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Lotus Elise Endurance Debut

Words By Lt Alex Rivett

On Sunday 19th May, 5 members of the Army Sports Car Racing team took their maiden voyage into the second round of Club Enduro at the awe-inspiring Brands Hatch GP circuit. After a long Saturday night of carefully cementing new stickers onto the Army Motorsport Lotus Elise, the car was sporting its new colours well and looked as though it would be a strong competitor within the series.

Stepping into a dry 25-minute qualifying, it was driver Lt Alex Rivett’s first time on the track. With a strong pace from the get-go, he sat 6th in the standings. After a long safety car, other drivers made up the pace and the team eventually qualified 13th.

Post qualifying, the team identified a collision with the wheel arch and the tyre, so we opted for safety over speed and raised the ride height to ensure we didn’t suffer a major failure. Taking the year developing the Lotus, the decision was made to load the car up with 60L of fuel to start obtaining fuel data. We knew this would punish speed however would set us up well in the future once we understand the car a little more.

The 75-minute race rapidly approached as we made all necessary adjustments from qualifying. Once out on the grid the team were eager to see how their first ever rolling start would go. With a mad first couple of laps the team managed to make up 3 positions. This was quickly followed by a long safety car which would take us past the 15-minute mark. Carrying on through the race, the car seemed to be running strong and keeping solid pace. At 50 minutes in we were running 6th in the race and about to prepare for out planned Pit Stop. LCpl Joshua Woodward primed with the signal to call the driver in, SSgt Thomas Smith suited up and ready to refuel the car, Sgt Ben Dickerson keeping a close eye on our 3-minute timer and Sapper Alex Martin ready to react to anything odd that might occur.

Unfortunately, on this very lap things started to take a turn. As Lt Alex Rivett made his way onto the GP circuit the car lost all drive, and the team was forced to retire the car. We later found out that the drive saft had melted due to a boot failure. The driver and car were all okay and hope to get back out at Oulton Park in a couple of weeks.

A huge thank you to all the team members that attended the event. It could not have occurred without you and professionalism and hard work really pushed the team forward as we develop.

Photographs courtesy of: Jen Thompson Photography



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