With the sun shining and the Red Arrows coming, this year’s Lotus Festival was destined to be a great event! We estimate that more than 1,000 Lotus cars drove through the gates over the weekend and almost 100 die-hard owners even stayed until last thing on Sunday for some parade laps around the Brands Hatch circuit. Anniversaries were celebrated for the Esprit which was first shown 40 years ago in Paris, 25 years since the venerable Lotus Carlton was launched and 20 years (yes, really) since the Lotus Elise was launched, with great display lineups from all 3 models which drew big crowds all weekend. These displays were able to drive around the track on Saturday lunchtime between the races and a lap of the GP there is a real treat!
The packed race timetable included Lotus Cup UK, Elise Trophy and the high-end FIA Lotus Cup Europe. A full report with pictures from the LCE race is available here.
Sunday afternoon saw a collection of Classic F1 cars take to the track including a Lotus 21, Lotus 101 and V12 engined Lotus 102. More excitement and noise was added with 2 Benetton F1 cars (the B190 and B193) and 2 700bhp Lola 3000 F1 replicas.
Lotus dealers from around the country were in force with 7 making their way to Kent for the Festival, selling 6 of their cars between them and making others taking very good leads for new orders. The rest of the trade village were busy all weekend with a variety of stands selling everything Lotus related for visitors having travelled from around the UK and Europe. The Evora 400 made an appearance all weekend and was always surrounded by a crowd with Scott Walker, UK Sales Manager for Lotus answering the myriad of questions about the car and starting it up for the occasional blip, what a noise!
The car clubs in attendance put on an excellent show, bringing well over 150 cars between them and make a fantastic display for all tastes from the classics of the Historic Lotus Club to specific clubs for the Seven, Excel, Vx220, Carlton and Cortina along with more general Lotus clubs from around the country such as the East Anglian Lotus Club, Lotus Drivers Club and North Kent Lotus Group.
Well done to the all of the Show and Shine competition winners, details of these are on the Festival website.
A huge thanks to all who visited the Lotus Festival this year, all those who helped out over the weekend and all those who bought their wonderful cars along. Also thanks to Paul Golding of LoTRDC without whom the Festival wouldn’t happen and the wonderful staff at Brands Hatch, they’re brilliant. We’re already planning 2016, watch this space! Make sure you ‘like’ the Lotus Festival on facebook for news and keep an eye on the Festival website.
Thanks to nineteen80one.com for the images. Click on any to open the gallery.