this point I was far enough inland that it was starting to heat up again and I had to put my cool shirt on again. Plus the temps never went about 95 which meant that the cool suit was able to keep me quite comfortable. I then stopped off to meet a friend in Windsor, CA and was able to avoid much of the evening heat before making the final 90 minute drive back over the Golden Gate Bridge and through SF to get home again.

Home at last

All in all the car ran quite well and apart from the throttle and coolant issues it gave me no trouble at all in over 2000 miles in some blistering heat. I got lots of weird looks and several photos taken of me on my trip but I have to say that it was great fun and I would say that all Seven owners should consider doing at least one long road trip in their cars – it is an experience that you will not forget and you’d be surprised how reliable our cars can be. Now where is WLCM 2014 going to be? :-)

Rahul Nair


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Cross posted on my personal blog

GGLC Track Day at Sonoma Raceway (Sears Point) August 3rd

June 5th, 2013

Come join the Golden Gate Lotus Club for this open track event at Sonoma Raceway August 3rd

We are running this event in conjunction with the Shelby Club. The Shelby club will have 3 run groups and the Lotus Club will have 1. The Lotus group will have 1 full hour of exclusive open track from 8-9 AM and then approximately five 20 minutes sessions throughout the day between 9 AM and 4PM. Price for this event is $275 and you do not have to be a Shelby or GGLC member to participate.

We are limiting our GGLC run group to Lotus cars only. All types of Lotus and Lotus Clones (Caterham, Westfield), Lotus race cars, Lotus open wheeled cars are invited.

Non-Lotus owners may still participate in this event by entering one of the 3 Shelby Club run groups that are open to all brands of cars. Contact the Shelby club directly about this or go to http://www.norcal-saac.org/summersurprise/

This event is limited to drivers with minimum experience of 10 track days, racing background, or equivilent. If you have more than 5 and less than 10 days track experience and can provide an experienced coach to ride along, then we may allow you to particiapte but this will be on a case-by-case basis. Contact us directly about this at events@gglotus.org.

Rules for the Lotus-only run group will be open passing in most sections of the track. Drivers with less experience and drivers who are not comfortable being passed in turns will be required to run an “X” on the back of their car for identification.

This event will run rain or shine. There will be no money back cancellations. If you need to cancel and we can fill your spot then we will offer you a transferrable rain check for a future event.

We will not conduct a tech inspection on your car. You are soley responsible for the safety of your car.

Open top cars must have a roll bar. Factory installed roll bars and hoops are OK.

Click here to register for the event via MotorsportReg.

We will limit this event to only 35 cars, so I suggest that you enter early to insure a spot..

Autocross Round 4 registration is open

May 13th, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2013 Golden Gate Lotus Club autox season.

The fourth event of the season is now open for registration for everybody at MotorsportReg. The price is the same as always and first time autox’ers (first time at a GGLC event) are eligible for a discount, so invite your friends along too. Non-members will be able to register one week later.

This season we have 8 classes that you can participate in. Please read over the details on the club autocross page.

For Lotus Elise/Exige/Evora drivers, please choose your class that you want to participate in and also use the classification tool to calculate your index points. For non-Lotus cars, please use the appropriate SCCA class.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this year’s events or any other autox topic.

See you all soon,
Colm.