Archive for May, 2010

Edging Ever Closer – Turkish GP Qualifying

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Heikki Kovalainen

Lotus Racing put in another solid performance in qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix, with Jarno Trulli finishing the session 19th and team mate Heikki Kovalainen 20th. Jarno ran the whole session on the harder prime tyres while Heikki started on the options, but opted to change to the prime after seeing Jarno recording faster lap times, a decision that paid off with both drivers finishing ahead of their closest competition, and edging ever closer to the teams ahead.

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Jarno Trulli (Lotus Cosworth T127-03) Qualified 19th, 13 laps, 1.30.237 / FP3 19 laps, best time 1.30.618: “I’m pretty pleased even though it was a bit of a difficult day. I had a minor problem this morning which meant I couldn’t really use all the time available to focus on setting up the car, so I just got in and got on with it. In quali I used both sets of hard tyres and it felt like the track was quite slippery, particularly in the braking zones, so I changed my driving style a bit and think I did quite a good job to be best of the new teams. I think we are catching up with the guys ahead, even though we are still a bit off. But we will have another big step when we go to Silverstone, and we’re also now working hard on next year’s car, so we’re definitely going in the right direction.”

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Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Cosworth T127-01) Qualified 20th, 11 laps, 1.30.519 / FP3 22 laps, best time 1.30.884: “It was good out there today. On our first run we went with the soft tyre which was probably the wrong choice as it wasn’t working quite as well as yesterday, but the second run on the primes was good. The car felt particularly stable around the high speed corners and the balance felt great so I’m happy. Jarno did a better time today, but I’m pushing hard – I’m always pushing to the limit and am looking forward to the race tomorrow. I feel confident, and hope we can close the gap again to the other guys ahead.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “I’m pleased with our performance in qualifying this afternoon. There was a question mark from this morning whether to run the prime or option tyres – we felt the car was more stable on the primes and that decision paid dividends with us being only 3.2seconds away from the Red Bulls who used the same tyres in Q1- that shows just how much progress we’ve made as a team from the start of the season, and that’s very satisfying. So – a good solid performance today and we’ll look forward to the race tomorrow where we want to get both our cars to the finish line.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “All in all today’s been another good day and it proves to me that our future is very bright. To be honest I was starting to dream about Q2, and while we may still be a little bit off that we’re clearly getting closer and closer, and thinking back to where we started, that’s incredible. We need to work on giving Jarno more confidence in the car, and perhaps today we could have got more from Heikki’s tyres, but I think there’s still more to come from the 2010 car – maybe even another 0.5 seconds. Tomorrow will be all about getting two cars home, and I know our team has the experience and strength to do that.

“Today we were just 3.2 seconds off the pace of the Red Bulls in Q1 and if you cast your mind back 10 short weeks to Bahrain you can see just how far we’ve come. There we were over five seconds away from the outright Q1 pace and anyone in the sport will tell you what an achievement it is to find nearly two seconds in just seven races. We were also just 2.4 seconds off Ferrari, celebrating their 800th race in Turkey, which is pretty spectacular for a team who are only seven races old – I think that shows to all those who expressed doubts about our participation that they were wrong. We’re also now in a position to turn our attention to the 2011 car, but we’re still here and fighting hard for this season – I want, in the nicest possible way, to take this fight to my mentors Frank Williams and Patrick Head and their team, from whom I’ve learnt an awful lot over the last few years, and compete with them and the likes of Toro Rosso and Sauber, and today’s yet another example of how we really can dream of doing just that. I’m now off to order a kebab for Jarno and Heikki. Well, maybe a kebab pizza for Jarno, and a reindeer kebab for Heikki, if anyone in Istanbul can find them one…..”

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Tyler McQuarrie lapping Mosport

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

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Tyler McQuarrie on-board video from friday practice at Mosport. The GGLC sponsored racer eventually went almost 2 seconds faster than this lap to capture pole for the race on Sunday where he finished 2nd in the GTS class of the SCCA World Challenge.

Tyler McQuarrie in the LPL Lotus at Mosport from tyler@tylermcquarrie.com on Vimeo.

Lotus Racing Turkish Grand Prix Preview

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Onto Turkey for round seven of the 2010 FIA Formula One™ Championship and Lotus Racing are looking forward to another step forward at the Istanbul Park Circuit. A new rear wing and a number of new aero and mechanical parts should help the team keep moving closer to the midfield, and both drivers are looking forward to the challenges of the 5.338km track.

jarno trulli Lotus Racing Turkey 2010

Jarno Trulli (Lotus Cosworth T127-03): ‘The track in Turkey is good – turn eight is challenging but the rest of it is relatively simple, and definitely not as tricky as Monaco! I’m looking forward to getting out on track and having some better luck this weekend. My confidence in the car is growing all the time so I hope a bit of luck and the updates we’ve put on here will help me have a better race this weekend.’

Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Cosworth T127-01): “It’s good to be back in Turkey, the weather is usually nice here and it seems the same this weekend. Turkey itself is really cool – Istanbul is a huge city with some great places to go. The harbour area is nice and it’s good to try and take some time and have a look around there in the evening – I’m staying on the Asian side this weekend, so I’m not sure I’ll get much time off, but it’s still good to be here.

“The track is great – it’s a big circuit and we get back to a normal open race course after Monaco. We’re fully prepared and I’m looking forward to practice tomorrow to see what the new wing gives us, and where we are after seeing such good pace in the car in Monaco.”

Dieter Gass, Sporting Director: “Looking back on the year so far I think we can be extremely satisfied with what we have achieved. We’ve completed all the targets we set out at the beginning of the season, and from the first time we started testing we have been reliable, which is a testament to the hard work put in by everyone in the team, and our partners. But now we are working on making the car quicker and improving the gap to the established teams – we are getting there, and this weekend, and at Silverstone, we’re looking to take more steps forward.

“Turkey is a track the drivers like as it presents a good challenge – some high and low speed corners, and the famous triple apex corner eight all test the balance of the car, and the aero performance. It’s always a challenge for the engineers and the drivers to set up the car so it’s going to be an interesting weekend here – we have very experienced people throughout the team, so I’m confident we’ll put on a good show. I wouldn’t say Istanbul Park either suits, or doesn’t suit our car, and I think we’ll be pretty much where we were in Barcelona, but with we are looking to take another step forward with the next batch of updates on the car.

Mike Gascoyne Lotus Racing Istanbul Turkish Grand Prix 2010

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Director: “Looking back on Spain and Monaco we’ve taken a good step forward in those races and here in Turkey we’re looking to keep on improving and racing the cars in front, not those behind. We’ll be using our new pillar mounted rear wing here, and have some new parts which will enable us to optimise the weight distribution, so again, I’m quietly confident we’ll bridge the gap to those in front that little bit more.”

Lotus Racing has also confirmed it will be running the T127 at the Classic Team Lotus Festival at Snetterton on 20th June.

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Open House / Tech Seminar at Suspension Performance on Sat June 12th

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Please join GGLC sponsor Suspension Performance for their first-ever open house and technical seminar on Sat June 12th, from 10am to 2pm.

  • Get an up-close look at one of the Lotus 2 Eleven race cars maintained by Suspension Performance.
  • See the new 300 hp Ariel Atom 3 on display, courtesy of Sector 111.
  • Talk to Steve Carson of Secant Vehicles about the powertrain upgrades for Lotus and Ariel Atom cars.
  • Learn about the latest Lotus aftermarket parts and upgrades.

A catered lunch will be served, so please RSVP to eric@suspensionperformance.com for an accurate headcount.


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GGLC sponsors Tyler McQuarrie

Monday, May 24th, 2010

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The Golden Gate Lotus Club is proud to announce that we are now officially sponsoring Tyler McQuarrie and LPL Motorsports in the SCCA World Challenge series. Tyler has been campaigning a Lotus Exige S in the GTS class and followed up his Long Beach win with second places in both races of the Mosport double-header over the weekend.

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We wish Tyler all the best for the rest of the season and will be following his career with great interest. Fans will be able to keep up with the McQuarrie and the LPL Motorsports team by following McQuarrie on Twitter, at http://www.twitter.com/tylermcquarrie

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A piece of Lotus F1 History

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Piston from Lotus Cosworth DFV 339

The mailman just brought me this amazing piece of Lotus F1 history: a piston from the Cosworth DFV engine #339 used in the Lotus 81 Formula 1 car.

Piston from Lotus Cosworth DFV 339

In the 70s and 80s, Team Lotus was in the habit of keeping the pistons from rebuilds to use as VIP gifts. Each engine’s pistons were labeled and stored but not all were presented. With reference to the team’s archives, Classic Team Lotus is able to identify the detailed competition history for the engines in which the pistons ran. A great deal of polishing, then mounting on a wooden plinth, complete with presentation plaque, makes a rather special item of memorabilia.

