A Historical Celebration of Road Sports Cars That Took To The Tracks...
LOTUS ELISE GT1
Raced in FIA GT Championship 1997 , Le Mans 1997
The 1997 FIA GT series was GT racing at its extreme with
Mercedes CLK , McLaren F1 and Porsche GT1 evo setting
such a high standard the new Lotus Elise had little chance in
its first and only season. Despite a decent driver line-up the
car failed both in pace and in reliability over the 10 rounds.
The Lotus Racing/Franck Muller team ran 2/3 cars for the
likes of Fabien Giroix , Jean-Denis Deletraz , Jan Lammers
and Mike Hezemans . 8th at Spa was its best finish with only
6 finishes from 18 . The team qualified one car at Le Mans
but retired. The GBF ( UK ) team did get 5th at Helsinki and
also finished 6 times from 14 starts. GBF`s drivers were
Luca Badoer , Mimo Schiatterella , Pier-Luigi Martini and
Simone Boldrini. First Racing and MVR teams failed to
finish any of the 7 starts between them.
Raced in international GT races in late 60`s, early 70`s
including Daytona 24-hours 1975,76,77 + 78
ENGINE : Renault 4 cylinder 1470cc / 1565cc ( 80 BHP )
Lotus Ford Twin-cam 1558cc ( 105 BHP )
PRODUCTION : 9882 ( around half with twin cam engines )
In pure GT terms the Europa had only little success across
the continent due to the lack of power from its Renault
engine. The car itself was modern and used Chapmans F1
skills for good handling and light weight.
The racing version was the `47` and used a cosworth 165
BHP engine and new gearbox plus `snorkle` air intakes.
These looked like Europas but were homolgated as either
Prototypes or Sports class cars and ran at many world
championship events. The `62` of 1969 evolved the theme
The Europa did have one fabulous final evolution as a GT car
with the Zakspeed built one-off for Harold Ertl in 1979 as
a KKK turbo-charged wide bodied Group 5 that qualified 19th
at the Nurburgring 1000 kms. The car looked great but was
a minute slower than the Zakspeed silhouette Capris with the
POWER : WEIGHT : around 900 KGS
PRODUCTION : 1996 to date
Commercially succesful Lotus road car launched in 1996 and
redesigned for series 2 in 2000 with either Rover or Toyota 1.8
engines. Many limited editions and worldwide variants.
Racing debut in Belcar April 1997 where the Elise regulary raced up
2002. British GT debut 2000 when Sterling Motorsport ran in 5
events in GTO class. Returned to Brit GT in a bigger way with the
GT Cup class in 2003 with 4 of the teams making the top 10 during
the season : Lanzante ( 8th ) , Team Wireless ( 9th ) , Grifo Corse
( 10th ) and RML ( 11th ). Three teams ran in the 2004 season
Lanzante ,Kershaw Racing and Team Jedi.
Thereafter Elises raced in Australian GT ( 2005-08 ) and BRITCAR
( 2009-12 ).
LOTUS EVORA CUP ( GT4 / GTE PRO Class )
RACED : British GT ( 2011- ) , Le Mans ( 2011 ) and International events including American LeMans series
ENGINE : Cosworth V6 4000 cc
The Evora made its race debut in August 2010 at the Nurburgring and entered the British GT series in 2011 with Lotus Sport UK in a season that included taking the Lotus marque back to Le Mans with a 22nd place finish.
The Lotus Elise peaked in British GT in the 2003 season. This is the Grifo Corse entry one of a handful of rival team cars in the GT Cup class that year.