Archive for August, 2010

Lotus Racing Belgian Grand Prix

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Jarno Trulli

The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa lived up to all expectations and produced an incident packed race that saw Lotus Racing again finish ahead of their nearest rivals. Heikki Kovalainen recovered from a slow start to finish 16th, and Jarno Trulli crossed the line in 19th, a spin late on dropping him back a few places after he had put in a very strong performance in the constantly changing weather conditions.

Heikki

Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-01) 16th, fastest lap 1.55.797 – lap 23, 3 stops – laps 1, 3, 33: “I had a bit of a problem at the start when the engine bogged down, and I activated the anti-stall, but I was already being passed by the time I could get up to speed. The rain had started and unfortunately I damaged my front wing in the last turn so I had to pit. We took a gamble with the inters but the rain stopped, so I had to come back in and I lost out to the group ahead of me. After that it was a question of doing the best job I could, and keeping us in with a chance of taking advantage of the rain at the end, and as it turned out we managed to pick up a few places at the end and finish 16th.”

Jarno

Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-04) 19th, fastest lap 1.55.103 – lap 24, 1 stop – lap 33: “It was pretty exciting out there, an eventful race where lots of things happened, but that’s normal for Spa! At the start I went wide to avoid Heikki and unfortunately was overtaken by a couple of other cars. After that I was struggling a bit in the early stages with my rear tyres overheating – fortunately they came back so I could started pushing and managed to pull away from the guys behind, so that was a good stint until the rain came. I had quite a big margin over my nearest competitor so I was looking pretty good, but then the safety car came out. At the restart I was following the other cars but obviously the visibility was very poor and I made a bit of an error on a high speed corner, touched the white line with the rear end of the car and it just slipped away from me, which meant I lost places. I continued, but then the race was over from there. I’m glad we got both cars home, and it’s good to see we’ve still got an advantage over our nearest rivals, so bring on Monza!”

Pit Stop

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “An exciting race and a typically eventful one here in Spa. Neither driver had a great start which meant we lost a few places, and Heikki had a problem when the rain started. We changed him onto intermediates, but were then a little slow in changing him back, but he drove a great race, and was quick at the end in the wet conditions, and he again brought us home best of the new teams. Jarno drove a strong race. He struggled initially with the tyres, but in the middle part of the race his pace was very strong, and it’s just a shame that he had a spin in the difficult wet conditions as it would have been nice to have had both cars finish ahead of the other new guys. But despite that, both cars finished and overall this has been a good weekend for the whole team.”

Riad and Mia

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: “I feel great. I think we achieved what we wanted to do – we got both cars home and we’re still ahead of the other new teams. It’s a bit unfortunate that Jarno spun out, but it’s all part of racing. He recovered well and I think we’ll all move on from this point and feel confident we can put in a good performance in Monza, and the remaining races. I think the team did great today and there was maximum effort involved, so well done to everyone. The rain of course threw everything out of sync, but we survived it today and we’re really happy.”

Jarno Trulli

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Takuma Sato and Jimmy Vassar talk Evora Cup/GT4

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Lotus Motorsport’s IndyCar driver Takuma Sato and 1996 Champ Car champion, Jimmy Vasser talk about driving the Evora Cup/GT4 at the legendary Laguna Seca race circuit

For more info on the Evora Cup/GT4 check out out our exclusive interview with Lotus test driver Johnny Mowlem and head on over to our coverage of theEvora Cup/GT4 premiere event.

It’s an Evora but not as you know it

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Lotus Evora S 3qtr front

Ahead of the official unveil at the Paris Motor Show on September 30th, Lotus announce the latest evolution of the award winning Evora – the Evora S and Evora IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift) option.

Lotus has taken the award winning Evora and re-created it with a 350 PS 3.5l V6 engine to create the Evora S. Dany Bahar Lotus’ Chief Executive Officer summed it up beautifully when he said: “You don’t realise what you were missing from your driving experience until you get behind the wheel of the Evora S.”

So apart from the obvious power difference, how is the Evora S different to the standard Evora? It’s another question we put to the CEO (given that he’s spent a little time behind the wheel, we thought he’d be best placed to answer questions). This is what he said: “It’s the next level of Evora experience. It communicates with you better, the suspension setting has been fine tuned for added power and control so it responds even more to direction. It’s an instinctual car, the experience is pure.”

