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Author Lotus Elise 111R *Cadwell Park*
Kyle T
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Registered: 11th Sep 04
Location: Selby, North Yorkshire
User status: Offline
22nd Apr 17 at 11:18   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Good news, I survived another trackday with the car in one piece!

Cadwell was a great day, cracking weather (for once) and I ended up really enjoying the last few sessions. It was a slow burner though, I didn't feel comfortable all morning and wasn't enjoying my time on track much at all...

It was MSV organised and dominated by Ford Fiesta, some of which were incredibly quick running boost and slicks in some cases.

I'm not sure what it is about Cadwell, but this is my third time there (first in this car) and I've never felt like I was driving quickly around it. I was VERY slow the first time there in my Subaru, similarly slow the second time and this trackday wasn't feeling much better.

I think it was a combination of confidence in the car (ie, are the brake calipers going to come flying off next time I stomp on the brakes at 110mph...) and poor track knowledge despite all of my time there so far. I faffed around with tyre pressures a bit, which made a bit of difference but I was in so much of a fluff that I was setting my fronts higher than the rears as I would have done in the Subaru... rears should be slightly higher pressure in the Lotus, doh.

By 11am I went into the MSV office and booked a tuition session for 12:10 as I still wasn't feeling it, and needed to try something.

The tuition went really well, and the intro lap that I did with the instructor was actually pretty good which set the tone for the session nicely. He bought me LOADS of speed through the Park/Chris/Gooseneck section and set me at ease a little bit.

After lunch I had loads more fun, though I'm still miles off the pace of this car - for once I came away from Cadwell feeling like I wanted to go straight back and keep building up. Previously I've just been happy to survive it

The MSV photographs were excellent, and as I've only ever run with Lotus on Track up until now I've never had on-track photos of my Lotus... so they had some of my money for this lot:



















The car was great, still some tweaking to make to damper settings and tyre pressures but I'll do this in a more familiar environment like Blyton Park. I had some scrubbing on the left hander into Mountain which you can see in the pictures, so not sure if I need to stiffen up or add more ride height... will see what the damage is like to the arch liners and take it from there!

Oh, video of a few laps too - in 4K for those with appropriate monitors/TVs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiY3ikZRdds


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Kyle T
Premium Member

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Registered: 11th Sep 04
Location: Selby, North Yorkshire
User status: Offline
24th Jul 17 at 13:14   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Crikey, I've been neglecting this thread!

I've been using the car as much as possible, starting with a drive down to Hethel for the Lotus on Track track day there back in April(?!) The car was bang on all the way there, back and during the track day. I didn't get any GoPro on the day, no idea why - must have been an SD card cockup.

Next up I had a track day at Blyton, again with LoT and we had a bit of a drama... causing my first ever red flag! Luckily the issue wasn't too serious, but it has resulted in a bit of a job list on the car...

I came round the final right hander before the start/finish straight (just before pit entry) and heard a great big thud in the back of the car. I backed off, then part way round Lancaster the car started kangeroo'ing before coming to a complete halt. I got a tow back, after finding my battery had come loose in the boot and had tipped upside down and disconnected itself.

Despite a very under-booked track day (13 runners all day!) I had no shortages of offers for help, and a few hours later I had a new battery and enough straps/cable ties to allow me to finish the day:



I initially thought I had got away without any further damage - one of the rear light clusters took a pounding from behind, but luckily a non-structural bit had just cracked off which has been gorilla glued back on without drama. Late in the day, the sun came out in full force and I finally noticed a little craze/crack in the gelcoat on my rear clam The fiberglass doesn't seem to be damaged, I guess it just flexed upwards a bit from the impact of the battery enough to crack the coating, so it should be an easy fix - and in some ways it's fortunate that the damage happened where it did - it's just a few inches away from a spot of lacquer peel that the car has had since I bought it... so it's on the list to get fixed anyway!

After the track day, I thought for a few days about a permanent fix for this - if you remember I had to previously bodge my battery anyway due to a failing in the OEM clamp so I wanted something proper. I eventually decided to go lightweight, and fit a smaller battery with a proper bracket.





