Lotus Racing Monaco Grand Prix Report

Monaco Grand Prix 2010 Alonso Kovalainene

Lotus Racing leave Monaco with mixed emotions after a very impressive display during the race came to an early end for both cars with only a few laps remaining. Despite this, the team demonstrated impressive pace throughout the race, making good on the promise shown in practice and qualifying, and will see the race as another step forward in experience and performance.
Lotus Racing Monaco Grand Prix 2010
Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Cosworth T127-01, retired lap 59) “It was a fantastic race right from the beginning. I had a bit of a struggle at the restarts to get the tyres up to temperature, but once I got everything working I was able to almost keep up with the Renault. I was pushing very hard, and the car felt fantastic – the balance was really good. Just before I retired I could feel the steering alignment was a bit uneven – on the right hand corners I had to use maximum lock, even in the tunnel, and it got the point where it didn’t feel safe anymore. In Monaco you can’t take a risk with it so I came in. It was a mechanical issue, but despite that I’m really pleased with today. We again showed we’re firmly the best of the new teams and we are nearly there with the next group, so I think we just need to keep attacking, and that’s how we’ll achieve results.”
Lotus Racing Monaco Grand Prix 2010
Jarno Trulli (Lotus Cosworth T127-03: Classified 15th) “This wasn’t a great weekend for me. After we had a problem with the wheelgun in the pitstop I was stuck behind the HRTs and trying to find room to overtake – in the last lap Karun seemed slow through the second and third sector, and I’d seen he was leaving room at Rascasse, so I tried to get through but we touched and that was that – the end of the race. It was one of those things – a racing incident, but I still feel like we’re going in the right direction as a team, and I want to put the bad luck behind me when we get back on track in Turkey.”
Lotus Racing Monaco Grand Prix 2010
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “This was our strongest performance yet compared to the midfield, so obviously mixed emotions for where we finished. Heikki had a very strong race and in the middle his performance was particularly good compared to the midfield group. It’s a shame we had a problem on his car – the steering joint failed, something we’ve not seen before – but overall it was a very positive weekend for him. For Jarno, he had a much more difficult weekend, clearly struggling with the balance of the car and I think as a team we have to take a look at everything to be able to do a better job for him. Obviously he was compromised by the slow pitstop, which dropped him down the field and affected his whole race. He was capable of going much faster and when he made the move he unfortunately fell victim to the nature of the Monaco circuit. So I leave feeling pleased we showed such good pace, and we move on to Turkey.”

Tony Fernandes: “I take a lot of positives from the race today and it was another one where we had at least one car classified. Most importantly Heikki made a great step forward and it was fantastic watching him race with Petrov. He and the whole team felt it was the best race of the season for him and that boosts confidence further for the season ahead. We’ve got some more new parts coming which will continue to take us forward, and hopefully Jarno’s luck will turn, but even with that we’re all pleased. It’s also great to see so many of our fans out around the track – hopefully we gave them some good racing today, and in years to come we’ll give them some good results as well.”

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Monaco Grand Prix Preview

It’s tight, it’s bumpy and it’s a major challenge for the drivers and the teams, but the Monaco Grand Prix is one of the world’s greatest sporting events, and Lotus Racing is confident of putting on a very good show at a venue where much of the Lotus history was created. Looking ahead to the weekend’s action are team drivers Jarno Trulli, a Monaco winner in 2004, and Heikki Kovalainen, with Team Manager Graham Watson giving insight into the logistical problems Monaco presents, Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne providing insights from the pitwall, and Team Principal Tony Fernandes discussing his first Monaco race at the head of an F1™ team.

Graham Watson: “The challenge really begins as soon as the Spanish Grand Prix finishes as we have to pack up everything there and then get it all over to Monaco in time to try and finish setting up by Tuesday night. We have some very experienced truckies and mechanics in the team, who know their way around the confines of the Monaco paddock, and that definitely helps us make sure we can meet all our engineering deadlines, and have the cars ready to go out on track on Thursday morning. We may be one of the new teams, and we definitely don’t have as much equipment yet as some of the more established names, but we’re still able to pack in everything we need to cope with any eventuality over the weekend, including a composite and fabrication workshop on site, which hopefully won’t be needed, but with the nature of Monaco in mind, are necessities here.”

