1st Quarterly Review 2013
(click images to enlarge)
Once again, we kick the year off with a visit to the NEC, Birmingham for
the Autosport International Show. On display were types 23B, 25, 72 and 94T.
Mechanic, Kevin Smith had a fantastic idea
of displaying the 94T with raised bodywork so the engine and turbo workings
were on show. Very clever!
Type 94T with raised bodywork
Amalgam Fine Model Cars joined us on our stand to launch the
1:8 scale Team Lotus type 38 model. We were very happy to host a champagne
reception on the Friday night for the unveiling by Len Terry, the designer of
the type 38.
Len Terry with the type 38 Amalgam model
In February The Masters Series staged a splendid prize giving weekend in
Amsterdam. Clive Chapman represented Classic Team Lotus to witness Andrew
Beaumont collecting his 2012 Grand Prix Masters Champion trophy. Turnout was
enthusiastic and Ron Maydon regaled a good natured audience with an
entertaining speech, leading up to the awards. (Ron was proud to announce that
the Grand Prix Masters Championship in 2013 would carry FIA status.)
Clive Chapman and Andrew Beaumont with their awards
As much as Clive enjoyed seeing Andrew receive his trophy, he was even more
delighted when the Masters Historic Racing Preparer of the Year 2012 was
awarded to Classic Team Lotus.
Of course the award had a lot to do
with Andrew’s Championship win, but finishing is most important and in 2012
the Classic Team Lotus mechanics helped their drivers to realise another
exceptional season of reliability. Add to that the wins by Brendon Hartley at
Brands Hatch and John Bowers’ 25/R4 winning at Monaco and Goodwood and it was
also a notable season of victories.
We were delighted to be one of the main features at Race Retro this year. The
event celebrated the Marque’s 50th anniversary of the first World Championship
title and the organisers invited us to put on a display. With the kind
permission of the owners, we displayed two type 25s, a type 32B, an Elan and a
Type 25 GA drawing
The Chapman Family made available the type 25 general arrangement drawing by
Colin Chapman which was its first public display in the UK.
Valerie presenting the Jim Clark
overalls to Clive
Valerie Neville-Parry contacted us earlier in the year as she
owned a pair of Jim Clark overalls that had been presented to her late
Husband, Chris Parry who was the Firestone racing manger in the mid/late
Sixties. Valerie – with encouragement from Gordon Morris - had decided that
the Classic Team Lotus workshops would be the best home for such an
important example of Jim Clark and Team Lotus history. Clive Chapman was
both touched and excited to receive the overalls from Valerie at Race
The FIA Championship cups
The Jim Clark room brought along the FIA World Championship Drivers cup from
1963 and Hazel Chapman kindly made available the FIA World Championship
constructors cup that the team was awarded in the same year. It was great to
have the two cups reunited, especially as they have been apart for such a long
Amalgam joined us again, this time to unveil the fourth model
in the range - Team Lotus type 49B. No champagne reception this time but with
removable nosecone and rear bodywork, it was certainly worthy of one.
Over the winter Andrew Beaumont acquired the 1962 Lotus type 24 chassis 944,
for racing in the ever popular HGPCA Championship for Pre 1966 F1 cars. This
lovely Climax V8 powered Lotus also is eligible for the prestigious Monaco
Historique and Goodwood Revival meetings. In period, 944 was raced principally
by Masten Gregory and Innes Ireland, who won the 1963 Glover Trophy race at
Goodwood for the UDT Laystall racing team.
Andrew entrusted Classic Team Lotus with restoring this special car and Tim
Gardner was the man to do it. Tim has done a painstaking job to bring the car
into excellent, race ready condition. The engine was rebuilt by Dave Whitehurst
and the bodywork was restored and repainted also. Tim is looking forward to
running Andrew in the car which, based on Andrew’s 2012 class win with the LDS,
should be a front runner.
