Archive for June, 2010

Lotus Racing European Grand Prix Report

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Mark Webber Heikki Kovalainen Valencia European Grand Prix 2010 accident

After a very promising build up to the European Grand Prix, Lotus Racing leave Valencia relieved that Heikki Kovalainen and Red Bull’s Mark Webber both came out of a potentially very dangerous crash on lap 10 unscathed, and encouraged by Jarno Trulli’s race pace after a very unfortunate start to his afternoon’s work saw him make an early stop for a new front wing, before going on to finish 21st.

Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-04) Qualified 19th, finished 21st “I don’t know exactly what happened at the beginning as I managed to get away from the mess at the front but I was hit from the back and at the same time lost my front wing. It all happened during the first lap, so I thought it was the end of the race for me, but I managed to get back to the pits, and the mechanics did a great job to fix the car. I went out but had a gearbox problem, so more good work from the boys got me back out and I was then able to run to the end. I did the whole race with one set of tyres, and I felt that the pace throughout was very good. The handling was great, so I’m happy about the performance and when I pushed I was able to put in some really good lap times.”

Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-01) Qualified 20th, DNF “First of all it’s good news that both of us are ok. Mark had a hardcore flight, and it could have ended up much worse, so it’s good we’re both fine. It’s such a shame the race ended that early – I was going really well, pulling away from the guys behind by about half a second a lap, and with Mark we were racing for position so I was always going to defend. I didn’t do anything wrong and he just ran into me. I think he missed his braking point and he ran into me at a very bad angle – his front tyre hit my right rear and he took off. I had to make a mandatory visit to the medical centre, and shook hands with Mark there, but I’m absolutely fine, and glad Mark is too.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “Obviously it was a very disappointing end to our 500th race. Jarno got hit at the start, and we had to change the nose. He also took a hit at the back, and that caused a gearbox problem. We were able to fix that and send him out again, although he was three laps down. He was held up by some of the other slower cars, but at the end of the race he was able to push and really show the car’s pace.

“Heikki had an accident with Webber – he was defending his line and racing for position, and that’s what we will always do in that situation. It’s just a great shame, and we’re very glad that neither driver was hurt.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “Heikki’s accident is part of racing. It’s a shame as both cars are coming on really well, but there is some good to take out of this. Despite being hit, Jarno managed to finish the race, and at the end it was great to hear him say ‘the car is bloody good!’

“Overall it’s been a very positive weekend, with a good Qualifying session and lots of very positive meetings and good decisions made for next year. It’s also been a pleasure having the Chapman family here, and now we’re all looking forward to bringing Lotus Racing back to the UK and racing in front of the British fans.”

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Lotus Racing looks back at the Classic Team Lotus Festival

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

A look back at Sunday June 20th’s Classic Team Lotus Festival at Snetterton where we joined Clive Chapman and an example of every Lotus F1 car that raced between 1958 and 1994. Our third driver, Fairuz Fauzy, used the event to shake down chassis T127-04, giving Lotus Racing fans an exclusive first public look at our 2010 challenger on UK soil, and Jarno, Heikki, Fairuz and Mike Gaascoyne all drove classic Lotus F1 cars – an amazing day out for everyone!

Lotus celebrates its 500th Grand Prix

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Team photo with the T127 and Lotus Type 12

The European Grand Prix in Valencia, the ninth race of the 2010 FIA Formula One™ World Championship, is the 500th Grand Prix Lotus has competed in, an historic landmark in the Lotus legend. Lotus Racing will be celebrating this incredible milestone with Colin Chapman’s son Clive, who, with his family, will be representing one of the greatest names in Formula One™ history. He and the Lotus Racing team will be paying tribute to the legacy his father Colin created in single-seat racing in 1956 when he launched the Type 12, the car that will appear alongside the 2010 challenger, the T127, in the Valencia pitlane on Thursday evening.

500 and racing...

Lotus Racing will be celebrating the 500th race across the whole race weekend. The T127’s of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen will both be carrying a specially created “500” logo on their engine covers, and the team’s garages will also show off the logo that celebrates their heritage. An extended edition of Lotus Racing Notes, the team’s race-by-race newsletter, will be available online and in very-limited-edition hard copy from Thursday, as is a new podcast, and in the merchandise stands and online, “500” Lotus Racing team shirts and other memorabilia will be on sale. In the motorhome, the Lotus Racing catering team have been putting together a menu that each day features one of the favourite dishes of Lotus legends, including Sir Stirling Moss and Colin Chapman – more details will be announced each day…..

Jarno Trulli

Jarno Trulli: “I’m really looking forward to Valencia. It’s a circuit I like, and I enjoy the race there – It’s always warm, and it’s a beautiful city. I’m in the new chassis (T127-04) from this race, and hopefully that will bring me some better luck over the race weekend – in Canada I was really flying until the retirement, so I hope I can carry that through to this weekend and see the chequered flag. That’s obviously important, but this weekend is also all about the 500th race for Lotus. It’ll be very special to help take that famous name to such a milestone, and I’m very honoured to be part of it. I met Hazel Chapman on Sunday at the Classic Team Lotus Festival, and that was very special for me, particularly as I had the chance to drive Elio De Angelis’ T91 in front of the crowds, and that felt great.”

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen: “The last few races have been very positive for our team, we’ve been making progress every weekend and the plan is to carry on pushing. For Valencia, and for the rest of the season, we’re not looking back at the other new teams – we lapped them in Canada so we’re looking to keep taking the fight to the guys ahead, and I think we can do that. This is obviously an historic weekend for Lotus, and for Lotus Racing, and I think we’re starting to do justice to what’s gone before us – it’s fantastic that we can celebrate such a great milestone in Valencia, and it’ll be an honour to be part of that.

“On the race itself – the track is a street circuit, but there is quite a lot more room on track than in Monaco or Singapore, so it’s more of a semi-street circuit. You can hit the kerbs harder, and find a better balance between the straight-line speed and the grip in the corners, but this makes finding the right downforce level crucial. It’s always hot there, and getting the best out of the tyres will be important – we have the super-soft tyres there so we’ll work on getting the best out of them on Friday and Saturday. I think we’ll put on a good show, and give Clive Chapman and his family, and all the Lotus fans something to cheer for!”

Mike and the team

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “I’m really looking forward to this weekend, and am excited about both celebrating the 500th race Lotus has competed in, and helping add another chapter to one of motorsport’s greatest stories. We’ve already come a long way this season, and have much further to go until we can add more glory to the Lotus legend, but I and the whole team are very proud to be in a position to help the Lotus name reach this landmark moment, and it’ll be great to celebrate that with Clive, Tony and the whole team.

“For the race, we have a few more updates to the car to help us keep pushing forward, so we’re not letting up on the challenge to take the race to the cars in front. I’m confident we’ll put on a good performance in Valencia – we’ve got the right drivers to cope with the demands of the circuit itself, and the car keeps improving with every new step we take, so I think this will be another chance to pressure the midfield, and make good on the promise we showed in Canada.”

Tony Fernandes: “Celebrating the 500th race will be an absolute honour, and will obviously be very special, but we’re only nine races of the whole Lotus story. Really, this weekend is all about celebrating Colin Chapman’s history, and thanking Clive, his Mother Hazel, and all the people that have helped shape the Lotus legend. I’m thrilled that some of the people that were part of the original story are with us today, and I’m proud we’ve been able to take the total number of races Lotus has taken part in to 500 and beyond – hopefully we’ll be celebrating 1,000 races one day, and can look back on a legacy that pays true homage to that we’re celebrating this weekend – the legacy of Colin Chapman, his family, his cars and his team.”

Clive Chapman: “Of course the 500th Grand Prix for the Lotus marque is a significant landmark, and it was nice that Lotus Racing thought to invite my mother to attend – after all, Hazel Chapman is the person with the closest association to the Team Lotus history. Much as she wanted to accept, regretfully she decided against it, so I’ll be there with my family representing Classic Team Lotus and my father’s legacy.

Check out this pic with Hazel and Clive Chapman in front of Lotus Classic F1 Cars! #fb

“The fact my mother won’t be in Valencia this weekend made it all the more special that she was with all the Team Lotus F1™ cars and the Lotus Racing T127 at the Classic Team Lotus Festival last weekend at Snetterton. It was a great moment for my family and me to see my mum and their grandma standing at the front of the 35 Lotus F1™ cars, and then to be joined by the Lotus Racing drivers. The ‘Valencia installation lap’ conducted at Snetterton by the T127 was another highlight of the day for everyone there.