Mike Gascoyne: “Monaco is obviously a unique place. I enjoy walking around as you realise what a mad place it is to race cars! Engineering wise it’s a major challenge – it’s very bumpy with lots of slow corners and qualifying is critical as it’s almost impossible to overtake, but I still love it! We should do ok here – we’re good in the slow speed sectors and both our guys are experienced in dealing with the bumps and the traffic, particularly Jarno whose win here was very special, so all in all I’m looking forward to it.”

Jarno Trulli: “It’s something very special in Monaco. Whether you’re driving or just walking around, you can almost breathe in how exciting it is. Every driver in the world wants to win here, and I was lucky enough to do so in ’04, but the whole experience can be tough – it’s important for us to concentrate on the race, and here you’re under so much pressure it can be difficult to get the time to think, and concentrate on the actual race, but that’s how it is, so we deal with it.

“Getting in a good lap is also a challenge, but if you can manage the traffic it’s very satisfying. One of the most important parts of the circuit is through the swimming pool – you change direction at high speed, then brake for the next chicane, which is slow but you still need to get through it quickly. You jump over the kerbs there, not too much or you launch yourself into the wall, but just enough to carry the speed through. That’s why concetration levels are important – get that right every time and you’re ok – if not, you’re out.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “I obviously didn’t get the chance in Barcelona to build on the step forward we took with the updates so I’m looking forward to getting back on track and pushing on. It’s so busy on track in Monaco there’s no time to relax, and there are no run off areas so you pay heavily for any little mistakes, but I really like street circuits as they reward good car control, and I think we’ll be pretty good here from how the car felt in Spain. I’ve managed to get a round of golf in with Tony since we left Barcelona, and it’s probably not fair to say how he got on… but generally it’ll be good to get out on track again and keep up the momentum we’ve had all year.”

Tony Fernandes: “I’ve been coming to Monaco ever since AirAsia first came into the sport as a sponsor, and it’s somewhere I love coming to. It’ll be great being here with Lotus Racing – pretty emotional as Lotus has so much history here. It’ll be a special moment for me and a huge amount of fans to see the green and yellow on track again, so I can’t wait for Thursday and to see the cars out there at what’s almost their third home race!”

[press release from Lotus Racing]

GGLC welcomes its 500th member

David Anderson (membership chair) just informed us that our club membership has hit the 500 mark for the very first time. Woo hoo!!!

Total number of Members: 500
Members owning Lotus: 298
Lotus per Lotus owner: 1.4
Members not owning Lotus: 202

Model breakdown:

























Elite (new)


Elan (M100)




Elan +2


Elite (old)






Esprit turbo










Roster Map:

View Larger Map

If you would like to update you location or list of cars owned please contact David Anderson (ggmail AT gglotus DOT org).

GGLC Autocross #2 (June 5, 2010) Registration is now open

It's a 3 Ultralite kind of day

Registration for the second GGLC Points Event Autocross of the 2010 season is now open.

This season the Golden Gate Lotus Club is creating a new trophy and classing system for our autocrosses. There will now be just one single consolidated trophy for all Federal Elise/Exige variants that replaces all older classes for street and race tires. The new trophy uses a PAX Index based classing system which is a commonly used handicapping system for comparing times of cars which are not in the same class. The index is composed of data from across the country, and tries to take the driver out of the equation and compare only the cars. Each class in the new Elise/Exige trophy has an associated PAX index which is multiplied against your raw run time to provide single comparable time that shows the driver performance within the car. You can determine your class using the GGLC Autocross Classification tool and entering your cars specifications and modifications. Once you have found your applicable class please enter that during the registration process. The points and overall winners for the 2010 GGLC Elise/Exige trophy will be based on the class-based, PAX-indexed times only. Additionally the Open Group trophy will now mirror the SCCA classification with no special dispensations for tire compound.

Click here to register for the event.

