Lotus on Track Racing Drivers Club launched their 2012 season at the MotorSport Vision Racing Media Day on Tuesday, which will see continued expansion in their sixth year of racing. The Elise Trophy continues to provide some of the UK’s finest club racing, whilst Lotus Cup Europe visits some of the continent’s finest venues.
The biggest change for this season will be the addition of a new championship as Lotus Cup UK splits into Production and Supersport categories, the latter for the faster Exige Cup, 211 and Open classes. The Lotus Cup’s Evora class is renamed V6 Cup and opened up to include the many Evora variants and the imminent Exige V6 model. The power-to-weight regulations of these faster classes ensure that the championship is decided on driving ability and team strategy.
Entering the V6 class for a shot at the Supersport championship will be LoTRDC veteran Steve Williams, who is one of the first racers to take advantage of Lotus Racing’s new GTN kit. The comprehensive package, announced at January’s Autosport International show, allows drivers to convert their existing road cars into a race version and includes bodywork, suspension and powertrain upgrades. Williams’ commitment to Lotus racing has seen him win in the Production and 2-Eleven classes, plus the former Modified class, since renamed Open.
Williams was also taking part in the track sessions, driving Mark Gooday’s SW Lotus/Ashdown Music black and gold 2-Eleven, whilst BJ Chong and Paul McNeily ran their 2010 1000km-winning Fox Motorsport Exige and Paul Pattison lapped the number 2 guest car that has seen action with Land Speed Record holder Wing Commander Andy Green and BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey at the wheel.
Adding to the Lotus flavour, there were two guest cars to promote the Lotus Festival, taking place on 18-19 August. An Elan was representing a recently-announced race celebrating the diminutive sportscar’s 50th anniversary year, whilst Steve Griffiths brought along his 1989 Lotus 101, which was once driven by both Nelson Piquet and Satoru Nakjima, and completed some well-received laps of the circuit.
(Images courtesy of Jakob Ebrey)