One of the highlights of the 2008 West Coast Lotus meet were the time trials that were held at the go-kart track of Jackson County Parks facilities. You often hear that the Lotus handles like a go-kart but this was the first time that I got to drive my Elise on an actual go-kart course. Our run format consisted of running 3 back to back laps on the outside of the track to count as one single timed run. It was an interesting day and we got to to run the first session in the dry before the rain came down creating a very wet second session.The following video combines in-car and external footage of my first wet run of the afternoon. Major thanks to Rob and Jen from Dietsch Werks for taping the run from the outside.
Lotus Elise on a Go-Kart track from rnair on Vimeo.
Since my R-compound tires were completely slick I had to swap to my AD-07 street tires for the first time in six months. The combination of skinny tires, street compound and wet surface meant that I had no grip and I almost went off while braking for turn 1 (I was later riding with someone who shall not be named when we actually went off at the same spot :-)). I make the turn with about six inches to spare and am pretty cautious and slow waaaay down for turn two only to find the rear end wants to fishtail on the exit. Turn 3 went much better but the lack of front-end bite at turn 4 lead to a few NSFW comments. At this point I slowed down even further and tiptoed my way around the course for the rest of the run. We later found out that the county had repaved about half the track which meant that the course had sections with both old and new asphalt which account for the wide variance in the grip levels at the turns. Turns 1 through 4 had the lowest grip and you had to tiptoe through them before getting on the throttle for the rest of the course.
The next video is incar from my final run in the dry. The lap is much better and doesnt have too many mistakes apart from a missed shift on the start of lap 3 – I believe it ended up being the second fastest Lotus time of the morning.
West Coast Lotus Meet: Time Trials from rnair on Vimeo.
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