Lotus F1 car in Iron Man 2

Movie fans have been pouring into the theaters this weekend to watch Iron Man 2, the sequel to the 2008 hit about the Marvels mechanized super Hero. In the movie, the first meeting between Iron Man and Whiplash occurs during the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco which is a real annual event for historic F1 and F3 cars and is held 2 weeks before the Monaco Grand Prix.

Now the more more eagle eyed motorsport fans would have seen that P3 was listed “Locke” with “Chapman” in P2 plus one car on the grid looked suspiciously like a JPS liveried Lotus. At this point I contacted GGLC member and Historic Grand Prix racer, Chris Locke to see if he was associated with the movie and and he referred me to this blog post which explains how the movie producers borrowed his fantastic Lotus 77 for the movie along with 5 other historic grand prix cars.

caption="Image by Jerry Garrett"
Lotus 77 on the start line. Image by Jerry Garrett

The actual race scenes were shot in a giant green screen in Downey Studios with the 6 real cars and 19 other additional cars that were built based on the design of the 1978 Wolf F1 car. In the photo above you can see the Lotus 77 on the right of the grid. Only 2 of the faux F1 cars actually ran and most of the on track action was created using CGI to insert the cars. The actual confrontation scene was shot on the set using one of the running cars and a lot of pyrotechnic explosions. The photo below shows the Chris (left) hanging out on set after the scenes had been filmed.

Image by Jerry Garrett
Chris Locke and James King on set. Image by Jerry Garrett

For more info on Chris Locke and his historic racing check out his website at Checkered Past Racing and also drop by the Historic Grand Prix website. If you who haven’t seen Iron Man 2 yet, I highly recommend watching it and don’t forget to keep your eyed peeled for the Lotus (2:03 mark in the trailer below).

[via Jerry Garrett]

Moving Forward in Spain

Jarno Trulli Spanish Grand Prix 2010
After a very strong showing all weekend, race day in Barcelona saw Lotus Racing continue to move ahead, with Jarno Trulli finishing 17th and first of the new teams, whilst Heikki Kovalainen suffered a gearbox failure on the grid and had to be retired before the race had started. Despite the best efforts of his pit-crew Heikki was unable to join the race, but the team’s mood after the race was good, with Jarno achieving his first full race finish.

Jarno Trulli Spanish Grand Prix 2010
Jarno Trulli (Lotus Cosworth T127-03: 17th, fastest lap 1.29.564): “I’m pleased we finished comfortably ahead of Virgin even though the car felt a bit difficult to drive today. I don’t really know why but it didn’t feel the same as it did on Friday – despite that we achieved what we set out to today, showed good race pace and finished well.”

Jarno Trulli Spanish Grand Prix 2010
Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Cosworth T127-01: Retired): “We had a gearbox problem while we were firing up on the grid. The gearbox selected two gears at once – there was some sort of software issue which caused it to fail. It’s unfortunate, because we have had such a good weekend, but these things happen. Next up it’s Monaco, and I know we’ll be stronger again there, so we can focus on the next race and hope the luck returns.”

Jarno Trulli Spanish Grand Prix 2010
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “It was a bit of a disappointing afternoon because we had a difficult race where we weren’t really able to show our true pace. We had a gearbox problem on the grid with Heikki, which was caused by a procedural issue, not a reliability problem. That’s frustrating as I think he would have had a strong race. Jarno made a great start, he had some contact going down into the first corner and throughout the race was struggling with the rear of the car. It was difficult for him in traffic, but he did a good job to bring the car home and get his first real race finish. Now we’ll just have to go to Monaco next week and show what we know we can do.”

Jarno Trulli Spanish Grand Prix 2010
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “It was a good day at the office today – disappointing for Heikki but on the positive side the reliability looks good and we had no hydraulic issues at all. We continue to have at least one car finish ahead of all the other new teams which has always been one of the goals and we learnt a lot again today. It’s a shame Heikki wasn’t there as it makes a big difference when we only have one car on track – both of them can help push us further ahead. We’re all now looking forward to Monte Carlo and Turkey where we’ll have all our upgrades together on both cars and build on the performance we put in during qualifying here.”