I've fitted it with an isolation kill switch on the negative lead, so when it's parked up during the week I don't put any unnecessary drain on the wee thing.

Again, no decent footage due to all of the days dramas - but ultimately a successful day and despite several efforts I can't actually capture the crazed/cracked paintwork on camera - so it's really not a big deal for now.

Aside from the track days, I've been out and about as much as possible - and hope to get out this week if the weather sorts itself out.

Couple of random pics to remind you what it looks like...








Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Kyle T
Premium Member

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Registered: 11th Sep 04
Location: Selby, North Yorkshire
User status: Offline
22nd Sep 17 at 13:17   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

...another late update.

I did another Carlimits.com circuit training day at Blyton this month which was far more successful than my last attempt in which heavy fog and torrential rain pretty much killed the day.

The focus of the day is not on lap time, it's never even discussed - but it's about raising confidence in the car which will passively gain you lap time anyway. It's suited for all ability levels, I understand that established racing drivers occasionally attend and are able to get value from the day - as it's only 4 to 1 tuition, there's plenty of opportunity for custom exercises and feedback.

I've done a few track days in my Elise now, felt I was getting somewhat comfortable with it but I would never push myself or the car anywhere close to the limits because I wasn't sure how it would respond. I'd watch more confident drivers chucking their Eliges around all over the place and was a bit envious tbh as I knew I wasn't getting the most from my car.

We had an hour or so of "open pitlane" at the end of yesterday where we could put the various exercises to use, I wasn't focused on getting a good lap time but was concentrating more on finding the limits on each corner, stepping just beyond them and then recovering. Even with this more "playful" approach to driving, I can see from gopro footage that I'm still a full second clear of any previous lap I've done around Blyton. I think with a full open pitlane track day in the near future I would bring that down considerably more.

I'm not talking about full on WRC drifting around corners, just pushing the car to understeer and then tightening the turn with throttle and steering angle to carry momentum. Using subtle lift-off oversteer to rotate the car into tighter turns and generally not being too scared of the car. I've still got a LOT of work to do to find the perfect balancing point between sliding and momentum, but I now feel that I've got enough confidence and capability to at least start exploring that... hopefully that confidence is not dangerous!!

Here are a few clips from the final hour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_YOJEvWEHE&t=

Aside from that, I'm going through a difficult patch atm considering listing the car for sale. This was always intended, my financial situation over the last few years has been a little bit odd - I bought my first house at the worst possible time (5mins before the economy died) so I lost almost 30% of my value which never recovered in the 7 years that I had the house. I outgrew the house (met my wife) and we had to sell up, borrow money to settle the mortgage and then rent somewhere, our current house until we could recover again.

In the meantime, I had been building up money in my cars by borrowing and aggressively paying off before borrowing again to upgrade. Through my car purchases I have ended up with the Lotus that owes me nothing, and in parallel I've paid off my previous mortgage. Yay!

As for the intended bit, I've also been delayed from having another mortgage due to being self employed - but as of next April I should be in a position to get back on the ladder again. The plan was to sell the Elise, add to our savings and then buy in Summer 2018. I considered selling the car now, as it frees up ~70 of tax/insurance each month and I can get about 30p worth of interest on the money over winter. The trade-off to this is that I'll be miserable for the best part of 7 months, bored - and I'll be in danger of blowing the money on other crap to keep me distracted!

I'm now leaning towards keeping it until Spring, maybe it's worth a few hundred quid more in spring - or at the very least is an easier sale. I get to maybe do a couple more drives out before winter settles in - and maybe a cheeky trackday too! There are a couple of odd jobs I can do to it over winter to tidy it up ready for sale, and SORN'ing it in November will further reduce how much it's costing me to have sat around.

Sad times, but as soon as I get the keys for a new house - needless to say I'll be back with another project. Probably another Lotus, I have unfinished business with this type of car especially after my lessons learned with Carlimits this month.



Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi

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