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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: Silverstone GP 28/4/2013

Introduction

Lead-battle1-300x200Round two of the 2013 season took place on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, returning to the hour-long format but gaining an enlarged Production class grid as the Elise Trophy regulars joined in for the weekend.

With Jon Walker absent, Rob Fenn and Adrian Hall were looking for a more reliable run, However Liz Halliday and Jamie Stanley, now reunited with Glenn Sherwood, would also be buoyed by their strong performances last time out.

Practice & Qualifying

Stanley dominated the early part of practice, leading Andrew Bentley in the Evora by nearly a second, whilst Hall, Rob Fenn and the Hetheringtons sat behind. The V6 machine closed the gap late on, however, whilst Marcus Jewell put in an impressive time late on to lead the 2-Eleven class. Fenn and the Hetheringtons also found a large chunk of time in the dying moments of the session but not as much as Hall, whose final effort bested the GWS Exige’s time by half a tenth. Meanwhile Adam Gore headed the Production contingent by a fair way.

Hall remained at the front during the lunchtime qualifying session, with the similarly liveried Jeff Mileham/Steve Guglielmi Exige next fastest for much of the 20 minutes, albeit a quarter of a second in arrears. Jewell was in third, leading the 2-Elevens again, with Fenn fourth and Bentley fifth.

Places six to eleven were taken by 2-Elevens, with Simon Deacon leading reigning champion Steve Train, Ken Savage, Liz Halliday, Ben Gower and Tom Chatterway. Behind the Open Class Exige of Paul McNeilly and BJ Chong in 12th place was the leading Exige of Matt Bartlett and James Knight, outqualifying GWS by one place. Sherwood had stopped on the circuit and when the car was recovered it was clear that engine troubles would put an end to their day.

Adam Gore headed Production in 18th from Andrew Wright/Nigel Greensall. With a wide track and an hours’ worth of racing, it looked unlikely that the qualifying order would hold for too long.

Race

Hall won the drag race to Copse, with Jewell also getting a good start to assume second place on the opening lap, but before long he was passed by Bentley in the Evora. Meanwhile Deacon led the next group, which contained Guglielmi, Train, Fenn, Savage, Chatterway and Gower.

Bentley made the most of the V6 engine’s grunt to consolidate his lead on the Grand Prix circuit’s long straights and soon after Jewell demoted Hall. The trio continued to run together, with a gap to a second group of Deacon, Fenn and Train. As Hall regrouped in third place, Phill Capstick and Ben Brooks led the Exige class, lapping in close company with Gore, who set the Production pace some distance ahead of Wright/Greensall and Matthias Radestock.

Traffic soon came into play in the moments before the pit window opened, and Jewell took full advantage to snatch the lead in the initial confusion. Hall then took to the pitlane but this wasn’t a scheduled stop, leaving just two drivers to dispute the race.

First of the front runners to stop was Fenn, joined by Freddie Hetherington from ninth place. The Production and Exige class leaders also pitted, before Bentley made his mandatory visit to the garage. Deacon then relinquished second place as Jewell continued to circulate at the front of the field.

The leader finally stopped with 24 minutes of the race remaining, leaving Guglielmi at the front for one lap at least, for he needed to stop next time around. However he ignored the pitlane on his next tour, thus losing out on a promising finish. Rather more fortunate was Bentley, who returned to the head of the race by just under four seconds from Jewell. Behind them were Deacon, Fenn, Train and the Hetheringtons.

Podium-300x200The closing laps were all about the lead battle as Jewell closed down the gap to the Evora ahead and able to match the 6-cylinder car’s speed, the 2-Eleven looked set fair for victory. But with ten minutes to go they were side-by-side through the new complex, then nose-to-tail along the pit straight. The inside line to Copse was blocked, so Jewell took the high speed right-hander on the outside and emerged into the following esses in front.

However the lap ended with Bentley taking back the advantage, but then Jewell was back ahead as they lapped the Setters Exige. Only temporarily, though, and the Evora nosed ahead once more, both cars having advantages at different points of the lap. It would surely come down to whoever could use their strengths to the fullest. Ultimately it was Bentley, and he took the Evora to victory by a margin of little more than a second.

Deacon took the final podium place as Fenn finished fourth ahead of the Hetheringtons, who had just beaten Train at the final corner. Chatterway was next home, beating Savage’s 2-Eleven, whilst the Setters headed Harvey to complete the top ten.

Gore dominated Production to claim eleventh place overall, ahead of Exige Cup winners Capstick and Brooks. Radestock was next, taking second in class in front of Wright and Greensall, whilst Snetterton class victor Andy Napier held fourth in his category.

Conclusion

The form book from not just Snetterton but previous rounds was thrown out of the window as mechanical issues put paid to favourites Hall, Stanley and Halliday, whilst other expected frontrunners ended the day on a more subdued note. Bentley was expected to feature however, and he made it count with a strong performance. Jewell’s resurgence, on a circuit in which he has excelled in the past, made for a hugely entertaining race, whilst in the Production race Gore confirmed his status as the man to beat in 2013.

The next round of Lotus Cup UK and the Elise Trophy will take place at Brands Hatch in three weeks’ time, supporting the DTM on the Indy circuit. Meanwhile footage of today’s race can be seen on Motors TV very soon.

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