Quarterly Review 2nd Quarter 2011

Certainly a packed quarter this one, with races and events nearly every weekend. Espiritu De Montjuic – Catalunya Classic Revival was first up. It was a three day programme of classic motor racing at the Montmelo race track near Barcelona to celebrate the old racing days on the Montjuic hill in the centre of the city. Types 72/5 and 49B were on static display in the paddock area. This was the debut race for Andrew Beaumont in his newly restored type 76. He used the first practice to get himself used to the car and the circuit and qualified in 8th place. The Saturday race he finished 10th and Sunday he finished 8th. It was a good first meeting.

Easter weekend saw Nick Fennell in his type 27 at the Cadwell Park circuit. This was his first time at Cadwell and he qualified a good 17th and finished 13th. A good start for Nick in his FJ National Championship campaign.

The same weekend as Cadwell was the HGPCA meeting at Silverstone. Malcolm Ricketts went out for the first time this year in his type 18. He qualified 22nd and finished in 18th.

At Snetterton on Wednesday 4th May 2011, 33 years after winning the 1978 Formula One World Championship, Classic Team Lotus ran three JPS type 79s; chassis 1, 2 and 3. This never happened in period.

Chassis 2 and 3 are part of the Classic Team Lotus Works Collection. Chris Locke, as Patron of chassis 2, contributed to its restoration and the car is fitted with his engine. Chris Dinnage, Team Manager of Classic Team Lotus, was at the wheel. Chassis 3 was driven by Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman.

Steve and Sapphire hosted a visit from the Cambridge Lotus Club. They had a fantastic range of Lotus Cars with them and enjoyed the opportunity to photograph their car sitting next to our JPS type 91.

13th May was the opening of the Red Bull Ring, previously the Osterreichring in Austria. As you can imagine, Red Bull were on top form with fantastic air displays and demonstrations. Historic Formula One was the only race series invited to the track.

Dan Collins in his type 91/10 qualified and finished 4th in the first race. In the second race the fuel mixture went awry, making it very hard to drive, then the rain came down and this saw Dan out of the race.

Andrew Beaumont in his type 76/1 qualified 13th and finished 10th in the first race, which made him 2nd in class and in the very wet second race he climbed his way up to 6th.

The same weekend as Red Bull Ring, Kevin took the type 27 to the International Trophy at Silverstone. Nick qualified in 9th place and then finished the race in 10th. Overall, it was a good race with no problems.

The next weekend Nick Yallop and Chris Dinnage went over to the Barber Museum for the HMP event. Newly restored type 79/1 was delayed in transit and so missed the test day. Eventually, after an all night epic by Richard Parramint, it arrived the next day one hour before the practice was due to start. Nick and Chris managed to get the car out 15 minutes before the practice ended. So, after very little track time Doc Bundy qualified in 7th position.

There followed an all nighter on Friday (Chris’ birthday…) due to a wheel hub problem. The car was ready just in time for Q2 in which Doc gained pace to qualify 5th. Doc went on to finish 3rd on the track in the Saturday sprint race, although he was docked some places due to a procedural infringement. In the feature race on the Sunday Doc went on to win the 3rd place trophy! All the hard work really paid off, and owner Paul Rego was very happy with the results. Well done team!

The May bank holiday was the debut of the type 92 at Brands Hatch. Owner Roger Wills drove well to qualify in 10th place. In the race he climbed up to 5th place then, with one lap to go, disaster struck and the engine failed. Such a disappointment but the engine should be ready in time for the Silverstone Classic.

The weekend after Brands the team went to Monza. It was a wet weekend but with sunny spells. Dan qualified in 4th position in type 91/10. He was the only car to start the race on slicks so fell back, but as the track dried he picked the cars off one by one until he got to Richard Eyre in second place. They battled until the last lap when Dan spun but still managed to finish 6th.

Andrew Beaumont in 76/1 qualified 9th and finished 5th. A very good result especially in such bad conditions.

In the HGPCA race there were 32 cars on the grid. Andrew Beaumont in his LDS shot from 22nd to 12th and then finished 9th. Dan and Andrew enjoyed a mid race battle for 8th place; Dan eventually made it past and finished 8th in the type 21.

During the Monza weekend there was also a parade to mark 25 years since the loss of Elio de Angelis. Classic Team Lotus provided its 91/8 and 81/1 for an emotional demonstration by Emmanuele Pirro and Beppe Gabbiani in front of Elio’s family. Elio was much admired as a driver and as a thoroughly nice man, and drove more races for Team Lotus than any other driver. It was an honour to be part of the parade.

The weekend after was Snetterton for the Historic Formula Junior Trophy with Nick Fennell in the type 27. A brilliant day for Nick, he qualified 3rd and guarded his place well to finish in the same position. In the second race it rained. Nick started in pole position as the two cars in front of him did not make it to the race due to problems. In the rain Nick drove conservatively to finish in 6th place.

The same weekend as Snetterton was the Canadian GP. Chris Dinnage went out to attend 79/1, owned by Paul Rego, driven by Doc Bundy. It was the first time Doc had driven at Montreal and he had a good practice. There were 20 cars on the grid and Doc qualified in 5th place. In the race he got up to 4th place but then developed a misfire and went down to 7 cylinders, this saw him finish in 7th.

We were contacted by Verva Street Racing who manage a street demonstration event in Warsaw, Poland. The circuit was built in the centre of the city and looked very impressive. We had no idea what to expect so when we were greeted by a crowd of 85,000 people we were absolutely delighted. We took six cars in total; the 25/R5 (Nick Fennell), 49B/R10 (Malcolm Ricketts), 76/1 (Andrew Beaumont), 79/3 (Chris Dinnage), 91/10 (Dan Collins) and 102/4 (Andrew Morris). It was also televised and viewed by 4.5 million people. The cars ran brilliantly and the whole team enjoyed the experience. We hope to be there again next year.

The next two days was the Group Lotus grand opening of their test track. Nigel Mansell officially opened the revised and restored Hethel test track with a roar from the 1981 Essex Lotus type 81 in which he started his Formula One career more than 30 years ago. Hazel Chapman was a guest of honour, in the company of Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar.

Mansell led a convoy of seven stunning racing cars from the Lotus stable, including the innovative type 88 twin chassis car (driven by Leo Mansell) – which the FIA never allowed to race; the Lotus T125 Exos Experience car driven by fellow F1 legend Jean Alesi; and a brace of Lotus Renault GP cars piloted by current F1 stars Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna.

The following weekend was the Lotus Festival at Snetterton. The Festival, now back under the control of Paul Golding after last years take over by CTL, was a great weekend. We demonstrated a handful of cars during the day and the new layout of the circuit was received well by the crowd.

For the first time in public, Clive Chapman drove one of the cars from the collection, type 79/1. Somewhat hesitant at first but driving racing cars is in his blood so he soon settled in and quite enjoyed it. Other cars there were the 18 (Malcolm Ricketts), 25/R5 (Nick Fennell), 58 (Don Hands) and 102 (Andrew Morris). We launched the 2010 Festival Photo Book and DVD this weekend and they are now available to purchase from our webshop.

Just to cram another little appearance into our incredibly busy schedule – we attended the Royal Norfolk Show with type 72/9. Busseys kindly gave us a prime position on their stand to show this great car off to the local public.

Greg Chandler manned the stand both days and did an excellent job answering questions about the car.

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