Lotus Racing made its F1 Championship debut at the 2010 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, with drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli finishing in fifteenth and seventeenth place respectively. The CEO of Lotus Racing is Riad Asmat, with Mike Gascoyne as the technical director. The team’s drivers are Italian Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen of Finland, with Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy as test driver. The Lotus T127 chassis is powered by a Cosworth CA2010 engine, with Bridgestone supplying the tires.
While the name Lotus may be a familiar one to racing enthusiasts, Lotus Racing is not a resurrection of the original Team Lotus that was so prominent on the F1 scene between 1954 and 1994. It is a new team that is an initiative of the Malaysian Government to promote national unity, and is backed by a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs, including Proton (the owner of Lotus Cars and the connection to the original team), Tune Group, Sepang International Circuit, Naza Motors, the Automobile Association of Malaysia, and the Motorsports Association of Malaysia.
Lotus Racing was a late entry into the 2010 F1 Championships, and pulled out all the stops to have its cars on the grid for the first race of the season. Having successfully completed their debut event, the future looks promising for this new team, with a legendary name.
On the 13th of September 2009, a great collection of British vehicles will be on display, from the classics dating back to 1928, to the more recent models. Every American who has ever owned a British vehicle or just been an enthusiast of some of the luxury and sporty vehicles available are recommended to make their way to the British Car Festival 2009. Visitors to the festival can look forward to seeing makes such as Land-Rover, Lotus, Riley, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin and Mini Cooper, to name but a few.
British vehicle enthusiast seeking more information in regard to the festival can visit the British Car Union website at http://www.britishcarunion.com/.
Date: 13 September 2009
Venue: Oakton Community College
City: Des Plaines, Illinois
Country: United States of America
On March 21, 1960, Ayrton Senna da Silva was born into a wealthy Brazilian family along with his brother and sister. Although he led a privileged life with all his needs and wants catered for, his love and inner need to race pushed him to go further and push racing to the extreme. This obsession began at an early age when his father first gave him a miniature go-kart at the age of four years. Ayrton Senna’s memories of his childhood are highlighted with Grand Prix mornings where he would sit down and watch intensely as his Formula One heroes competed. His turn to race took place at the age of thirteen years when he raced a kart for the first time and won.
Later he moved onto single-seater racing in Britain, where he proved himself a formidable force to be reckoned with by winning five championships in three years. His passion for racing continued and finally he made his Formula One debut with Toleman in 1984. In Monaco, Senna proved that he was more then just a driver but that he had phenomenal talent, when he came second to Alain Prost’s McLaren in torrential rain.
In 1985 Ayrton Senna bought out his contract with Toleman and moved to Lotus where he could further his ambitions as a Formula One driver. This is exactly what he did, within three seasons he began in pole position sixteen times and won a total of six races. Again he came to a standstill as to what he could achieve within Lotus and so decided to take the next step forward and move to McLaren in 1988. Here he stayed for a total of six seasons, winning altogether three world championships and 35 races, showing his domination as a driver. Then in time for the 1994-racing season Senna moved to Williams for that ill-fated year.
Senna put his heart and soul into his driving and life itself, that was the type of man he was. It could be seen time and again by all his fans just how committed he was to the sport and what a thrilling spectacle it was to see him lap after lap. This ambition did not go without condemnation from the critics and infact it was Prost who accused Senna of caring more for the win then life itself. Ayrton Senna even confessed that he at times went too far to the point of even frightening himself. Although he was quite taken up with racing this did not mean that he was too self-absorbed to recognise the suffering of his fellow man. By the time he died in 1994 he had given approximately $400 million to children and to the underprivileged in Brazil.
Senna had always seen living as putting ‘your everything’ into what ever you did and come the time that he could not, he would rather die instantly then carry on. This is exactly what happened on May 1, 1994, at the San Marino Grand Prix. He was racing in his leading Williams when he veered off the track and hit the concrete wall. Millions of his fans saw Senna come to his end on television. The world mourned the passing of this man who had captivated his audience right from the beginning. Among the mourners at Ayrton’s funeral was Frank Williams, who said, “Ayrton was no ordinary person. He was actually a greater man out of his car than in it.”