The team are now off to Croix en Ternois for testing before the first race of
the season in Barcelona…
Fourth Quarter 2012 Review (click on images to enlarge)
Donington GP Masters
The last Masters event of 2012 proved to be a typically damp and cold autumn affair at Donington. In the absence of Lewis Cullington, Kevin Smith ran 76/1 for Andrew Beaumont who maintained his excellent record by winning his class yet again.
This made it six wins out of seven, resulting in Andrew retaining his Grand Prix Masters class title and winning the Grand Prix Masters Championship overall. Impressive achievements for both Andrew and mechanic Lewis Cullington.
Andrew was joined by new team mate Greg Thornton, racing his type 92/5, recently acquired from Roger Wills. Greg enjoyed getting to know this ex Mansell car, racing on the circuit where Nigel would have tested with it so often, in period.
Andrew and Greg on the Donington grid
Chris Dinnage attended Andrew Beaumont’s LDS for the final round of the HGPCA Pre 1966 Championship. Happily, not only did Andrew win his class but he managed to fight his way onto the podium in the second race. A great result in a car which Andrew has made to go quicker and quicker throughout the season. Furthermore this meant that Andrew had secured the class win for the season. Winner!
Nick Yallop stepped forward to take on the challenge of running Andrew Morris in the type 102/4 at Baku - capital of Azerbaijan – in a city streets event. What had been described as a demo turned out to be a race, but Nicky coped very well in difficult circumstances.
102/4 being loaded onto the plane for the Baku event.
Japan Lotus Day
Clive Chapman and Chris Dinnage were delighted to be invited to the Japan Lotus Day by Katsu Kubota. This annual event at the famous Fuji Speedway was staged by LCI, the Japanese Lotus importer, and Katsu played a vital role by organising the demonstration runs by seven excellent Works Team Lotus F1 cars; types 72, 78 (x2!), 79 (Martini liveried), 88B and two type 101s.
Katsu also invited Dan Collins and Nick Fennell to attend the event and drive. In fact Clive also had a go - driving Katsu’s 88B – but rather blotted his copybook by spinning at the very first (very tight!) hairpin (on very cold tyres!). Fortunately he got going again and (almost) nobody was any the wiser. Nick and Dan acquitted themselves well – of course – and the two type 78s running together were an especially stirring sight. The highlight was all seven cars forming up and cruising to a halt on the start line, with the sun shining on the spectacular Mount Fuji in the background. Splendid!
Meanwhile, in the paddock, LCI had attracted more than 600 road cars, all immaculate, all parked perfectly and no other Marques in sight. Typically Japanese. Clive was invited to select his favourite historic Lotus. Very difficult, in the circumstances. In the end it was a Mark 6 which was chosen, although there were at least half a dozen that merited the accolade.
The Japanese adventure was rounded off with a raucous visit to a Tokyo Italian restaurant full of F1 (Ferrari) fans to watch the Abu Dhabi GP. A great race to watch together with an excited crowd, it was nice to see the Ferrari get beaten by a black & gold car, complete with Lotus logo. Many thanks to Katsu, Kozo Fujiwara and Yoshio Fujiwara for including us in such an excellent Lotus event which did so much for the Marque and the participating Lotus owners.
Cheering on the black & gold team.
Bob enjoyed an extraordinary fourth quarter, with three visits to the States. First to the LOG, second to the USGP and third to the Regogo Racing Xmas party. (All in the company of Richard Parramint.) Evidently Bernie Ecclestone looked after Bob very well and Richard captured pictures of Bob with pretty much anyone who is anyone in F1.
Bob with Niki Lauda - two wise old birds!
To cap it all, Bob was invited to the Autosport Awards at which he was presented with the John Bolster Lifetime Achievement Award, in the company of the great and the good. Thoroughly well deserved, the award is a credit to the World of modern motorsport, for recognising Bob’s fantastic contribution for so many years. Sebastian Vettel improved his CTL ranking by making a point of going over to congratulate Bob afterwards.
