Ashton’s President’s Prattle for July, 2022

Rangie Project

Happy new (financial!) year everyone,

For those who couldn’t care less, good on you, but sadly my work life seems to resolve around a completely arbitrarily set calendar that finishes with a chaotic flurry of activity on June 30th.

But, to be perhaps too honest than I should be in public, I care less about that with each passing year. What does matter, is that the fun and games continues (as much as possible given this peculiar weather pattern we appear to remain trapped in) with all things Lotus and cars and friends.

June was a great month in that respect, as for the first time in three years, Mrs R. and I flew interstate (and, it should be noted, got there and back without too much drama) to see friends.

In this case it was a weekend visit to the Gold Coast, ostensibly to pick up the Eleven from the Automotive Craftsmen’s workshop, but actually it was to see as many of those lovely friends in that area as possible. It was wonderful to see David and Elizabeth Mackie established in their new (forever) home, and to catch up for dinner with several others who have moved north over the recent years (Anne B, Winno and Kerry, Barry and Jess), and of course those who have always called it home (Giles and Janet, Geoff and Maree). We had a brilliant evening out on the Saturday night at the local yacht club, and it really made me realise how important it is to make the effort to break out of the enforced solitude of the last two years.

So next, we’re off to the UK for a month. Please don’t miss us! I’m not expecting the weather to get any better for flying halfway round the world, but it’ll be good to catch up with family who we’ve not seen since we were there at the end of the Peking to Paris rally in 2019.

While we’re gone, there’s still plenty going on, and even more in the planning. We aim to get final comms out on the Tour of Tasmania very shortly – a wonderful itinerary has been developed by the local team, and the expressions of interest continue to come in, so we will make a call once we have firm bookings as to whether to extend the size of the tour.

The next round (four) of the CSCA championship is in two weeks’ time (Saturday 16th July) at Wakefield, hosted by the Triumph crew – entries are filling fast (and sadly I will be in the UK by then, but I hope you have a blast without me!)

August 13th is Round 5 of the CSCA, and the following day (14th) is the Shannons Classic (both at Sydney Motorsport Park), where the Elan will be celebrating its 60th birthday.

September 11th is slated for the return of the fabulous All British Day at Kings School – it will of course be dependent on it stopping raining in time for the pitches to dry out!

And then into October, where we have the Tour of Tassie (1-7), and Lotus in the Vines (21-23) (another opportunity to celebrate the Elan’s 60th birthday with a bunch of interstate friends coming in from north and south.)

With all this planning going on, I have rather lost track of all that is happening overseas, but of course Goodwood has just celebrated in style, with the usual mix of the mad (the McMurtry fan-car) and the iconic. This year’s event included several significant gatherings, such as the four motoGP champions (Schwantz et al) riding their bikes of the era up the hill. There’s also a lot of rally activity underway in Europe (including the RtG Ypres to Istanbul which I was sorry to miss), and planning is still continuing for the delayed 2022 Peking to Paris, despite problems with Russia (it’s now planned for May 2023).

So with that, I will leave you in peace for another month, and I hope the rain, which had shown signs of desisting temporarily, actually stops, allowing for cars to come out to play again!

Lotus Eleven

Here’s a lovely shot of the Eleven just before we loaded it onto the truck to bring it south – it is now safely back here, and has been flushed, tuned and sorted ready for the sun to come out!

And for those interested, the Rangey project has got skinnier, as you see in our lead image. What started out as a plan to give it a bit of a tart up has turned into a full back-to-chassis-rebuild with a load of panels coming in from the UK to replace the rotten ones.

Keep safe, upright and on the blackstuff.

Pip pip,

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