Norman Graham Hill, or as most people knew him Graham Hill, was born on February 15, 1929 in Hamstead, London. He was made famous as an English motor racing champion and is the only driver to win what is known as the Triple Crown of Motorsport.
Graham Hill started off serving in the military, after which he joined Smiths Instruments as a mechanic. Later on he found his skills as a mechanic served him well when he joined Team Lotus as a mechanic during the mid 1950s. Unlike most other drivers, Graha only started his racing career at the late age of about 30 years. Due to Lotus’ attendance at Formula One it wasn’t long before he had a chance to race there. His debut race took place at Monaco Grand Prix in 1958.
Two years later in 1960, Hill joined British Racing Motors (BRM), later winning the world championship with the BRM team. Hill was also part of the alleged ‘British invasion’ of drivers who took part in the Indianapolis 500 during 1965. A year later he won the Indianapolis 500 in a Lola-Ford. With Lotus, Graham Hill was able to help develop the Lotus 49, which contained a new Cosworth- V8 engine.
With the unfortunate and untimely death of team mates Jim Clark and Mike Spence, Hill was left to lead the team, which he successfully did, with a win at his second world championship in 1968. The Lotus was growing in reputation as an immensely fragile and dangerous car, especially since the new aerodynamic aids had also caused similar accidents with Jochen Rindt and Hill during the Spanish Grand Prix in 1969. That same year Hill broke his legs at the United States Grand Prix, putting a spoke in his career.
At the age of 41 years, Graham Hill refused to retire, carrying on his Formula One racing for another 7 more years, but with little success. The last win he ever had in Formula One was in the non-Championships International Trophy in 1971 at Silverstone with the Brabham BT34. Graham was also known throughout his career for his endurance. In 1972 he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Matra with Henri Pescarolo. With this win he finished the so-called Triple Crown of Motor Sport: winning the F1 World Championship, the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours. Till today he is the only person ever to have achieved this.
Born in 1936 in rural Scotland near the English border, James Clarke Junior was an unassuming master of the sport. He grew up as a simple farm boy with four sisters and plenty of space to play. Jim’s first introduction to motor sport came in the form of books and magazines, which he read whilst attending a private school in Edinburgh. Unfortunately for Jim, his family didn’t share his enthusiasm and felt that vehicles should be used strictly for utilitarian purposes. Despite their objections, Jim Clarke found himself inexplicably drawn to the sport. Not long after getting his first car he started to compete in local rallies and driving skill tests. He was surprisingly good at it and soon his friends were goading him on to greater successes. Still, Jim found being the centre of attention rather embarrassing – especially since he felt guilty about going against his parent’s wishes. Still, his natural talent and passion was undeniable and before long, Jim Clark decided to take the sport more seriously.
His formal racing career took off with a bang when, in 1958, Clark was given a Lotus Elite coupe to race for the Brands Hatch race. Though he didn’t win, his skill behind the wheel caught the eye of Lotus founder Colin Chapman and he was invited to race a Lotus Formula Junior. Clark’s natural talent shone through from the start and before long he was made a part of Team Lotus for the 1960 Formula One season. Ironically, this start was also nearly the end of his career since during that season he narrowly avoided hitting the body of another driver and his friend and teammate was killed in an accident during one race. The disasters nearly put him off racing but instead he chose to hate Spa – a track where he went on to win four times in succession in later years.
Always the unassuming champion, this was not the only time that Clark was put off racing by the deaths caused by the sport. Still, developments in racing car designs kept him firmly in the driver’s seat and Clark spent four seasons driving for Lotus. The only races he didn’t win were mostly those wherein he suffered mechanical failures. His success was untouchable, but this didn’t go to his head. He never felt comfortable under the limelight and tried to stay out of it. He became an international champion after winning the Indianapolis 500 but his dreams for the future stayed at home on the family farm. Respected as both a driver and a sincere, humble and upright person, Jim Clark continued to be viewed as one of Scotland‘s greatest driving legends. Unfortunately on 7 April 1968, Clark’s Lotus had a tyre failure in an F2 race which resulted in his death. He was mourned by fans, family and friends as the heart and soul of racing and as a most likable and memorable individual.