Classic Team Lotus cars confirmed

Lotus 79 Lotus Festival

Classic Team Lotus has confirmed four cars for the festival, three of which will run on the Grand Prix circuit during the event. The organisation, run by Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s son Clive, specialise in restoring and running classic racers on behalf of owners and the cars are kept to an exceptionally high standard.

The 49B is one of Team Lotus’ finest creations. Designed for the new Cosworth DFV engine, the 3 litre powerplant revolutionised the sport, winning races and championships over a 15-year period. It was also mounted to the chassis as a stressed member, saving weight over a then-conventional design. The practice is still in use in modern F1. A privately-entered 49 in the hands of Jo Siffert won the 1968 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, with Graham Hill taking the title that year.

Ten years later the 79 refined ground effect, and powered Mario Andretti to the World Championship. One of the most beautiful F1 cars ever designed, form followed function with the whole body shaped to make full use of the airflow, heralding an obsession with aerodynamics that lasts to this day.

The turbo-powered 97T coincided with Ayrton Senna’s Lotus debut, with the Brazilian tasting victory for the first time in the wet at Portugal, with a further win at Spa. Meanwhile Elio de Angelis won in San Marino, as the team enjoyed an Indian summer.

The last car produced by Team Lotus before it changed ownership will also be at the festival. The 102 which appeared for the first time in years at last year’s festival will run again. It’s Lamborghini engine was the only V12 to power a Lotus.

Clive Chapman, 1990 Team Lotus driver Martin Donnelly and Andrew Morris are confirmed as the drivers.

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