The 2014 Lotus Festival was the 7th year for the event and despite a couple of very brief showers (!) the day went very well for all involved. With an official presence from Lotus Cars on the day, they displayed their current range including an Pewter Grey Evora SR, Exige S V6 coupe and Roadster and Elise Club Racer along with Lotus Motorsport who attended with the full carbon bodied Evora GTE we last saw in Geneva in 2012, the $1m T125 track car, Elise Cup R and Evora GT4. Classic Team Lotus didn’t disappoint with a selection of cars showing of the race team livery over the years with a green and yellow Type 32B as driven Jim Clark, the Gold Leaf Type 49B which Graham Hill won the Monaco GP driving in 1968 and 1969, JPS Type 79 and Camel Type 99T which was the last car Team Lotus won a GP with in the hands of Ayrton Senna in 1987.
The trade village, which this year was 50% bigger than the previous event reported a brisk day and car clubs were all packed out with terrific examples of their chosen niche. On track, there were demo’s of some classic F1 cars including the Lotus 101 and Micheal Schumacher’s Benneton 109B among others. The LoTRDC racing was eventful and enjoyable and we’re pleased to report than Marcus Jewell, who had a significant off on the GP circuit was released from the Medical Center and seen walking around the paddock later in the day.
The 2013 festival marked 50 years since Team Lotus won its first Formula 1 World Championship and a Type 25 joined 49, 58 and 91 models, the later three taking to the track. It was also the legendary Lotus Cortina’s Golden anniversary, and this was celebrated with the largest ever gathering of the famous saloons, plus two unforgettable anniversary races. Guests of honour were saloon car champions Sir John Whitmore and Jack Sears.
Lotus Cup Europe returned to British shores, with a pair of races in addition to Lotus Cup UK and the Elise Trophy. An Esprit timeline and 340R parade joined the trade stands, rally stage action and aerobatic display.
This year’s festival provided many more memorable moments to add to previous events and Brands Hatch was filled with some incredible cars. In addition to fantastic racing and a party atmosphere, the sound of Gavan Kershaw in the T125, plus Clive Chapman, Andrew Morris and Martin Donnelly lapping the Grand Prix circuit in World Championship-winning cars and a V12 screamer will be remembered for some time to come. Fans will be thrilled to hear that the Lotus Festival will return to Brands Hatch on 24/25 August 2013!
In 2011 Classic Team Lotus returned with more demonstration runs, including the first appearance for the Lamborghini-powered 102, the only Lotus F1 car to run a V12 engine. Martin Donnelly, who drove one of the cars in the 1990 season, paired up with Gavan Kershaw for his first works drive since then, piloting an Evora to victory in the headline Lotus Cup UK race.
Elise Trophy races supported the main action, whilst Group Lotus provided passenger rides in Evora road cars. Clive Chapman drove the Type 79 that won his father’s final World Championship titles, joined on track by other classics including the legendary 25 and hugely influential 58.
Lotus Festival becomes Classic Team Lotus Festival and the greatest Lotus Motorsport event ever?
On 20th June 2010 the Classic Team Lotus Festival at Snetterton probably became the greatest Lotus Motorsport event today, thanks to the generous participation of owners from all over the world, one of every type of Team Lotus Formula One car was gathered together for the first time. More details here: http://www.classicteamlotus.co.uk/content/heritage.aspx
In addition to the wonderful sight of so many historic Lotus F1 cars the event was also supported by the Lotus Racing F1 team who obtained special permission from the FIA to run their latest F1 car before heading off for the European GP. With both Heikki Kovalainen & Jarno Trulli present and driving on circuit we also saw team boss Mike Gascoyne take to the circuit.
The packed crowd also saw races from both the Elise Trophy and Lotus Cup Europe.
Lotus Festival moves to Snettterton.
With the Festival being so popular in the opening 2 years a decision was taken to move to a warmer month and the Lotus World descended on Snetterton just a stones through from Lotus HQ in Hethel mid July.
Everything seemed to come together at the same time with Group Lotus and Classic Team Lotus both supporting the event to an even greater level than previously. With Classic F1 cars, Evora’s going side wides and numerous displays and demonstration runs to thrill the huge crowd. We were even privileged to bear witness to the Worlds fastest man – Wing Commander Andy Green OBE taking part in his very first car race when he competed in the Elise Trophy.
As if that wasn’t enough Lotus owners pulled together to bring the circuit to a standstill and set a new World record for the largest number of Lotus cars in a parade at 436.
Lotus Festival in the Snow with British Truck Superprix.
A year later the Festival returned to Brands Hatch with the Elise Trophy now heading an even bigger event with the huge trucks that form the British Truck championship hurtling around Brands Hatch. This time however, rather than just one grid of Lotus race cars there was two so much had the Elise Trophy grown. Although the snow fell late spirits were never dampened and another fantastic weekend was had by all.
Lotus Festival launches Elise Trophy at Brands Hatch.
The Lotus Festival was created in March 2007 to help launch the Elise Trophy, a new one marque race series. The inaugural event was supported by both Group Lotus CEO: Mike Kimberley and Brands Hatch circuit owner Jonathan Palmer.
Alongside a full grid of Lotus race cars there was parades provided by Historic Lotus Club, trade stands and even a band (Doctor and the Medics) to thrill a huge Lotus crowd.