Bob being presented the award by Murray Walker
Lotus Cars often brings VIP visitors to CTL, as part of their immersion in (transfusion of?) Lotus DNA. Most notably in Q4 was snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has abandoned the cue in favour of the steering wheel. Highlight of the visit? Chris Dinnage asking Ronnie what he thought of so many lovely cars ‘queued up’ for him..... Tumbleweed moment!
As ever, at the end of the season there has been a certain amount of holiday and Time Off In Lieu catch-up by the team. Even so, good progress was made with ongoing projects and winter overhauls got underway with various cars. Bob Dance completed the rebuild of the positive stop gearbox on the Barber Museum type 12; truly, a lifetime achievement. Chris Dinnage shook-down the car to check all was O.K. Kevin Smith has pretty much completed his excellent restoration of Nick Fennell’s type 23B. Lewis Cullington got stuck into the 76/1 overhaul. Nick Yallop recovered from Baku and made a start on Greg Thornton’s type 92. Tim Gardner embarked on a strip-down and rebuild of Andrew Beaumont’s recently acquired type 24. Sapphire Whitbread completed the CTL 2013 calendar in record time, only for the German GP date to change, causing the Goodwood Festival date to change. And now we hear that the Austin GP date may change. Come on, Bernie! Sort it out!
Please visit the CTL website to see the calendar of events with which CTL is likely to be involved in 2013. Very sorry to say that HFOne has come to an end, after so many years of great racing, despite the valiant efforts of Dan Collins, on behalf of his fellow drivers. Even so, it was nice that Joaquin Folch at last became overall champion in what has turned out to be the final season of the Championship of which he was such a great supporter.
Bob Dance honoured at Autosport Awards
Great news is that Bob Dance has been awarded the John Bolster Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious Autosport Awards ceremony.
Bob started at Lotus in 1960 and was Chief Mechanic at Team Lotus in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
At 77 years old Bob is still busy in the Classic Team Lotus workshops, restoring, maintaining and running the very cars which he ran for the Team Lotus World Champions in period. Indeed, this year the type 25/R4 for which he is responsible won both the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique and the Glover Trophy. Long may he continue adding to his lifetime achievements!
image courtesy of Autosport
Third Quarterly Review 2012 (click on images to enlarge)
Having come back from the Festival of Speed, the team reloaded the transporter and headed off to the Silverstone Grand Prix for a support race with Dan Collins (type 91), Andrew Beaumont (type 76) and Chris Locke (type 79). We don’t need to tell you how appalling the weather was over that weekend. Dan made a brilliant start into fourth place but succumbed to an engine failure. Andrew suffered a gearbox failure. Chris Locke did well to finish in 10th place.
We were pleased to support the Tibenham Air show by taking the type 30 and the type 72. Chris Dinnage and Gavan Kershaw entertained the crowd with demonstrations along the runway. In return the organisers nominated the Care For Life At Home Fund as the official charity for the event.
The Team then went off to the Silverstone Classic meeting with customers Andrew Beaumont and Nick Fennell, both driving two cars.
Beforehand Nick’s type 25 was tested at Hethel - in the pouring rain - only to find a clutch problem. Kevin Smith and Bob Dance had the gear box laid out on the floor, fixed and put back together, hours before loading onto the transporter. Well done!
Friday’s qualifying saw a slightly wet track for Andrew in his type 76, finishing 17th. He finished 16th in the first race and then 10th in the second, upping his pace from last year, achieving first in class. Andrew Beaumont also won his class in his LDS and was five seconds quicker than last year. He qualified in 7th place and achieved 7th in the first race and 9th in second race. Just goes to show how valuable experience can be.
Kevin and Bob’s hard work really did pay off because Nick Fennell won his class in the type 25 and got driver of the day. He qualified 5th and then came 5th in the first race and 4th in the second race. He so nearly grabbed 3rd at the end. Congratulations Nick!
