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Author Lotus Elise 111R *SOLD*
Nic Barnes
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Registered: 5th Apr 04
Location: nowhere near ginger people
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3rd May 16 at 19:43   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

I love the smell of gearbox oil
Kyle T
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Registered: 11th Sep 04
Location: Selby, North Yorkshire
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16th May 16 at 21:48   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Woo finally done a track day, and it was sunny all day!

The trackday was organised by Lotus on Track and was at my local favourite... Blyton Park.

LoT run the day much like Javelin etc, except it's cheaper, exclusively Lotus/VX/Porsche attendees and they invite about half as many cars as Javelin.

I'd be driving on my standard wheels and mahogany bridgestones, with my brother in law kindly coming along in his Clio 197 support vehicle with my TDs and no-longer-road-legal A048s.

We met up and drove down with some work colleagues in an S1 111S, VX220 turbo and an S1 Exige who would also be attending. Arrived in good time and got the fancy wheels fitted.



Got the briefing done, then out for sighting laps. I was very nervous, weirdly. I remember having bad nerves at my first ever track day but only excitment since... but this was different. Once out on track, that of course subsided - especially when I realised the car wasn't going to kill me after chucking it into a bend.

I built up steadily in the morning sessions, only doing 5 or 6 hotlaps at a time and coming back in. The car was behaving fine, temperatures barely moving up and no sign of brake fade or inconsistency.

By lunch I had experienced a fair bit of movement in the rear of the car, nothing too dramatic and no spins - but primarily a flick of oversteer on turn-in when getting the line a bit wrong on a few of the corners, easily caught and no noticeable loss of momentum. Car felt great.

After lunch I attempted to pick up the pace a bit, but as my confidence grew it seemed my mental agility shrank and I was struggling to string good laps together. Can't blame traffic as the track was so quiet all day, and can't blame brakes or tyres as the car was incredibly consistent all day. Struggling to shift up from 2nd into 3rd was a pretty reliable indicator that I'd been out on track too long, I struggled with that change under hard acceleration when I first bought the car, and it showed again after I got a bit ragged out on the circuit.

Despite that, I got the odd good lap in and as my brother in law was feeling quite seasick - I got more time on track alone, which was actually a noticable difference in the Lotus vs the Subaru.



Car Feedback:
Obviously I'm still the weakest link in the car by far, but where I felt the car was a bit limited was in its feel on the higher speed direction change through Port Froid, it just felt a bit wallowy and didn't give me the confidence to carry the same sort of speed through as I did in the Subaru. There were a couple of scary looking spins on the day too which sent cars onto the infield grass at Port Froid, so maybe that slowed me down a bit.

I only suffered from loss of traction on exit a couple of times, and always the final 90 left before the start/finish line. Most of the time it would be a quick squeek from the inside rear but on a couple of laps I had it sliding around a bit. Having the cam change for all my power delivery helps here I guess, as the engine is quite dull through corners and only picks up once I'm straightening up, assuming I'm in the right gears at the right time.

Oversteer on turn-in was the most frequent reason for correcting something, but it was very easy to catch and never had to use more than a flick of opposite lock. Not driving hard enough, perhaps...

Braking was generally really good, really consistent and felt fantastic through the pedal. I did hear the odd squeel coming from the rears though suggesting that ABS let me lock up a touch, but I didn't have any drama as a result. I certainly don't feel the need to upgrade brakes anytime soon.

The power from this car didn't feel particularly low on this circuit, but it certainly seems to hit a brick wall at 100mph. Maybe I should have tried with the roof on for some drag reduction On a GP circuit I imagine the Elise might start feeling a little underpowered compared to the Subaru, but it felt fine at Blyton - corners seemed to come up at an alarming rate and saw similar top speeds as I did in the Subaru.

That said, after reviewing GoPro footage I'm a good 4secs per lap slower in the Lotus than I was in the Subaru on my final trackday in that car. I'm at the bottom of a steep learning curve though, and the car hasn't had any performance modifications yet - so that gives me a good benchmark to gauge improvements against.