“Much as it is nice that Lotus Racing is celebrating 500th Grand Prix, I am sure the most important thing about the weekend for the team is that it is another race and the next opportunity to continue to make progress towards the established teams. It was exciting to watch Montreal qualifying, when Heikki almost pipped the Sauber, and I for one would swap the 500th landmark for the landmark of outqualifying an established team in normal circumstances. Fingers crossed!”

Peter Cambridge Dies

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Peter Cambridge (right)

Peter Cambridge (above right), the designer of the Elite’s interior and other Lotus’ interiors, passed away over the weekend.

Peter was deeply loved by his family and friends.

Peter was part of the small team that were pulled from Ford (England) to work on and design the Type 14 Elite. Even after leaving Lotus he remained active in the Lotus community in the UK.

The Elite is frequently included as one of the iconic and most beautiful cars. The elegance is found both outside and inside. While it is unintentional the dash on the Evora mimics that of the Elite, proving how classic Peter’s design is.

Peter will be missed.

GGLC Thunderhill Track Day (13-July-2010)

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Turn 13

Come join the Golden Gate Lotus Club for this open track event at Thunderhill Raceway on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This event is not open to first time track drivers. You must have at least 2 prior track days experience, racing background, or completed a racing driver’s school before you can enter this event. There are a number of track day organizations that are designed for training new drivers. Hooked On Driving is one group that we recommend for beginners to gain experience. There are others as well.

You do not need to own a Lotus to attend this event. We run our events totally non-profit and you will not find a better price for a full day on the track. The price for this event is $150 for GGLC members, and $170 for non-members. Additional drivers sharing a car are $50. You can become a GGLC member for $25.

This event will be divided into 3 different types of groups on track; Novice, Intermediate, Advanced. The Novice and Intermediate sessions will have passing restricted to certain areas. The Intermediate passing rules will be slightly more liberal than the Novice rules. The Advanced sessions are open passing.

Each driver can sign up as either Novice/Intermediate or Intermediate/Advanced. Novice/Intermediate drivers will not be allowed in the Advanced sessions. Intermediate/Advanced drivers will not be allowed in the Novice sessions. If you sign up for a particular group and decide at the track that you are not comfortable, ask a GGLC official to switch groups and it will probably be no problem.

You must have a minimum of 2 track days experience to sign up for the Novice/Intermediate sessions. You must have a minimum 15 track days experience to sign up for the Intermediate/Advanced sessions.

This event will be run in the standard counter-clockwise direction WITH THE BYPASS.

Click here to sign up for the event.

Lotus Racing Canadian Grand Prix Report

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Jarno Trulli 2010 Canadian Grand Prix

The Canadian Grand Prix made good on its promise of providing the best race of the season so far, and Lotus Racing put in a great day’s work to see Heikki Kovalainen finish the race 16th, ahead of Petrov’s Renault, after a great battle on track in what proved to be punishing conditions for the tyres for the whole field. Jarno Trulli, who had been showing quick pace right from the start, pulled over on lap 42 after a vibration at the front end led to a problem with the braking system that put paid to his race.

Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Cosworth T127-01) 16th, best lap 1.20.654 “It’s been a great weekend, and I’m really pleased for the whole team with the result today. We finished ahead of Petrov and lapped the other new guys, and although it was hard work managing the tyres, it’s still great to show what we can do. The race itself was tough, but it’s all about the result – I didn’t have any technical problems with the car, but the rear wasn’t working quite as I’d have liked, and I think that was down to the tyre wear.”

Jarno Trulli (Lotus Cosworth T127-03) DNF best lap 1.20.791 “It’s such a shame I had to pull over – I had a great start and then I was really flying during the race. We got the strategy right on the tyres, and my pace was good – I was keeping up with the boys in front, and I was overtaking our other rivals. But then I felt a vibration that caused a problem with the braking system and I had to pull over. Still – we have to move on. It’s another learning curve for the team and I think it’s great to see that in the race I could really push and was putting in some very good lap times.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus T127 Cosworth 2010 Canadian Grand Prix

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “I think overall we can be very happy with the race, and the whole weekend. The one disappointment was obviously Jarno’s problem – we will have to look at it in more detail, but it looks as though the vibration put paid to his race. Before he pulled over he was absolutely flying and the strategy would have really paid out for him, so that’s a plus. Heikki drove a fantastic race, fighting all the way with the guys in front, and kept it up right to the end to keep Petrov behind him.

