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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.

Lotus Cup UK Race Report: Zolder 22-23/9

lotus cup zolder 2012 webIntroduction

With three rounds of the 2012 season remaining, Lotus Cup UK returned to Belgium, this time however, the former Grand Prix venue of Zolder. Steve Train headed to the circuit protecting a slim championship lead from teammates Paul McNeilly and BJ Chong, whilst Adrian Hall and Rob Fenn were both hoping to add to their victory tallies. In Production, Rob Boston would be aiming to extend his dominant form abroad.

Practice & Qualifying

Two practice sessions in damp but drying conditions were headed by Marcus Jewell and Lotus Cup Europe regular Jonathan Walker respectively, with over 25 seconds difference in lap time as the early autumn sun gently warmed the track during the morning. Fenn held second in both sessions, whilst there was drama for Hall in the later part, and he pulled off the circuit at the end of the pit straight.

Hall would play no part in qualifying, leaving Fenn to successfully battle the rest, led by Walker. However the latter’s 2-Eleven was more than a second adrift of the Motorsport Elise, whilst an Exige held third place. This was neither the GWS car, or Phill Capstick’s machine, which had pulled off late on with gearbox failure. Instead, another Lotus Cup Europe regular, Jean-Baptiste Meusnier, cemented his status as a Zolder specialist, albeit 2.3 seconds behind.

Oulton Park winner Simon Deacon was fourth, from Europe’s Jean-Pierre Genoud Prachex and Laurent Feve, sharing with John Rasse. The Glenn Sherwood-Jamie Stanley GWS Exige was seventh, with Tom Chatterway eighth, Jewell ninth and Train tenth.

Boston was indeed the top Production runner in 17th, with Ken Savage next in 20th but not before enduring engine troubles. Andrew Wright held third in class directly behind.

Race

Despite the rolling start, Fenn was unable to assume an early lead and it was left to Meusnier and Deacon to try and out-drag each other to the first corner. The Exige won the early battle and led until Fenn was able to pick off his opponents just a couple of laps later.

Meanwhile Deacon and Chatterway circulated together as an intense fight developed behind them between Stanley, Genoud Prachex, Rasse/Feve and Train. As Stanley powered the GWS Exige past into a fighting third place, further back Williams was making good progress and catching the aftermath of the early fight, as Train and Chatterway fell back from the cars ahead.

In the Production race, Savage was keeping Boston in check for a while but the championship leader started to pull away, with his pursuer trying ever harder to stay in touch. He elected to make an early pitstop as the window opened and was soon followed by the race leader, with Meusnier stopping a good few minutes later, as did Boston.

The key movers in the pitstop sequence were Feve and Rasse, who held the lead for a while, before Fenn resumed his place but Meusnier remained behind the 2-Eleven, albeit only just. The 2-Elevens of Deacon, Chatterway and Train headed Sherwood in the Exige, with Genoud-Prachex, Williams and Cassidy/Randall running eighth to tenth. Boston had by now run away with the Production lead, with Savage dropping behind Plotnek, Napier, Wright and Carr.

lotus cup zolder 2012 web2The post-pitstop focus was clearly on second place and Meusnier claimed it back with a quarter of the race remaining. Whilst Sherwood lost several places, Cassidy and Randall were claiming theirs back as the race built up to the finish. In the end Fenn took the win by just under 14 seconds from Meusnier, whilst Deacon claimed the final podium place and 2-Eleven win from Train. Prachex was delighted with fifth, whilst Williams took sixth in the Evora from GWS, with Setters, Boston and Napier completing the top ten. Several pitstop penalties were handed out, which accounted for Feve and Rasse, plus Cassidy and Randall, the latter just a second short of the mandatory time.

Conclusion

Fenn’s second victory of the year was a well-deserved one but credit should also be given to Meusnier, for whilst he always performs strongly at the circuit, is not used to the one hour distances. Nevertheless Fenn is used to sharing the car with his father and was also driving double his usual distance. Deacon earned his third place and Train retains his championship lead, whilst Boston stretches his with another dominant display.

The next round of Lotus Cup UK takes place at Donington Park at the beginning of October and Boston could lift the Production trophy. The Supersport title, however, is likely to go down to the wire at Snetterton at the end of the month.

Kevin Ritson
Press Officer
LoTRDC Ltd

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