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Lotus Racing Barcelona Qualifying Report

Saturday’s Spanish Grand Prix qualifying session started with bright sunshine, and Lotus Racing enjoyed an excellent session, closing the gap to the midfield they’ve now set their sights on, and moving further away from the new teams they’ve led throughout the 2010 Championship. The team’s in their performance was reflected in the comments made by all the key team figures.

Jarno Trulli
Jarno Trulli (Lotus Cosworth T127-03: Qualified 19th, 1.24.674, 10 laps)

“A pretty good qualifying session today. The result itself hasn’t changed, but we have significantly reduced the gap to the cars in front. Yesterday I had better pace, so I’m not that happy with my performance today, but we now have a good gap to our direct competitors, and can start thinking about taking on those in front, which is thanks to the guys in the team. We still have a lot of work to do, and I think there’s even more to come from the car, so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Jarno Trulli
Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus Cosworth T127-01: Qualified 20th, 1.24.748, 10 laps)

“I think it was a good session today and I’m happy. We achieved all the targets we set ourselves and we can see the gaps growing in the right direction – nearer those in front, and further away from the other new teams. We won’t have these kind of upgrades every weekend, but I think the car will get quicker and quicker and we’ll keep improving all the time. For the race tomorrow I think we can do well and I’m looking forward to being out there and seeing what we’re like on a long run.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “It was an excellent session for the team today, and a very good job by both drivers. Jarno has been a bit less happy with the balance of his car today than in practice yesterday, but still put in a great performance, whereas Heikki felt the balance had improved. Overall, our times today show how the package we’ve brought to Barcelona has helped us move ahead, so we can all be very pleased. Now we’re all looking to close the gap to the teams ahead, and take the race to them.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “I’m really very happy. We’ve talked a lot about Barcelona, so turning that talk into results has been important and we have clearly made a big step forward. I think we’re about a second and a half away from the established teams, and obviously pulling away from the other new boys, so hopefully that speed, with consistent reliability, will see us able to challenge higher up the grid. It’s obviously good to see the results of the efforts that have been put in, and when you think where we’ve come from, about nine seconds off the pace when we first went out on track in testing in Jerez, it’s a huge accomplishment to the whole Lotus Racing team.

“It’s also great to see our profile continuing to rise across the world. We’ve launched our first range of merchandise here, and it’s good to see flags in the stands, and shirts in the crowd, so we’ll do our best to give the fans something to cheer for tomorrow.”

[press release from Lotus Racing]

Lotus Racing launches Merchandise Range

“I want to see a sea of green at every race, and wherever I go around the world.” These were the words of Tony Fernandes on the day Lotus Racing launched its brand new merchandising range. “It’s a challenge to every fan around the world, to show that it’s not just football teams and bands that inspire people to wear their clothing, it’s now time for Formula One™ fans to show what Lotus Racing means to them.”

Lotus Racing leads the way again as the first of the new teams to unveil its very cool range of clothes and accessories, available right now from http://shop.lotusracing.my and, starting at this weekend’s Barcelona Grand Prix, at racetracks around the world.

Among the items available in a range of sizes for men (with women and kids sizes available from mid-June), are:

* Team shirts and polo shirts – exact replicas of those worn by the race team around the world

* Heikki and Jarno tees

* Lotus Racing and 18 and 19 race number tees

* Polo shirts in the team’s already iconic green

And it’s not just about the clothes – a range of accessories is also out now, including lanyards, ear plugs, umbrellas and a team flag.

Prices start from £5.98 for the lanyard and go up to £69.98 for the team shirt, and wherever they are in the world, fans will be able to use a range of payment and delivery options to get their hands on whatever they want, with everything available in British Pounds, Euros, Dollars and Malaysian Ringgits.

Special offers and discounts will be introduced throughout the season, and from the British Grand Prix the expanded range will also include caps, a range of backpacks, more t-shirts for men, women and kids, drinks bottles, key holders, luggage tags and pens.

More information will follow…. Keep an eye on http://shop.lotusracing.my

[press release from Lotus Racing]