1988 was the last time a 1000km race was held at Brands Hatch, a race won by Martin Brundle and Andy Wallace in a Jaguar XJR-9. This race perhaps wasn’t quite the glorious Group C level but Paul Golding’s brave decision to resurrect a 1000km race for the Lotus Elise Trophy and Lotus Cup Europe race series was a gamble that at times looked crazy but turned out a spectacular success. The 519 lap 9 hour marathon was absolutely nail biting from start to finish with no team comfortable at any point until the chequered flag.
The track-club Elise R with Marcus Jewell, Greg Noble and Ramon Piñeiro on board took a giant killing overall podium and a class win against 18 other production class cars (a field of 28 Production Class cars and Lotus Cup Europe cars started). With the track-club run Perrys team taking fourth overall and second in class it was a spectacular result for the team in their third season of Lotus racing. Indeed were it not for an off in the first hour then overall victory would have been achieved. Each and every track-club prepared car took the chequered flag an achievement itself regardless of the spectacular race result.
Congratulations to all of the track-club run drivers – Marcus Jewell, Greb Noble, Remon Pinerio, Ken Savage, Martin Roberts, Eugene O’Brien, Simon Jones, Nigel Ayres and Paul Chase Gardener who all completed the 1000km
Despite the busy track day and race season track-club haven’t been letting things slip with regards to fleet development. Planned additions for 2011 are a new race prepared Elise R and a DTM lookalike Audi RS4. track-club Managing Director Stephen Docherty commented that with more and more drivers looking to make the transition from track days to club level sprint and endurance racing the fleet will gradually evolve with more cars available for race hire as well as track day use. The first of these additions will be an Elise R prepared to the same specification as the track-club prepared Elise R raced by Marcus Jewell in the Elise Trophy series in 2010.
The Audi RS4 will replacing the popular but ageing BMW E36 M3. track-club will always try and keep at least one ‘super saloon’ and one ‘hot hatch’ on the hire fleet in order to give customers a variety of options. These will always include the ever popular Lotus fleet we will always try and ensure something different is available for those who want something other than a Caterham or Lotus. The awesome Palmer JP1 will remain on the fleet as will the Lotus 2-Eleven which is having a back to bare tub rebuild over the winter months. Ths will also involve the fitting of a full FIA GT4 spec roll cage and a power hike to 270bhp.
An eventful race weekend at the Elise Trophy race supporting the Brands Hatch World Touring Car Event over three days at Brands Hatch! Plenty of track time was available to the Lotus drivers with two free practice sessions, a full 30 minutes qualifying and then two races.
The weekend saw Ken Savage out racing after some upgrades to improve his S1 Elise – a fuel drain system, some lighter parts and most significantly new Quantum single way adjustable dampers saw Ken achieve his best result of the season so far with a close fourth place in the first race. Marcus Jewell took a podium behind an unstoppable Steve Williams who was on fine form at his favourite circuit.
The podium for Jewell was hard fought after two gravel trap visits in free practice but things didn’t go his way in the second race when he had the front corner damaged in an accident after Hawthorn bend. Things went equally wrong for Greg Noble who hit the wall hard a Paddock Hill bend whilst running in second place but in testament to the safety of the Elises both drivers were fine and the damage was largely cosmetic.
The next Elise Trophy round is at Cadwell Park on Saturday 21st August.
track-club run Elise Trophy driver Marcus Jewell made it three victories in the 2010 series with a win in the first race of the well supported Lotus Festival event at Snetterton. Following up the double victory at Silverstone Jewell drove a superb lights to flag race after a front row lockout for track-club with Rob Myers taking P2 on the grid.
Jewell paid tribute on the podium to the Quantum dampers which have transformed the handling of the Elise R following a long winter build and test program for the car.
The second race saw a reverse grid top ten meaning Jewell had to start from 10th place but another great drive saw him battle through to take the final podium spot after a great battle with James Knight. James madea superb move at the esses in the lighter Elise S1 to take second place with Mick Edwards taking victory effectively reversing the podium slots from the first race.
The Lotus Festival was a tough weekend for track-club with the team running no fewer than ten cars across the four Elise races. In addition to the win and podium for Marcus Jewell the team took a one two in the Lotuc Cup Europe invation class and two podiums for new race David Jacobs in the Exige Class of Lotus Cup Europe. The latter was particularly impressive as the car had only been collected from the factory ten days earlier and it was Davids first race weekend in the series.