“We were proud of the Evora but we’re even prouder of the Evora S, I feel like it does the true Lotus experience justice. The really great thing is that as we move forward the standard Evora should also benefit from some of these developments.”

Lotus Evora S 3qtr_rear

The Evora S comes with a sport pack as standard featuring a ‘sport’ button which allows the driver to control throttle response and activate the exhaust by-pass valve. The sport button also raises the instantaneous rev limit and changes the dynamic stability control settings resulting in a total experience change. There are cross-drilled brakes for improved cooling. And here’s a heads up for those who buy into the old adage ‘you can tell the men from the boys by the size of their toys’: the external emotion of the Evora S has been improved with a completely new active exhaust which means that at the push of a button the car sounds just as dramatic as it feels.

Commenting on the Evora S, Lotus Chief Commercial Officer Andreas Prillmann said: “The Evora S is a natural progression for us but more than that, it’s a taste of what people can come to expect from the next generation of Lotus cars. It retains core Lotus values such as performance through lightweight but it also gives more than that. It’s the perfect combination of top performance, style and comfort. Form doesn’t sacrifice function in the case of the Evora S.”

So there you have it folks, the next generation of Lotus Evora, the Evora S, set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show.

But that’s not all. In addition to the Evora S, Lotus also presents the IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift) option. This inception of the seven-time-award-winning (who’s counting? We are!) Evora sees an automatic 6-speed gearbox with Lotus developed transmission control with a 3.5 l V6 engine delivering 280 PS assuring a superior automatic driving experience.

Lotus Evora IPS Shifters

The IPS version of the Evora allows the driver to switch between manual paddle shift and automatic drive modes. The driver also has the option of selecting ‘sport’ mode which showcases the Lotus sport driving experience allowing the driver to really feel each gear shift and be in complete control of the transmission.

Lotus Evora IPS Interior

Commenting on the development Dany Bahar said: “The Evora IPS is set to broaden the appeal of the Evora and reach out to a slightly different market. We hope it will be popular with established automatic locations such as Asia, the Middle East and the US. It’s been a long time since Lotus created an automatic and we’ve spent a great deal of time refining this one to make sure that it perfectly complements the Evora drive experience.”

Evora S Technical Specification

Model Evora S
Engine Mid mounted,  transverse 3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVT-I
Emissions see below due to wheel options
Transmission 6 speed manual
Chassis Modular lightweight bonded aluminium structure
Steering Lotus tuned hydraulically-assisted power steering
Suspension Forged aluminium double wishbone suspension
Bilstein high performance gas dampers
Eibach coaxial coil springs
Performance data
Standard wheel option
Fuel consumption – urban 14.5 l/100km
Fuel consumption – extra urban 7.4 l/100km
Fuel consumption – combined 10.0l/100km
CO2 Emissions 235 g/km
19/20” wheel option
Fuel consumption – urban 14.6 I/100km
Fuel consumption – extra urban 7.6 I/100km
Fuel consumption – combined 10.2 I/100km
CO2 Emissions 239 g/km
Max power 350 PS / 257.5 kW @ 7000 rpm
Max torque 400 Nm / 295 lb ft @ 4500 rpm
0-60 mph 4.6s
0-100 km/h 4.8s
Maximum speed 172mph
Vehicle mass (unladen) 1437kg

Evora IPS Option Technical Specification

Engine Mid mounted,  transverse 3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVT-I
Emissions 208 g/km
Transmission Electronically controlled 6 speed automatic
Chassis Modular lightweight bonded aluminium structure
Steering Lotus tuned hydraulically-assisted power steering
Suspension Forged aluminium double wishbone suspension
Bilstein high performance gas dampers
Eibach coaxial coil springs
Performance data
Fuel consumption – urban 12.6 l/100km
Fuel consumption – extra urban 6.6 l/100km
Fuel consumption – combined 8.8 l/100km
CO2 Emissions 208 g/km
Max power 280 PS / 206 KW @ 6400rpm
Max torque 350 Nm / 258 lb ft @ 4700rpm
0-60 mph 5.3s
0-100 km/h 5.5s
Maximum speed 155mph
Vehicle mass (unladen) 1436 kg

[press release from Lotus]

GGLC Autocross registration now open (19 Sept, Points Event #5)

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Registration is now open on Motorsportreg for club members for the September 19th GGLC autocross in Marina. This will be the fifth points event of the season for club members. The event will open up to non-club members next week.

