Simon Phillips was at Brands Hatch for the Lotus Festival. We take a look at the action with a great series of photos and learn a little about the Lotus racing range
The Benetton B190 that powered triple World Champion Nelson Piquet to his penultimate Grand Prix victory in 1990 will join the Lotus Festival F1 line-up at Brands Hatch this August.
Designed under the direction of legendary designer John Barnard, the B190 began a rise to prominence to Benetton, who won two World titles with Michael Schumacher in the middle of the decade. The team was later bought by Renault, then Genii Capital, who signed a deal with Lotus for 2011, running under the famous racing name ever since.
Back in 1990 Piquet was joined by rising star and Grand Prix winner Alessandro Nannini, but a helicopter accident for the latter ended his F1 career. He was replaced by Roberto Moreno and the pairing finished 1-2 in the Japanese Grand Prix, the second year that the team benefitted from a clash between title contenders Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Piquet then won the next race in Australia, which concluded the season.
LOTUS ELISE S CUP R
Evolving from the 1.6 litre Elise platform, this is the first time the supercharged Elise S’ mid-mounted, transverse, 1.8 litre 2ZR-FE engine has been used in a Cup variant. Performance is enhanced over the road-going Elise S thanks to a motorsport-specific engine control module (ECM) and a CFD proved aero pack comprising; front splitter, barge boards, winglets, rear diffuser, floor extensions and rear wing. Despite the extra body kit and race-ready additions, Lotus Motorsport manages to maintain the road car’s light weight of just 924 kg.
The Lotus Elise S Cup R is eligible for entry to the production class in the 2014 Lotus Cup series.
LOTUS EXIGE V6 CUP R
The Exige V6 Cup R is the full race version of the Exige V6 Cup. Additions to the Exige V6 Cup specification include a higher downforce, aerodynamic package, a 60Kg weight reduction, race dampers, an increase in power output (with the sequential gearbox option) and an optional sequential gearbox.
The car allows drivers to race in all Lotus Cup race series including Lotus Cup UK and Europe with a single specification for all drivers, and the car has proved itself in this category with numerous race wins.
LOTUS TYPE 125
The ultimate race car ownership experience, the Lotus Type 125 is the closest thing to purchasing your very own Formula One car.
Inspired by the very pinnacle of race machinery anywhere in the world and with club membership limited to a mere 25, the Lotus Type 125 and Exos club is all about exclusivity and ultimate enjoyment. The car is designed to give a breathless and authentic Formula One experience while being forgiving, safe, reliable and possible for a mere mortal to drive.
The Type 125’s 640bhp 3.5 litre Cosworth V8 engine – much like the one used in IndyCar – is linked to a six-speed gearbox with paddle shift. The car’s featherweight 560kg results in a phenomenal power-to-weight of nearly 1000bhp per tonne.
LOTUS EVORA GT4 & GTE
Developed from the highly acclaimed Lotus Evora sports car, the Lotus Evora GT4 & GTE race cars have been engineered to give drivers a competitive racing package straight ‘out of the box’.
Lotus Motorsport has developed the Lotus Evora race cars in conjunction with a number of prestigious technical partners. As such they feature a world class chassis, steering and brakes, resulting in exceptional handling.
The Evora GT4 has been designed to be eligible for many of the world’s leading GT series and can also compete in the Lotus Cup series, whilst the Evora GTE has been designed for GT2 and international endurance series around the globe.
LOTUS EXIGE S & EVORA S LOTUS DRIVING ACADEMY CARS
On top of all the others Lotus Motorsport will also be bringing 2 cars from their Lotus Driving Academy. These cars are used on a daily basis to fulfill thrillseekers dreams at the safe FIA specification Lotus test track, Hethel.
The academy offers professional coaching to beginner, intermediate or advanced track drivers and the cars are very quick in the right hands.
Photos by Simon Phillips, August 2015
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