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elise trophy

Lotus Elise Trophy

Safe, friendly and financially viable race series for Lotus owners

During its inaugural season in 2007 the Elise Trophy became the fastest growing race series in Europe as well as the best supported club series thanks to the large number of Lotus Motorsport Enthusiasts following the action. It’s not just the number of cars or the fantastic support the series receives that makes the Elise Trophy the premier UK race series, the race calendar is one of the best in UK club motorsport: with races at all the major circuits such as Silverstone GP, Brands Hatch GP and Donington Park.

Elise Trophy competitors also have the chance to racing at Europe’s premier circuits such as Spa Francorchamps, Nurburgring and Le Mans as the Production class regulations in Lotus Cup Europe are identical to those of the Elise Trophy. Race days feature a 20 minute qualifying session plus two 20 minute races where the 2nd race grid is reversed from the top ten qualifying positions.

Oulton Park 28/7 2012

olton park julyIntroduction

The Elise Trophy has been dominated in 2012 by one man: Rob Boston. The former Mazda MX5 Champion entered the series along with fellow roadster racer Tom Roche at the opening Silverstone round and despite losing out to Steve Quick in the first race, never looked back from the second encounter onwards. Victories at Brands Hatch and Castle Combe leave him in position to complete another double at Oulton Park.

However the Cheshire track is one of the country’s trickiest, with undulations and twisting bends that can catch out the best of drivers, especially when driving a car with a mid-engine layout. Ken Savage will be heading a list of drivers looking to depose the new king of Elise racing, whilst Oulton specialist Ben Hyland returns to the scene of his only victory in the series.

Qualifying

Unsurprisingly Boston headed straight to the top of the times, by nearly two seconds from Andrew Bentley, Warren Scott, Craig Denman and Adam Bewsey. Denman then gained a place on his next lap, whilst the ever-improving Neil Livesey, on home turf, broke into the top five.

Bentley worked the gap down a little, as did Denman, but they were still over a second in arrears. Meanwhile Savage had hauled himself up to sixth place, close enough to threaten for the race lead. Scott and Livsey continued to improve but as the pitlane filled up in the dying moments, the grid was set. Boston would enjoy a margin of 1.3 seconds from fellow front row starter Bentley, with Denman and Scott taking up the new two places. Livsey remained in fifth place from Savage, Neil Stothert, Adrian Wills, Adam Bewsey and Nigel Hannam, who would have the all-important race two pole.

Race One

Boston immediately raced off into the lead, pulling out an advantage to Bentley during the opening laps, whilst Denman and Livsey led the rest of the pursuing pack. Boston’s pace was such that he was lapping a second quicker than Bentley, who was leaving Denman behind, whilst Livsey found himself holding up the rest.

Scott was the first to demote the local man, followed by Savage, Stothert, Bewsey and the rest as Livsey dropped down the order. Savage was now heading the pack as the four cars ahead pulled away, with Boston now leading Bentley by ten seconds.

By the closing stages, Boston was over twenty seconds clear of Bentley, but with just a lap to go, Boston was coasting into the pits with an engine cut caused by the inertia switch triggering under heavy braking for Lodge corner. Thus Bentley took a shock win, six seconds clear of Scott, who had also gained a place after a moment for Denman whilst passing backmarkers at Island. Behind, Savage had lost touch after a promising start, whilst Stothert hung on to him in sixth place, with Hyland ten seconds behind after climbing the field, meanwhile Hannam, Adam Knight, Bewsey and Jose Palazon completed the top ten.

Race 2

Buoyed by his earlier win, Bentley was already up to third at Old Hall after starting eighth from the reversed top ten. By the time he had exited Hislops chicane he was into the lead and by then the expected challenge from Boston had gone sour. The favourite had left the road at Cascades, rejoining the track dead last.

Nevertheless Boston wasn’t to be deterred by his first lap excursion and set about the task ahead. Within just three laps he was into third place, however despite stealing third place from Scott at Hislops, Bentley was by now a further seven seconds down the road. This didn’t put Boston off however and he kept up the pressure. Catching his rival towards the end of the race a grandstand finish was in prospect.

However Bentley was equal to the task and he added a second win to his tally. Boston was just a third of a second behind and the pair were the class of the field, with third-placed Scott trailing by 24 seconds. Wills and Denman raced home together a further nine seconds back, with Hyland and Hannam not far behind this group. Knight, Livsey and Will Price were the final top ten finishers.

Conclusion

Bentley took two well-deserved wins this weekend but that they were at the expense of a problematic weekend for Boston, whose race two problem was attributed to brake trouble, sends an ominous message to the field. Scott and Wills also had fine weekends and these four continue to make a strong impression on the series. Denman fared best of the ‘old guard’ but it is becoming increasingly difficult for the veterans to win in 2012.

The next round takes place at Brands Hatch in just a few weeks, at the annual Lotus Festival meeting, complete with Formula 1 demonstrations and a 50th anniversary Elan race, the historical equivalent of the Elise Trophy!

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