Entry Fee (includes sandwich and drink for lunch):
GGLC Members: $60
Non-Members: $70
Click here to register:

By the way, this is our last event of the season at Marina. Our next event will be the season finale in October at Great America.

Colm & Alex
GGLC Autcross Chairs

The Historic Grand Prix Experience

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

IMG_1156

I recently had the pleasure of talking to long time GGLC member and Historic Grand Prix racer Chris Locke at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Chris has been campaigning his ex-Andretti JPS Lotus 77 in historic grand prix for five years and graciously agreed to share his experiences with the rest of the GGLC. The following is our exclusive interview with him discussing the Historic Grand Prix experience, the history of his car and comparing the 77 to other cars both new and old.

You can see more pictures of the Lotus 77 on the Flickr set below while video from the Monterey Motorsports Reunion Historic Grand prix is available here. For more info on Chris and his cars please visit Checkered Past Racing.

Historic Formula 1 @ Monterey Motorsports Reunion (Video)

Monday, August 16th, 2010

The main feature race of the 2010 Monterey Motorsports Reunion celebrated 60 years of Formula 1 and had a grid featuring an incredible 24 F1 cars including 3 Lotus (Types 77, 79 and 81) and 6 championship winning cars (Lotus 79, Williams FW07, 2 Williams FW08, Tyrrell 006, Ferrari 312 T2). The following are some quick video snippets showing the action as it went down.

The most iconic turn at Laguna Seca is the Corkscrew and we got this quick clip of the cars navigating it during the Sunday morning practice session. You can also see another video from a different angle here.

This clip shows the cars lining up for the grid and labels them for the folks who don’t remember all their historic F1 liveries 🙂

Unlike Europe, Historic Grand Prix racing in the US generally uses a rolling start. The Williams FW 07B and FW 08C make up the front row.

A clip showing Turn 11 passing from lap 2. We have the two Williams FW 08C cars trying up and under moves while the Lotus 79 outbrakes the Penske PC4

The final turn of the race featured a finish line drag race between the Lotus 77 (driven by GGLC member Chris Locke) and the McLaren M30.

The full results and entry list are now posted on the official website.

Evora Cup GT4 North American Premiere

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Evora GT4 Cup
While the Lotus Exos was deservedly getting all the press after the Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion, Lotus also held the North American Premiere of the Evora GT4 Cup car at the same time.

Evora GT4 Cup
Developed from the highly acclaimed Lotus Evora sports car, the Lotus Evora Cup GT4 race car has been engineered to give drivers a competitive racing package straight “out of the box”. The car has been developed in conjunction with a number of prestigious technical partners and features a world class chassis, steering and brakes delivering exceptional ride and handling.

Evora GT4 Cup engine bay
Photo © Jack Fried

The Cosworth tuned engine is bored out to a 4 litre capacity and produces 360 bhp (Vs 3.5L and 280 bhp in the road car). Further upgrades include a six speed sequential paddle shift racing gearbox, full FIA specification roll cage, FIA-compliant 96 litre fuel system, FIA fire extinguisher system and kill switch. Unladen weight has also been reduced by over 200kg to just 1190kg.

Evora GT4 Cup Rear Wing
Photo © Andy Kern

While the Evora Cup looks quite similar to the road car, there are a number exterior changes to improve downforce such as the beautifully integrated carbon fiber rear wing and diffuser package above. Other downforce enhancements include the front splitter and wheel vents on all four corners. The body panels are also easily removable for easy access to various internals.

Evora GT4 Cup rear bodywork
Photo © Jack Fried

Since the premiere event was being held a Laguna Seca, Lotus had test driver Johnny Mowlem on hand to give prospective buyers some “test rides”. The GGLC was able to speak to Johnny in this exclusive interview to hear his thoughts on the development of the Evora Cup GT4 and how it compares to the street car:

Lotus Challenge Series racer and all around Lotus fan Andy Kern was one of the lucky few that got a ride and gave us this feedback comparing it to his Lotus 211 racecar:

I first thing I noticed going down the pit-out lane was the seamlessness of the paddle-shift sequential box… and next I thought, gee… Johnny’s going to go around the pit out corner at T2 pretty quick, and he did: the car definitely has some serious grip. The next two corners, T3 & T4 are relatively flat; no camber… I usually ease into the brakes so I don’t upset the car too much, then transition into the turn. Johnny waited much later to brake and broke much harder, but it didn’t seem to faze the Evora’s chassis at all, the car just has great grip and poise during transitions. The rest of the ride was more of the same, as the tires warmed up and Johnny broke later and harder than I would have expected; but always completely smoothly. The shifts were so smooth I barely noticed them. The car has good acceleration too… better than my 2-Eleven everywhere with the possible exception of the steep rise from T6 to the corkscrew.