Piston from Lotus Cosworth DFV 339

Now while a piston from an F1 engine is amazing in itself (Ferrari charges >$600 for a 2000 piston), this particular engine has some additional history that makes it even more unique. The DFV 339 was used by not one but two F1 world Champions: Mario Andretti used it in his final season at Lotus while Nigel Mansell used it during his first two seasons in F1.

Piston from Lotus Cosworth DFV 339

The piston comes with documentation of the engines usage and you can see that while it was used primarily in practice and testing, it was also used by Andretti in the 1980 USA GP West where he retired after a first corner accident.

DFV 339 History

If you’d like to get your hands on some original Team Lotus history, head on over to the Classic Team Lotus webstore and be prepared to fight the temptation to buy out the entire store.

[via The Racing Geek]

LPL Motorsports and Tyler McQuarrie rejoin World Challenge in Mosport

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

On the heels of their first appearance – and first win – at the World Challenge Long Beach Grand Prix, Tyler McQuarrie will return to the seat of the No.19 LPL / Lotus Exige S at the Grand Prix of Mosport to contest rounds four and five of the 2010 World Challenge season.

McQuarrie had a sensational debut for himself, as well as the LPL Motorsports team and the Lotus Exige S with a dominating performance at last month’s Long Beach Grand Prix. McQuarrie, who is best known as a star in the Formula Drift Pro Championship where he drives a V8 powered Nissan 350z for the Falken Tire team, is excited to have another go in World Challenge.

“Long Beach was really a dream weekend,” said McQuarrie, a Pleasant Hill, Calif. resident. “We definitely had some challenges that we had to overcome, but the race was phenomenal and all credit should go to the LPL / DRS crew that didn’t sleep for weeks before the event to get the car ready.”

With the win, McQuarrie and the team got a big trophy, a reduction in boost, and weight added to their Lotus Exige S. In between his Formula Drift schedule, McQuarrie has been at the track with the LPL Motorsports team, getting the No. 19 Lotus Exige S dialed in to its new configuration. After a few days spent at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, McQuarrie is confident that the car and team are ready for the challenges of Mosport – a track that he is learning thanks to a computer simulator.

“The track seems like it will suit the Lotus very well, although we may have a disadvantage on the Andretti straightaway due to the changes to the car after Long Beach,” said McQuarrie. “We also know that we are racing against guys who have lots of data, lots of laps, and have won at Mosport. We are just going to give it the same effort that we did in Long Beach, and rely on the great handling of the Lotus Exige S to get us another win.”

The weekend kicks off with practice, qualifying, and round four on Saturday, with another qualifying session and round five on Sunday. Fans will be able to keep up with the McQuarrie and the LPL Motorsports team by following McQuarrie on Twitter, at twitter.com/tylermcquarrie (@tylermcquarrie).

LPL Motorsports is currently planning to continue with the World Challenge season and welcomes inquiries from drivers interested in partnering McQuarrie in a second Exige S.

[press release from LPL Motorsports]

Lotus Challenge Series @ Laguna Seca

Friday, May 21st, 2010

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The Lotus Challenge Series will be having a 2 day event at Laguna Seca on July 10 and 11th. They will have their own LOTUS-only run group both days. There will be a Time Trial competition and wheel-to-wheel race on Sunday. This LCS event (and run group) will be capped at 23 participants. The 92 db sound limit be enforced by the track for this event.

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New members are welcome to run as long as safety/driving experience requirements are met. The LCS organizers have extended a special invitation to GGLC members and Northern California Lotus owners to participate in the event. Please visit the Lotus Challenge Series website for more information.

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Spectators are cordially invited and there may even be some VIP surprise guests in attendance. The LCS participants had a blast last year at this historic venue, so don’t wait too long to sign up — based upon preliminary indications of interest, this event looks to be a sell-out.

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Click here to sign up for the event. Garages will also be available to the competitors for renting.

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[via Lotus Challenge Series and British Speed]

Lotus Racing Steering Wheel explained

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

£40,000 worth of electronics explained

[via James Allen on F1]

Lotus Exige fire from the 24 Hours at Nurburgring

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Gavan Kershaw, Matt Cummings and Roger Green had moved up to 11th in class at this weekends 24 Hours of Nurburgring when their race was ended by this fire. In the teams own words:

It appeared that Roger hadn’t seen the flames which were gaining in their momentum with flares from the rear of the car and wheel arch until they reached closer to the cabin. The heat ruptured a tyre and Roger slowed to the edge of the track and bailed out rolling to safety.

[via Lotus forums]