Hi all, I have just joined the “owning a Lotus” club by purchasing Mike Sekinger’s slightly bent MY02. The project was advertised on facebook with a recent price drop making it too good to refuse. I got up early on Friday, drove to Germany, meeting Mike and his wonderful family, squeezed a 186cms car in to a 186cms door (no angle grinder required) and then came back home.
There were always two cars I loved growing up, a Lancia Delta and a Lotus Esprit. In 2016 I bought a bent yellow banana of a hatchback from a reputable dealer filled with hopes and dreams! John and I spent about 2 years and more money I care to mention turning it in to a very competitive and ultimately winning race car, both in the dry as well as the wet. I have documented the Lancia race car, plus other racing activities build on my youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGC1ARFyEFnu_vwqi_BATsg and here are some pictures. More can also be found here: www.lanciadeltaracing.com
Before you all jump on me for it not being a real 350, there is no way you would want to take a working 350 and ruin it by racing it. Race cars get a hard life and generally always break and get tatty over time. I wanted to replicate a sport 350 to allow the fitment of an adjustable high rear wing and it still comply to “silhouette” rules. Clearly building a car such as Mike’s GT1 replica with sequential box and a wider track will ultimately be a faster car. The problem is it puts you in with classes where v8’s are shoved in to Ford Escorts, Honda turbos in to Elises and other nutter conversions and it raises the game quite considerably... and gets very expensive.
The other great thing about the car Mike had is it is LHD. This is actually an advantage as most circuits race clockwise and a LHD car gives a better view of a right turn apex than it being obscured through the a-pillar. On the flip side, I am sure “sided” parts for a LHD will be harder to find but hey ho.
As we are just at the start of this project there are some things we are sure of, and some not. Here is what we know or want to do:
- Sport 350 silhouette, but with the MY02 round lights
- Uprated crank, pistons and head bolts
- Motec & Bosche motorsport electronics throughout, including ECU, power distribution, dash, TC & ABS
- Owen Development m-spec turbos, nice and small with very little lag
- External wastegates
- Standard gearbox casing with dog ring gears
- Gripper or other plated LSD
- Target 450bhp & 900kg
I am planning to race it in the Classic Sports Car Club Modern Classics series. I know several Elises and Nick Olson’s very quick Esprit S3 races in from time to time. Also want to do the odd 750 Motor Club’s Club Enduro championship if I can get an hours worth of racing out of the fuel tanks (they look very small...). Here are a couple of videos racing Nick if you are interested.
Any advice at this early stage, particularly those who track/race, would be appreciated.