Eddie Lankhorst’s Quokka Talk & WA All Lotus Track Day Report

Autostrada All-Lotus Track Day

Images thanks to Ellie and Mike Hamilton

Catch up on the action in the Western Australian Lotus community thanks to Eddie Lankhorst’s latest Quokka Talk for June, 2017, including a report on the All Lotus Track Day arranged by AutoStrada.

By Eddie Lankhorst

Wow, what a busy few weeks we have had over May and June!

The pinnacle of the period was the All Lotus Track Day arranged by AutoStrada. We have never seen so many Lotus all at one event in Western Australia. What an amazing sight it was, with 32 Lotus, mainly Elise and Exige models, an Evora and a beautiful Lotus Seven owned by Preston Adams.

Read on for a full report.

July will be a busy month in the Lotus calendar with:

  • SES Sprints at Barbagallo raceway on Sunday 2nd July
  • BOAB Meet n Eat on Monday 10th July, 6pm Kings Park
  • EMR going south on Sunday 16th July, meet 8am in Guildford
  • SES Sprints at Barbagallo raceway on Sunday 29th

All Lotus Track Day

By Eddie Lankhorst and Vicky Rowe featuring images by Ellie and Mike Hamilton

Earlier this year we met with Paul at Autostrada (our new Lotus Dealer) and we were greeted with a surprise when he announced that they were going to run an All Lotus Track Day. Fantastic, but we were also thinking this may not go well as not too many Lotus cars in WA see the track and the date was to be a Friday; a work day.

Well, again we were pleasantly surprised when Paul rang us about two weeks before the day to say that he had 32 Lotus cars and owners registered for the day, plus a couple of racing celebs, driving instructors and an Elise Cup 220 for driving experience laps. It’s great what can eventuate when you pull all your resources together and especially as this was all FREE, thanks to Autostrada.

Everyone arrived on time for registration, scrutineering and driver briefing. Teams were formed according to track experience and times, so we had beginners, intermediate and advanced drivers in separate run groups. Of course, this was not a race day, but it was a great opportunity to improve our driving skills and learn car control in a safe environment.

It was great to see quite a few first timers out there having a blast. Robyn and Elly had smiles from ear to ear. In fact I think Mike had to literally prise Elly out of the Elise so that he could get a turn.

There were a couple of non-Lotus cars that joined in with the advanced group, including a 1000bhp Nissan that Vicky enjoyed tussling with throughout the day. He had the power, but not the longevity.

A couple of minor mishaps served to sharpen some drivers skills, but otherwise everything went really well. Sadly, one Elise blew an engine on the first run, requiring a flatbed tow to get home.

Nick Mitic, a 17 year old up and coming racing driver, showed us how it’s done behind the wheel of the Cup 220, which looked race ready with sporty Lotus and Autostrada decals. It was his first track experience in a Lotus and he was full of praise for its ‘out of the box’ capability, coupled with everyday practicality.

Vicky sat in with Nick for a couple of laps and found he was very smooth and fast and clearly relishing his Lotus poster boy status for the day.

Around the middle of the day the uber cool Alex Rullo arrived, looking very much more mature than his 16 years. Alex is officially the youngest ever competitor in the Supercars Championship, starting this year with the Lucus Dumbrell Motorsport Team.

Vicky has been followingly Alexs’ progress for a couple of years, since competing in the WA Excel Championship Series; a cheap entry level series inaugurating here in Perth in 2014. Alex and Nick fought it out that year with Alex going on to win the championship. Then, at 15, he became the youngest driver to win a national CAMS circuit racing event while competing in the V8 Touring Car Series. He was subsequently awarded the ‘Future Star’ award by CAMS and no doubt his star status continues to rise.

It was great to have Alex and other very experienced drivers giving instruction and Nick giving non-drivers a spin so that they too could enjoy an adrenaline rush.

Autostrada even put on a very nice BBQ. There was something for everyone to enjoy. We were also privileged to have Richard Gibbs join us, representing Lotus Australia.

All combined it was a very well run, professional and successful day. I really hope Paul Lombardi (Autostrada’s principle) thought it was a success too, as we’re all hoping that he’ll do it all again next year.

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