Not a good day to by a fly...


Needless to say, can't wait to get back out. Probably another circuit next time, fancy Cadwell or Donnington but will see what comes up

Couple of videos that I uploaded so far:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etDPeBDJ2dQ&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJumD4_C6Ls&feature=youtu.be


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Kyle T
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Registered: 11th Sep 04
Location: Selby, North Yorkshire
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17th May 16 at 17:56   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Been sent a rare external shot from the day. Only downside to the LoT day, no track photographer






Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
BeetleGav
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Registered: 27th Jun 10
Location: lancashire, nelson
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17th May 16 at 18:17   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Can see what you mean in the video about it wallowing about a bit in the corners, surely it should stay flatter than that?
Kyle T
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17th May 16 at 19:48   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

I'm not sure, obviously it's got one of the stiffest chassis' around but perhaps to make it more road compliant the shocks are overly soft. Either that or they're just tired and want swapping!

The car rides great on the road, handles bumps really well so I guess there has to be some compromise.

Spoke to a few people about it, the verdict was that I just need to be braver - it'll stick, just chuck it in


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
BeetleGav
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Registered: 27th Jun 10
Location: lancashire, nelson
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17th May 16 at 22:25   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Yeah each lap you do increase your speed into corners until you find a comfortable limit where you still feel like your about to die

From looking at that picture above it does have some fair lean going on, obviously it's under braking too but still looks a lot, I don't even think my z4 squats that bad even with the heavy engine up front
VrsTurbo
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18th May 16 at 13:08   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Do they have TC or any aids?
Kyle T
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18th May 16 at 13:44   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by VrsTurbo
Do they have TC or any aids?


Mine just has ABS, earlier ones had no ABS and some later ones have TC.


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
VrsTurbo
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18th May 16 at 14:51   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Kyle T
quote:
Originally posted by VrsTurbo
Do they have TC or any aids?


Mine just has ABS, earlier ones had no ABS and some later ones have TC.


Screw that! i havent dared run my car without the TC yet
Kyle T
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Registered: 11th Sep 04
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18th May 16 at 15:07   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by VrsTurbo
quote:
Originally posted by Kyle T
quote:
Originally posted by VrsTurbo
Do they have TC or any aids?


Mine just has ABS, earlier ones had no ABS and some later ones have TC.


Screw that! i havent dared run my car without the TC yet


This one only has 190bhp though Nature of the VVTI engine also means that I don't get any of that power until higher up in the range, so it's pretty 'safe' on the gas with sticky tyres.

Cold tyres on a damp road though, and it's a fucking liability


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
tom_simes
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Organiser: South Wales
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Registered: 12th Jan 05
Location: Undy, Newport Drives: Skoda Octavia vRS estate
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18th May 16 at 16:34   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Kyle T
quote:
Originally posted by VrsTurbo
quote:
Originally posted by Kyle T
quote:
Originally posted by VrsTurbo
Do they have TC or any aids?


Mine just has ABS, earlier ones had no ABS and some later ones have TC.


Screw that! i havent dared run my car without the TC yet


This one only has 190bhp though Nature of the VVTI engine also means that I don't get any of that power until higher up in the range, so it's pretty 'safe' on the gas with sticky tyres.

Cold tyres on a damp road though, and it's a fucking liability

Exactly the same as my old S2000 - ABS, but no TC. It was fun on warm, dry days (inc Nurburgring GP track), but make for some very squirmy moments in damp and cold!
Kyle T
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18th May 16 at 17:22   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Learn something every day, thought S2Ks had TC.




Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
chris_uk
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18th May 16 at 19:01   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

you need to get harnesses installed.. you was moving around all over.

what i do which is a bit naughty is put he seat back, lock the belt by yanking it hard and then pull the seat forward so it traps me..

not as good as harnesses but damn better than just the normal belt.
tom_simes
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Location: Undy, Newport Drives: Skoda Octavia vRS estate
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18th May 16 at 20:49   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Kyle T
Learn something every day, thought S2Ks had TC.