Nick also drove his type 27 Formula Junior. He qualified 10th and then the slightly wet first race; he had two spins at Maggots and got a puncture but still managed to bring the car home 15th. Due to the puncture, he had to start the second race with new tyres, which meant he had hardly any grip but he managed to put up a fight and finished in 10th place after a battle with Simon Diffey.
Aside from racing, there was a parade organised in celebration of 50 years of the Lotus Elan, which was a spectacular sight. A great weekend for the team, a great weekend for the Marque.
After a short break, we were pleased to attend the Lotus Festival, for demonstrations at an incredibly hot Brands Hatch. Clive Chapman drove the Gold Leaf type 49B and Martin Donnelly and Andrew Morris shared the drive of the John Player Special type 79 and Andrews’ Camel type 102.
Kevin Smith went off to Oulton Park for the Formula Junior event with Nick Fennell and his type 27 the weekend after. There were two free practices on the Saturday. Nick tested the car first; unfortunately the session was red flagged after 15 minutes. Andy Middlehurst drove in the second practice to advise Nick about the circuit and the set up of the car.
After a good morning’s practice, Nick was ready for qualifying. He managed 6th out of 24 cars. Nick was fending off Nigel Bancroft in his Merlyn all the way round which hampered him getting a faster qualifying time.
Sunday – Race day was a dry and warm day, perfect for racing. Nick got a very good start and was up to 4th by the second corner, he held that position for 3 laps until Sam Wilson over took him in his Cooper T59. He stayed 5th until the last lap when John Fyda in his Lotus 22 made it past due to Nick’s car developing an engine splutter going up the hill, leaving Nick to finish 6th.
The team enjoyed a trip to Zandvoort, first weekend of September with Andrew Beaumont and Andy Middlehurst. The team arrived on Thursday and were welcomed by horizontal rain and thunder and lightning. By Friday midmorning, the weather had changed and the circuit was dry and ready for practice. Andrew Beaumont was in his LDS and 76 and Andy Middlehurst was driving the John Bower’s type 25. Both drivers had a good practice session which put them in good stead for qualifying on Saturday.
Qualifying - Andrew’s first flying lap in the 76 was his fastest time all weekend and on second flying lap the clutch went and ended his session.
The clutch issue didn’t stop Andrew for long and he was ready for the race the same afternoon. Starting in 7th, he had a race long battle with Ron Maydon in his Amon F101 but managed to finish 0.6 seconds ahead of him, finishing in 6th place. In the second race, he started in 5th place because Alexander Furiani did not start. Andrew was overtaken by Ron Maydon on the first lap and it stayed that way until the last lap where the Amon developed a misfire leaving Andrew to overtake and finish 4th. Andrew qualified 6th in his LDS, 0.4 seconds ahead of Eddy Perk in the Heron F1. In the first race, Andrew was chasing Sid Hoole in his Cooper T66, missing out on 5th place by just 0.7 seconds. The second race Andrew brought his LDS home in 7th place.
Andy Middlehurst was aiming for a pole position and win, just like in 1963 when Jim Clark achieved just that at the Dutch Grand Prix. Unfortunately, during qualifying, the alternator belt snapped and the battery voltage dropped, causing a misfire, still he managed to qualify in 3rd position, just behind Peter Horsman in his Lotus 18. In the first race, everything was going well until lap 4 when the car developed a misfire and Andy dropped down to finish in 10th position.
The mechanics rallied round and found the problem to be the fuel pump and managed to replace it in time for the second race. So, starting in 10th position, Andy had a lot of work to do. He managed to climb his way up to 5th position and got stuck behind Rod Jolley in his Cooper T45/51 for 7 laps. Andy made it past and immediately started going 3 seconds quicker and he crossed the line in 4th Position. Third place went to Peter Horsman, in his Lotus 18, until he received a penalty for jumping the start which then pushed Andy up into 3rd position. One wonders what may have happened if Andy hadn’t been blocked by the Cooper for so long.....Ah well, onto Goodwood Revival!