As I’d said, it’s always tough to compare one car from the passenger’s seat with another from the driver’s seat… but the overall impression is that the Evora Cup is very much a Lotus… fantastic braking, tenacious cornering, great chassis dynamics… and maybe somewhat of a welcome surprise… very torquey.

All in all the Evora Cup GT4 appears to be another fantastic race car from Lotus and should do well both as a track day car and as a competition GT4 racer. For more information about the car please visit www.lotusevoracup.com.

For more pictures from the premiere event please use the slideshow below or head directly to our Flickr Set. We request blogs and news outlets that use our content, photos and video to please credit Rahul Nair and the Golden Gate Lotus Club as well as link back to this post.

A huge thanks to our friends at Lotus Cars USA and Boardwalk Lotus for inviting us to the event. News

Lotus Exos T125 revealed (GGLC World Exclusive)

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Lotus Exos T125 "Laguna Seca" "Pre-Reunion"

The GGLC was proud to attend the world premier of the new Lotus Exos Type 125 at the Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion today. The Lotus T125 is an F1 inspired track only car that uses Formula technology and a Cosworth V8 to provide stunning performance for the ultimate track day toy.

Lotus Exos T125

The first things that strikes you when you walk in is how much it looks like a current generation F1 car. The chassis is a carbon fiber monocoque with both the wide front wing and the narrow rear wings of the 2009-spec F1 cars. It also has the coke bottle shape, top exit exhaust and shark fin engine covers that have been in vogue. Other technical similarities include carbon ceramic brakes and a carbon fiber pushrod suspension.

Lotus Exos T125 "Laguna Seca" "Pre-Reunion"

The F1 technology continues inside the cockpit there the car uses paddle shifters to control the semi automatic gearbox as well as a multi function screen on the steering wheel that allows drivers to set the various parameters on the fly.

Cosworth GPV8 Exos Lotus T125 engine

The engine is a 3.5L Cosworth GPV8 that has been detuned to produce 650 bhp with a 10,300 rpm redline (10,800 push to pass). Weighing just 650kg the car will have a power to weight ratio just shy of 1000 bhp per ton and should be faster than anything this side of a recent Formula 1 car.

Lotus Exos T125 Cosworth GPV8 engine alternator

Unlike an F1 engine, the GPV8 is designed to run 4500 km between rebuilds and has a starter motor (note the alternator above) so that you don’t need a support crew to be able to run the car at the track. Notably absent chassis features include double-diffusers, exhaust blown diffusers, flexi wings, f-ducts and other F1 innovations that were created to get around the various rules. Being a track only car and not built to a particular series, Lotus has been able to use the best features of F1 without having to use the various rules workarounds. Its a clean sheet design where the designers were told to “have at it boys”.

Lotus Exos T125 Rear Wing + Diffuser

Lotus plans to make just 25 Exos next year and will be pricing then at one million dollars apiece. Apart from the car itself, the Exos program will also include 5 “driver events” at various race tracks that will allow the owners to slowly come up to speed with the performance of their new car by getting instruction and advice from a variety of current and past Lotus drivers (a little birdy tells us that Mika Häkkinen and Jarno Trulli will be involved).

For more on the Exos please watch this video of Stephen Wright from Lotus Motorsports explaining the philosphy behind the Exos.

You can also see the rest of our Exos pictures in the slideshow below or head directly on to Flickr. We request blogs and news outlets that use our content, photos and video to please credit Rahul Nair and the Golden Gate Lotus Club as well as link back to this post.

A huge thanks to our friends at Lotus Cars USA and Boardwalk Lotus for inviting us to the event.

Lotus Events during Monterey week

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Lotus-T125

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7:
9:00am – 5:00pm: Lotus exhibit in the four-bay garage under the presentation podium structure. North American debut of the Evora Cup GT4 race car and World Premier of the new Lotus T125 ultimate track/race car.

