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    Lotus return to the 'Ring!

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    Lotus return to the 'Ring!

     

    Just two weeks after the amazingingly successful Lotus Cup Europe round at the Nurburgring, the fabled ‘Green Hell’ will once again echo to the sounds of a Lotus, but this time just two Exige’s will take on around 220 other competitors in the 38th ADAC Zurich 24H Nurburging race to be run over the weekend of 15/16th May.

    With the anticipated Evora not appearing on the provisional entry list, Norfolk honour will be upheld by Stratton Motor Company with its’ entry of an Exige Cup in the SP3T class. This class calls for a maximum power output of 260bhp and minimum weight of 840kg, and with a standard engine set-up the Exige will be running very close to production spec., so will be facing quite a challenge. 


    The Exige is set to be driven by Stratton regular Matt Cummings, Evo journalist and racer Roger Green, and Gavan Kershaw who surely needs no introduction here as Lotus Car’s Test Driver. However, Stratton say that drive packages are available and of course they would be pleased to hear from potential sponsors!

    Run on the fabulous old Nordschleife, the 24H is rapidly growing in stature and whilst the entry is made-up with large numbers of enthusiastic amateurs it is seeing increasing numbers of works or works-supported entries, this year including the likes of Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Nissan, Porsche and VW amongst others. 

    For further information about the event, visit adac.24h-rennen.de

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    Re: Lotus return to the 'Ring!

     Unfortunately it's already game over for Lotus. The Stratton Exige CUP (114) burnt down after 6 hours  Gladly the driver, Roger Green, got out unhurt. 


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    Re: Lotus return to the 'Ring!

    What a shame, Nordschleife really is hell. Awesome performance by the driver.


    Re: Lotus return to the 'Ring!

    SmileySmileySmiley

    Glad he is ok.Smiley

    BlueflameSmiley


    Re: Lotus return to the 'Ring!

     Matt Cummings' comments about what happened :

    "Looks like we had a foreign object damage from something off another car that got flicked up and sheared some items in the engine bay. Was a same the car didn't stop before as it as burning for about 5 km.....

    More later Matt"

    and

    "Everyone is all ok, Rog hasn't a mark on him and the fire didn't get into the cabin, and the car will ride again. We shall use the machine for Silverstone. Rog, Gavan and me have unfinished business here in Germany we shall do this again next year this we have already said!!! The whole team is happy and in good minds. It could have been worse, and we all saw and avoided many many bad accidents!!!!

    Matt"


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    Re: Lotus return to the 'Ring!

     2 pics of the car in memoriam  


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    Re: Lotus return to the 'Ring!

     comment from Roger :

    Hi guys, As you saw I am absolutely fine - got a bit smokey in there though. It was real shame, the car was brilliant up to that point, all three drivers were hitting the target lap times and we were working our way up the field.

    This was the start of my second stint, so the car was brimmed with fuel. I saw a flash of flame while on the GP circuit and thought a small amount had spilt at the stop. I couldn't see the flames out the back - you only have small wing mirrors. Anyway, when the engine spluttered I knew it was bad. The brakes only worked briefly, which is why I steered into the barrier, it was the only thing I could do to scrub off speed. By this time the cockpit was full of smoke and I couldn't see anything and I still had to unhook the window net, release the belts and find the door handle. With that done I wasn't going to hang around.

    It looks like debris (probably a piece of metal) went through the engine vent on the side and sliced trough the hoses. Nobody's fault, one of those deals. Feel sorry for all the guys who have worked so hard to get us here.

    Thanks for all your comments, Rog


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    Re: Lotus return to the 'Ring!

    Here's the "Nürburgring 24h - race report" of the Stratton Exige CUP :

     

    I was at this year’s ADAC Nürburgring 24 hour race with the fully race prepared Lotus Exige Cup 260 being raced by the Stratton Motor Company in the SP 3T class. My role was on each pit stop helping with topping the tanks and providing fire cover due to my experience as an MSA licensed Specialist Marshal. Dressed from head to toe in a Nomex fire retardant race suit I would was either to use the regulation exhaust cover on stops to keep the red hot tip enclosed and unable to ignite any split fuel and to attach the tank vent equipment. This allows the air which is rapidly being displaced by fuel to leave the tank via a route other than the fill pipe, speeding up the process and adding an element of safety to the procedure which is inherently a dangerous act especially under the pressure of a race environment. Other team members were involved in the pit stops as during this brief window the car needs to be visually inspected, tyres checked or changed, driver swapped and screen cleaned etc.

     
     

    Endurance racing is never going to be easy, that's what makes it such a great class of racing to watch. Preparations are made to the car to cover all and every conceivable possibility before the race, nothing however can prepare against the unexpected despite all precautions and after almost 6 hours of solid and position gaining racing the Lotus Exige Cup team of Stratton Motor Company ended their chances of success due to fire. We're still unsure of exactly what caused the fire which lead to the dramatic exit of the race but Roger Green of EVO Magazine who was driving at the time exited safely and unscathed, nothing was evident from a mechanical inspection after the car was returned to the paddock.

     

    Up to this point the car and drivers were progressing incredibly well through the field. Of 199 starters, we were placed 99th so exactly mid grid. Gavan Kershaw of Lotus Car took the first drive and immediately gained places with impressive speed and consistently good laps times no doubt helped by his thousands of hours experience in the Exige and it's contempories in his work. Matt Cummings also saw gains during his stints in the car with incredibly similar laps times through the race, the key to success in which is consistency. Roger Green before the race had explained to me that one of the hardest elements of a 24 hour race is maintaining focus and concentration as this isn't a 20 minute sprint, remembering to relax as well as be at ten tenths, both of which are of paramount importance which helps greatly maintaining consistent lap times and is really the dark art of the race, the zen of endurance.

     

    Guy Evans, Team Manager and mentor was doing well with the team really beginning to perform well and operations were becoming slicker and slicker at this point in the race. The hardest part of his job is dealing with the few unexpected, small but significant problems which require instant assessment and decision making. We'd had minor problems which were all dealt with swiftly and professionally and my hopes were high for a seriously good result and even the few hours I'd planned for sleep were put on hold due to the ever building excitement and constant adrenalin of working in the race. Pit stops were speeding up and the car was really on tune, driving very fast and the drivers were all putting in excellent times and were very happy with their progress.

     

     

    At a couple of minutes shy of 6 hours in, we saw TV coverage in the garage of the car on fire. It appeared that Roger hadn't seen the flames which were gaining in their momentum with flares from the rear of the car and wheel arch until they reached closer to the cabin. The heat ruptured a tyre and Roger slowed to the edge of the track and bailed out rolling to safety. We all felt huge relief to see him reach safety behind the armco and look ok, the fire marshals arriving and doing their job.

     

    All in all, a sad end to what was becoming an excellent performance, the positions at this point in the race were 82nd overall and more importantly the team had progressed up to 11th in class from starting in 19th. Matt has resolved to get the car back to race spec and return for another go in 2011, fingers crossed I'll be there too!

     

    The race was won in a surprise victory by the BMW M3 GT2 driven by Augusto Farfus, Pedro Lamy, Uwe Alzen and Jorg Muller which completed 154 laps of the 'Ring and our class was eventually won by car #133 with 141 laps.

     

    The link to the Full Image Gallery 

    [Source]


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    Re: Lotus return to the 'Ring!


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    Re: Lotus return to the 'Ring!

     


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