The prestigious Glover Trophy race at the Goodwood Revival saw a great result for the Lotus marque; first and second. Starting from the front row, Andy Middlehurst and Nick Fennell - both driving Lotus type 25s - put on a stirring display of Lotus history in front of 60,000 spectators at the fabulous Goodwood Motor Circuit.
Nick Fennell took the lead in a closely contested start. On lap four, Andy Middlehurst was able to overtake his Classic Team Lotus team mate and managed to pull out a gap to secure victory. Dan Collins in his Lotus type 21 did well to finish sixth. Unfortunately Andrew Beaumont in his type 24 retired with a driveshaft failure.
|They’re off! Lotus leads from the front.
|| The two type 25s dominated the race. |
At the prize giving Lord March shared with the crowd his boyhood memories of the Glover Trophy, when the Formula One stars of the day would compete for the first big trophy of the season. Jim Clark last won the race for Team Lotus in 1965 – in his Lotus type 25 – when he set the lap record which still stands today. Fastest forever!
The Lotus type 25 chassis R4 raced by Andy Middlehurst is owned by Australian John Bowers. It is Jim Clark’s World Championship winning car from 1963 and is prepared by Bob Dance, who was mechanic to Jim Clark in the day. Nick Fennell’s type 25 chassis R5 also was raced by Jim Clark in period and it is prepared by Kevin Smith, who was been with Classic Team Lotus at Hethel for 13 years.
In 1964 Jim Clark and Peter Arundel finished first and second at Goodwood, with Peter Arundel racing chassis R4. This time R4 made it across the line in first place, 47 years later.
Clive Chapman – Managing Director of Classic Team Lotus – summed up the victory: “Goodwood is a World class event which attracts huge attention from the media and the automotive industry. We owe a huge thank you to all the Classic Team Lotus racers and other Lotus drivers for flying the Lotus flag in such great style. Special thanks to John Bowers and Nick Fennell for realising a truly historic victory. All very emotional. Even my mother is impressed! After all, it is what she was used to in my father’s glory days.”
Andy and Nick together with the winners’ laurels.
Most of the team finished off the season with the Spa 6 hours. Andrew Beaumont was racing his type 76 and the LDS. Andy Middlehurst, fresh from his win at Goodwood Revival was in the John Bowers owned type 25 and Greg Thornton was racing in his newly acquired type 92.
Andrew qualified 14th out of 23 in the type 76. Saturday - race one, he made a good start but the safety car was called out early on and remained out for 5 laps. Once the race was back up to pace, he pushed forward and finished in 10th place. The second race took place on the Sunday when Andrew finished 11th.
In the LDS, Andrew qualified 9th. In race one he was involved in a collision when the car in front of him spun. With minor damage to the front left and rear, he kept going but was knocked down to 20th place but managed to achieve 14th place by the end of the race. Mechanic Tim Gardner and the team repaired the slight damage to Andrew’s car in time for the second race on the Sunday in which he got a fairly clear run to finish 7th.
Andy Middlehurst had another good weekend in the type 25. He qualified in 6th place and finished 5th in both races, the only cars finishing above him were the 2.5 litre cars.
We ran Greg Thornton in his newly purchased type 92 (ex Roger Wills). Greg has driven mostly in F5000 and this was the first time he had been in a car like this before. He did well, qualifying in 20th position. The car developed an oil pressure problem but was soon rectified by Lewis Cullington, Nick Yallop and the engine builder. The team decided that it would be best if Greg came in every few laps during race one to test the oil pressure but everything was fine. Safety car early on in the race helped to close the gap and he finished in 16th. Race two went uninterrupted and he finished in 14th. A very good position for someone who hadn’t sat in the car until the Friday before qualifying!
Team Manager, Chris Dinnage went to Ricard for the World Series event organised by Renault where Jerome d’Ambrosio demonstrated the Ayrton Senna type 98T, owned by Zak Brown.
Still to come this year – Donington and Imola for Andrew Beaumont and Greg Thornton.