12:20pm – 12:35pm: Lotus Evora Cup GT4 race car on track with Johnny Mowlem providing rides to seriously interested Evora Cup GT4 prospects.

5:00pm – 7:00pm: Reception hosted within Lotus exhibit.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8:
9:00am – 5:00pm: Lotus exhibit in the four-bay garage under the presentation podium structure. North American debut of the Evora Cup GT4 race car and World Premier of the new Lotus T125 ultimate track/race car.

12:20pm – 12:35pm: Lotus Evora Cup GT4 race car on track with Johnny Mowlem providing rides to seriously interested Evora Cup GT4 prospects.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11:
5:00pm – 10:00pm: Lotus T125, Evora Cup GT4, Evora road car and IndyCar display at the McCall’s Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 13:
9:00am – 6:00pm: Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill near The Lodge at Pebble Beach housing the Evora Cup GT4 track/race car and full array of Lotus road-going product portfolio.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 14:
9:00am – 6:00pm: Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill near The Lodge at Pebble Beach housing the Evora Cup GT4 track/race car and full array of Lotus road-going product portfolio.
12:00pm – 6:00pm: Lotus T125 track/race car displayed on the Concept Car Lawn at The Lodge at Pebble Beach.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 15:
8:00am – 4:00pm: Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill near The Lodge at Pebble Beach housing the Evora Cup GT4 track/race car and full array of Lotus road-going product portfolio.
8:00am – 6:00pm: Lotus T125 track/race car displayed on the Concept Car Lawn at The Lodge at Pebble Beach.

We hope to see as many Lotus aficionados as possible throughout the week!

Best regards,

Kevin Smith

Kevin D. Smith
Marketing and PR Executive
Lotus Cars USA, Inc.

A Day in the Hungarian Sunshine

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Jarno in Hungarian race action

Lotus Racing enjoyed an excellent day in the heat of the Hungarian Grand Prix with Heikki Kovalainen finishing 14th and Jarno Trulli just behind in 15th. A very exciting race, full of incidents throughout the grid, saw the Anglo / Malaysian squad firmly consolidate their position at the top of the new team chart, sending the team into the summer break full of confidence for the challenges that lay ahead when the Championship reconvenes in late August.

Heikki steps into his office

Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-01) 14th, fastest lap 1.27.457 – lap 64, 1 stop – lap 15: “A great day for the team, and a great job from everyone to get us home in 14th and 15th. I think that was the maximum we could have hoped for, so we’re all really pleased. Despite starting behind Timo we were confident we could overtake him, and that’s how it panned out. My own race was fairly straightforward. I dropped a few places at the start but when the safety car came in I was brought straight in to pit and it worked out well as I jumped a couple of guys ahead. From then I was controlling my pace to the end, and making sure I didn’t make any mistakes. We head into the break very satisfied with how we performed today, and that’s great for the whole team.”

Jarno ready for action

Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-04) 15th, fastest lap 1.27.429 – lap 58, 1 stop – lap 20: “It’s a great day for the team. All weekend I’ve been strong, and today’s two car finish shows how hard the team’s been working. I made a very good start and managed to gain three places, and once I got ahead of Timo it was pretty comfortable staying in front. I lost out to Heikki in the strategy call during the safety car period, but that was in the best interests of the team, and as we are again ahead of our nearest rivals, we’ve achieved what we set out to today.”

Heikki in race action in Hungary

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “An excellent two car finish and once again we’re the best of the new teams. Both drivers drove strong races and Jarno had a particularly good start. Once the safety car came out we made a strategy call to keep Jarno out as we knew it would be a short period behind the safety car and this was the right strategy for the team. Unfortunately this meant Jarno lost a place to his teammate, so apologies to him, but we got the call right for the team. Heikki drove a good strong race to the end. He was bottled up behind Di Grassi at the start, but once he’d got past he was very comfortable running to the flag. All in all a really good result, and a very good day for the team.”

Kamarudin Meranun, Deputy Team Principal: “It was a very exciting race and moments like this are the ones you want to cherish. We made a very good decision with Heikki when the safety car came out, and both he and Jarno drove really well to keep their positions to the end. It’s a great day for the team, and I’ve just given Tony a challenge – let’s see you beat that next time you’re on the pitwall!”

[press release from Lotus Racing]