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F1 cars and sports racers set to star at Lotus Festival

Wednesday, August 21 2013

A host of Lotus road and race cars from past and present are scheduled to appear at the Lotus Festival at Brands Hatch this weekend (24/25 August), with many taking to the Grand Prix circuit.

Lotus Festival regulars Classic Team Lotus will be running Formula 1 cars from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The outfit, which is run by Lotus founder Colin Chapman's son Clive, maintains the cars on behalf of owners, and even employs some of the original Team Lotus mechanics, including marque legend Bob Dance, who will be attending this weekend.

The Type 58 from 1968 has been restored to Formula 2 specification but was originally intended for F1 use. Jim Clark was due to test this machine after the Hockenheim race that claimed his life and whilst Graham Hill and John Miles took to the wheel, it wasn't raced. A rare sight, it was restored at the turn of the century but its wedge shape influenced future cars including the all-conquering Type 72.

The 72's successor, the Type 76, was an advanced car for its time, featuring a four-pedal setup with a button-operated clutch. Andrew Beaumont's car, one of just two built,, was driven by Ronnie Peterson and had the distinction of leading both the Silverstone International Trophy Race and the Spanish GP in 1974.

The Type 91 was the last car to win a race for Team Lotus in Colin Chapman's lifetime. After the controversial 86 and 88 twin-chassis designs, it represented a back-to-basics approach. Elio de Angelis used it to defeat World Champion-elect Keke Rosberg by just inches in the 1982 Austrian Grand Prix.

Jim Clark's Type 25, which won Team Lotus' first World Championship fifty years ago will be on static display at the event. Its monocoque design revolutionised F1 and cars are still built using the same method of construction.

Meanwhile Lotus Motorsport will be bringing machinery from both ends of the scale, from the 100cc Lotus Kart to the Type 125 trackday special. With F1-inspired looks, it features a 640bhp 3.5 litre Cosworth V8 and paddleshift gearbox. In between these, the Exige V6 Cup and Evora GT4 are race cars based upon the road-going versions, and examples will also be competing on track during the weekend. Budding track drivers can also find out about the Lotus Driving Academy, with their Elise and Evora training cars also on show.

Lotus Cars will also be bringing the highly-acclaimed new V6-powered Exige S Roadster to the festival, along with its hard-topped brother. The similarly-powered Evora Sports Racer special edition will also be present, along with the 4-cylinder Elise S Club Racer lightweight special.

The Lotus Festival also features a packed programme of racing, trade stands, rally stage action, owners' club displays and live music.

Tickets for the Lotus Festival at Brands Hatch on 24/25 August are available on the gate for £22 with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.