“I think this weekend has been a massive step forward for the whole team. Rather than being just one of the new teams, we actually got stuck in and raced the teams ahead, which is what we wanted to do, so congratulations and thank you to the whole team for getting us to this position. In the end we lapped both of the other new teams, so it was a great effort, and again, well done!”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “I’m very happy with the result today, and the whole weekend’s work. We got 42 laps from Jarno and Heikki drove an absolute cracker – beating a Renault was great, and Heikki did really well to hold him off, but the main aim for us is to get both cars home, and we’ll keep working on that back at the factory and at the track. Now we go to Valencia where we’ll be celebrating the 500th F1™ race Lotus has competed in, and the ninth for Lotus Racing.”

Heikki Kovalainen drives Classic Lotus F1 cars

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus T127 Cosworth. Canadian Grand Prix 2010 practice

Back in Canada for Lotus Racing’s debut at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Friday’s practice sessions saw Lotus Racing comfortably ahead of their new team rivals, and edging ever closer to the midfield. Heikki Kovalainen completed his entire program and finished FP2 less than seven tenths behind Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso, but Jarno Trulli suffered an electrical problem that curtailed his running in both sessions.

Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Cosworth T127-01 / FP1: 24 laps, 19th, 1.21.869 / FP2: 35 laps, 19th, 1.19.969): “Both sessions were pretty good today. The circuit obviously has not been used for a little while and it was quite dirty to start with, and even at the end of the second session the grip level was still quite low, but it’s definitely improving though! It felt a bit like a Rally Finland stage first thing this morning, so it could only get better from there!

“I think the team did a really good job today, improving the balance and keeping us going in the right direction all the time. The low downforce package seems to be working really well, which is very encouraging, and again, we’re not far away from the Toro Rossos. Maybe tomorrow in qualifying, I’ll be able to have a go at challenging them, and see what happens. We’re going to focus on keeping the rear of the car under control, and I think we are getting there with that, so, from my side of the garage, things are working out really well.”

Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen 2010 Canadian Grand Prix practice

Jarno Trulli (Lotus Cosworth T127-03 / FP1: 12 laps, 21st, 1.22.543 / FP2: 11 laps, 22nd,1.21.346): “It’s been a difficult day but I’ll move on from this and I still feel positive – after all, this is still our first season, and we’re only eight races in. I had a few laps, but not enough to get a setup I felt comfortable with. I could feel that both the hard and the soft tyres suffered bad degradation, but after today I want to thank the team for working very hard to fix the problems on my car, and we’ll see if the luck will change tomorrow.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “It was difficult today – a couple of reliability problems curtailed Jarno’s running, but with Heikki we completed everything we wanted to, so that’s a plus. The tyre performance is always difficult on the first day here, but especially so today, so we’ll have to see how that develops tomorrow – it could be interesting. Overall, Heikki’s performance was good, but apologies to Jarno for the issues – despite those, I’m sure we can get both cars up where we want them tomorrow.”

Heikki Kovalainen 2010 Canadian Grand Prix Friday practice

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “It was obviously a bit of a tough session out there, a dirty track and a couple of issues for Jarno, but we still showed we keep picking up speed, finishing FP2 just over three seconds off the outright pace. Both Jarno and Heikki are upbeat, and the main aim now is to bring both cars home on Sunday – if we do that I’ll be very happy.”

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Chris Harris drives the Exige 260

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Chris Harris celebrates the cult of the road racer by gathering together the very best of the breed. Renault R26.R, 430 Scuderia, GT3 RS, Exige Cup 260 and more battle it out against Colin McRaes’ 1997 Subaru WRX World Rally Championship car. The Exige clip is at the start of the second video.

Classic Team Lotus restores Jim Clarks Indy 500 winning Lotus Type 38

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

A video from Classic Team Lotus talking about how they restored Jim Clarks Indy 500 winning Lotus Type 38