The car, owned by enthusiast Steve Griffiths, was the first normally-aspirated Lotus for five years. The Judd V8-powered car, designed by ex-Williams aerodynamicist Frank Dernie, was driven by Nelson Piquet and Satoru Nakajima. With turbo engines banned, the 101 reintroduced high-revving screamers to the sport.
The tightly-packaged 101 was originally shaken down at Snetterton by then test driver Martin Donnelly. Steve’s 101 was first raced in April of that year by Piquet, before being campaigned by Satoru Nakajima for the rest of the season. The Japanese driver scored a best result of fourth in the Australian GP.
The following year the car was tested by Johnny Herbert before being sold by Team Lotus. After spending the next 20 years in storage it was purchased by Steve Griffiths, who restored the car to original condition in time for the 2010 Lotus Festival, including a rebuild of the Judd V8.
The Benetton B190 that powered triple World Champion Nelson Piquet to his penultimate Grand Prix victory in 1990 will join the Lotus Festival F1 line-up at Brands Hatch this August.
Designed under the direction of legendary designer John Barnard, the B190 began a rise to prominence to Benetton, who won two World titles with Michael Schumacher in the middle of the decade. The team was later bought by Renault, then Genii Capital, who signed a deal with Lotus for 2011, running under the famous racing name ever since.
Back in 1990 Piquet was joined by rising star and Grand Prix winner Alessandro Nannini, but a helicopter accident for the latter ended his F1 career. He was replaced by Roberto Moreno and the pairing finished 1-2 in the Japanese Grand Prix, the second year that the team benefitted from a clash between title contenders Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Piquet then won the next race in Australia, which concluded the season.
The B190’s Ford V8 engine produces 650bhp at 11,500rpm and is currently owned by enthusiast John Reaks, who has demonstrated the car at several events as well as being a Lotus on Track regular.