This Year’s Oldtimer Grand Prix At The Nürburgring Is All Set To Celebrate New And Classic Lotus Cars
Lotus is to be a major presence at this weekend’s Oldtimer Grand Prix historic racing event at the Nürburgring, as not only is it showcasing a collection of its classic and current models from the road and the track, it also will be receiving a special award for its pioneering contribution to the automotive industry over time.
The Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD)–Germany’s oldest automobile association, which organizes the Oldtimer event–will present the famous British marque with the award on the Lotus stand at noon on the event’s Saturday.
The Elise Sport 220, Exige Sport 410 and Evora GT410 Sport will also be at the event to represent Lotus’s latest machines, and they will be joined by some legendary classic Lotus road and race cars. These are led by the new Lotus Evora GT4 Concept racer, which at the event is making its debut in continental Europe.
The Evora GT4 Concept car made its world debut at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show as a first step of Lotus’s return to international motorsport, and it is to be made available for racing next year. The GT4 Concept builds on the road-going Evora, as well as Lotus’s famous lightweight engineering expertise. It also has strong credentials to build upon, as the last generation of Evora GT4 won prestigious championships and races at the most famous tracks around the world, including British GT, Dubai 24hrs, Barcelona 24hrs, European GT4, Sepang 12hrs the Pirelli World Championship and most recently crowned vice-champion in the Swedish GT Series with Cyan Racing in 2018.
Also present at the Oldtimer event are a white Esprit S1, a rare Lotus Type 23C–one of only six built–as well as the Formula Ford single-seater Lotus Type 51. Some 60,000 fans as well as an outstanding field of cars are expected at the Oldtimer historic racing festival.
In addition, Lotus will be on track taking part in the ‘Gentlemen Drivers—GT cars to 1965’ race, also on the event’s Saturday. This race harks back to when the renowned Lotus race cars, from the late 1950s to early 1960s such as the Lotus Eleven, Elite and Type 23, would have competed around the 21km ‘Green Hell’ Nordschleife circuit.
Lotus more generally has an enviable competitive history at the Nürburgring, with Stirling Moss winning the 1961 German Grand Prix in a heavily-modified Type 18/21 Lotus, beating the Ferraris against the odds, as well as Jim Clark winning the 1965 race in a Type 33 and with it sealing his second Formula 1 world title.
While in the 1962 Nürburgring 1000km sportscar race Clark drove what has been cited as even his best ever race. He was driving a lightweight and agile Lotus Type 23 with a small 1498cc twin cam engine producing just 100bhp; yet at the end of the first lap Clark had built a lead of 27 seconds and at one point was two minutes ahead–against bigger and more powerful opposition. Sadly though after 11 laps Clark crashed out, after missing a gear shift having been all but overcome with fumes from a leaking exhaust.
Images courtesy of Lotus