A Relatively Quiet End To An Exceptional Year
The last event of a busy season was Portimao where we ran Andrew Beaumont in his type 76 and his LDS. Andrew has done really well throughout his first full season of historic motorsport, with an excellent finish record and numerous podium finishes. He rounded it off with another good performance in Portugal, finishing 5th & 6th in the 76 and 9th & 8th in the LDS.
Back at base the last quarter gave the team a chance to take stock, catch up on holidays and reflect on an extraordinary year. CTL ran cars at 24 events and our customers started 110 times and finished 106 times. So, many congratulations to the drivers and to the mechanics. (Loyalty to our customers prevents us from explaining three of the DNFs……; the fourth one was an engine problem.)
The concentrated workshop time gave Bob Dance the chance to finish the restoration of the Colin Chapman Lotus Eleven Sports chassis number 260. This is the only road going Lotus which Colin Chapman bought, as opposed to sold. As you can imagine Bob has made a wonderful job of restoring what was a very derelict car. Competition Fabrications worked wonders to recover all of the original bodywork, intact. Great care has been taken to preserve originality throughout. Clive Chapman enjoyed a very special moment driving the car around the Hethel test track, with Bob riding shotgun for what he claimed to be his first ever ride in an Eleven.
Everyone at CTL is fond of the Eleven and we decided to take a team photo with the car for the 2012 CTL calendar. What better venue than East Carleton Manor and in the company of Hazel Chapman? Unfortunately Jeremy Peirson was absent from the line-up which is a shame, especially as Jeremy has done so much in his licensing role to generate funds for the maintenance of the Classic Collection. Sorry Jeremy!
Tim Gardner has at last had the opportunity to finish restoring Paul Dezelsky’s Cooper T52 Formula Junior car. He really has done a splendid job within a tight time constraint. Paul advised us that the car ran originally in Swiss racing colours and some research led us to a spectacular orange/red. Chris Dinnage has shaken down the car on the Hethel test track and things are looking good for Paul to begin his historic motorsport career in 2012.
At the invitation of the LOG 31 organisers Bob Dance attended this great Lotus event over the pond, this year in Las Vegas no less. Bob was afforded a great welcome, as ever, and the hundreds of Lotus enthusiasts enjoyed hearing more of Bob’s reminiscences, this time in the company of Steve Hallam, ex Team Lotus Race Engineer from the 1980s. Bob attended the season finale Indy car race where he was pleased to get together with old friend Mario Andretti. (Tragically this was the race in which Dan Wheldon was killed.)
While the rest of us youngsters were happy to stay at home, Bob then headed straight back to the States for the Regogo Racing Christmas party in Dallas! He was accompanied by Richard Parramint and Nick Yallop, who was the lead mechanic on the restoration of Paul Rego’s 79/1. As ever, Regogo Racing were most generous hosts; they sure know how to give a party. Paul Rego put his Bentley at the disposal of the Limeys and Bob appears to have taken to the Texan lifestyle rather well.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we have been catching up with various matters set aside by the demands of the race season. Nick Yallop undertook a major overhaul of the ‘Cold Store’ and has sorted out years of original Team Lotus spares. Also Nick has embarked on the restoration of 81/4 and the commissioning of 81B/5, related projects which will run along side by side. Kevin Smith has given 88B/1 a major overhaul, thoroughly deserved after her FToD triumph at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Lewis Cullington, with input from Buyer Roger Yallop, has finally nailed a cooling issue we had with our type 30. Also Lewis has made a start on the winter overhaul for 76/1.
We finish the year with the workshop rammed full of cars and the prospect of heading for the Autosport International Racing Car Show immediately we start after the Christmas break. We hope we will see some of you there and will be pleased to welcome you on to the Classic Team Lotus stand where we will be displaying various treats for Team Lotus enthusiasts.