Annual celebration also marks 50 years of the Elan and 1992 Olympic success.
The annual Lotus Festival returns to Brands Hatch this August (18/19), after three years at Snetterton. For 2012 it will take place on the Grand Prix circuit at a venue that has seen many of the British sportscar marque’s greatest glories and once more will echo to the sound of their Formula 1 racers.
Classic Team Lotus, the company founded by Colin Chapman’s son Clive, has restored many of the original team’s cars and will be bringing along several of them to the festival. This includes the 1968 Type 49 and 1978 Type 79, both World Championship winners. The 1985 Type 97T, a turbocharged car that returned Lotus to the winners’ circle with Ayrton Senna, and a V12-powered 102 from 1990 will also be on display. Clive Chapman and former Team Lotus driver Martin Donnelly will be taking part in F1 demonstration runs during the event.
More Lotus F1 cars are expected at the festival, as well as historic racing and road cars, many of which will be taking part in track parades. This will include the oldest surviving Lotus, a Mk 2. The company itself will be bringing its current range of road cars, plus racers including a spectacular Evora set to race in the American Grand Am series and the spectacular F1-inspired T125, which will take to the circuit.
Away from the track, Lotus’ success in the forests will be represented with live rally stage action, expected to include classic Sunbeams and Cortinas. Meanwhile an exhibit expected to be hugely popular following the London Olympic Games will be the Lotus pursuit bike that carried Chris Boardman to a gold medal twenty years ago. A prelude to Britain’s current cycling success, it’s appearance comes just weeks before the Paralympic Road Cycling events at the same venue.
The festival atmosphere will be completed with air displays, live music, a trade village and club displays, whilst a full programme of racing will entertain the crowd during the weekend. Headlined by the Lotus Cup UK and Elise Trophy series, there will also be a special one-off Elan 50th anniversary race for the classic 60s sportscar.
Lotus Enthusiasts can buy discounted tickets until the 10th August here: www.lotus-festival.com/tickets
General public entry tickets for the Lotus Festival at Brands Hatch on 18/19 August are available from £17, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk.