Sydney Retro Racefest saw six of Australia’s Lotus Elevens gather at Sydney Motorsport Park for a very special 60th anniversary celebration.
First produced in 1956, 2016 marks the 60th birthday of the classic Lotus, so to celebrate Club President Ashton Roskill set about gathering as many of the Australian cars as possible for a display at Sydney Retro Racefest.
Eight of the eleven Australian cars were initially confirmed and, as is the way with classic cars, six were able to make their way to Sydney Motorsport Park. We have since been contacted by John Partridge, who believes that even with six out of our planned eight cars attending, this gathering is likely to have been not only the largest in Australia, but the largest in the world since Monterey in 1995, and even 1991’s Lotus-Only Gathering.
Our six included four running cars – Ed Holly’s #538, George Row’s #184, Richard Harris’ #305 and Gerard Lawson’s #343 – all in absolutely stunning condition. Similarly stunning, but a few parts lighter, were Ashton’s nearly-there TUFT’s Eleven, and Tony Galletly’s #333, which were both majestic in their mid-restoration form.
We’d like to send our thanks to everyone involved, and especially to Gerry, who brought his car from southern New South Wales, and George, Richard and Tony who brought their cars all the way south from Queensland – an impressive commitment!
“Everyone enjoyed the opportunity, and we have promised one another to ensure that this is not the last time we do something like this. Watch this space!” – Ashton Roskill
The team from Simply Sports Cars were very kind to join in the display, bringing along the brand-spanking-new Lotus Evora 400, along with a handful of modern Lotuses. The Evora is Lotus’ fastest production car, capable of 0-100 km/hr in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/hr thanks to the 400 horses hiding behind the driver’s backside.
“Simply Sports Cars were extremely proud to support Club Lotus Australia’s efforts to showcase one of the most significant Lotus Eleven gatherings that the world has seen in recent years.”
“The timing coincided with the first stock of the new Lotus Evora 400 arriving. It’s a perfect car for daily driving or hitting the track, so we were pleased to bring it along and give fans an up-close look at it.”
“We’re looking forward to welcoming Club members to next week’s Lotus Only Track Day, where they will get to see the Evora 400 on the track for the first time and hear its amazing exhaust note. We have a few more special announcements planned for the day, and we’re looking forward to sharing them with everyone!” – Paul D’Ambra, Simply Sports Cars
Club Lotus Australia members also got stuck in to the display, bringing in their lovely, and beautifully-prepared, cars to create a stunning display.
Our area of Racefest buzzed all weekend long and saw some excellent spectator participation. This was great to see, and we particularly enjoyed chatting with Racefest’s racers, fellow fans and, of course, each other!
“The Retro Racefest is the HSRCA and ARDC’s flagship historic racing event of the year, so what better venue to celebrate a diamond anniversary!”
“Thanks to Club Lotus Australia’s president, Ashton Roskill, for having the foresight to organise more than half the Australian Elevens to be together for this landmark birthday, and thanks too to Simply Sports Cars for their support. It was great to meet the other Eleven owners, many travelling from interstate to join us.”
Speaking of Racefest’s racers, Dan Bando ran extremely neatly in his Lotus 51 all weekend, Syd Reinhardt (not so) quietly climbed through Group S’s ranks in his ‘Wet Dishcloth Blue’ GSM Dart and Gerard Lawson was awesome in Regularity.
We have some great photos of the event thanks to Paul D’Ambra and Seth Reinhardt, so scroll down, and enjoy!
Thanks to Paul D’Ambra of Simply Sports Cars
Thanks to Seth Reinhardt