Models up to 2006 only had ABS, from 2006 to 2008ish TC was an option, and then from 2008 onwards they all had TC.
Kyle T
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19th May 16 at 17:19   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by chris_uk
you need to get harnesses installed.. you was moving around all over.

what i do which is a bit naughty is put he seat back, lock the belt by yanking it hard and then pull the seat forward so it traps me..

not as good as harnesses but damn better than just the normal belt.


You might be right, though on the day I didn't really think much of it. In the Subaru I'll admit it was a nightmare, got cramps n' shit from subconsciously clenching myself into position In the Lotus I'm quite boxed in by sill and centre console, plus I've got a CGLock which helps. Harnesses would be better though.

At risk of looking like a right bender next time I'm on track, might need to get some gloves I've got blisters on the palms of my hands just where my fingers start, it's causing me all sorts of jip when I'm trying to have some "me time" and I think my sheltered IT hands are taking a pounding from the steering in this Lotus!




Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Kyle T
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21st May 16 at 17:02   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

I think I mentioned a few times that my rear tyres were knackered, so time to address that today.


Camera doesn't do that justice, but less than a mm registers on my depth gauge!

I'd been checking pricing for a week or so, replacing just the rear A048s would have been knocking for 500 which I wasn't enthusiastic about paying considering a full set of R888R can be had for around 550 and a full set of Avon ZZR 600.

The Avon ZZR is the flavour of the month tyre at the moment for the Lotus guys, as it's the control tyre for most/all series currently being run. It's slated to be as good as the A048/R888 and lasts a bit longer.

I was toying between a set of ZZR and trying something a little different (read: cheaper) such as the Federal 595s or Nankang NS2R etc.

Then I had a chance conversation with Rob @ Rob Boston racing who offered me a set of used Avon ZZR. I went to his shop today to take a look and they're barely used at all, 4.5-5mm tread on the rears and I believe they're 6mm from new. Less than half the price of a new set all fitted and balanced



Leon could comfortably manage the old tyres and new mounted on wheels. Wonder how well the Cupra could tow and become a full time support vehicle






Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Wrighty
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Registered: 28th Feb 04
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21st May 16 at 19:19   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

bargain
Kyle T
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23rd May 16 at 16:53   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Had a nice run out on Sunday, decided to go up into the Yorkshire Dales the scenic route (rather than an hour of A1 and 20mins of countryside, we did 3 hours of countryside to get to Buttertubs )

Car was bang on, even the missus had fun. Lots of photo opportunities too.

On the way up we found ourselves in a convoy of historic vauxhalls, so followed them to a meet they were having. Some great cars turned out, including a Lotus Carlton. Yay!













We hung around for 20mins, talked to a few people then hit the road again. Stopping for pics along the way...



...and stopping for sheep!







We even ventured off road for a walk...



Got home a bit sore and sunburned, I've got some personal conditioning to do before I could consider a euro roadtrip in this car...


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
djgritt
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Registered: 1st Nov 07
Location: North Dorset Drives: Monaro SC / Abarth595
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24th May 16 at 05:21   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Ah, you stumbled actoss the VBOA International meet. Nice


Ben G
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24th May 16 at 16:56   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Nice photo's Kyle.

Did you run up that hill to take the last pic?
Kyle T
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26th May 16 at 10:28   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Ben G
Nice photo's Kyle.

Did you run up that hill to take the last pic?


Walked/Staggered/Crawled a bit

Had a bit of an impromptu remap on the car this week! I rewatched all of my footage from Blyton and noticed that I was dropping "off cam" on all of the 3rd gear corners.

These corners are too quick for 2nd gear and I wasn't carrying enough speed through in 3rd to stay above 6200RPM and the go-cam, resulting in a bit of bogging down on exit.

It's also quite difficult to shift up from 2nd to 3rd and stay above 6200, you get very little room between the limiter and the drop-off point and anything other than a perfect shift results in bogging down slightly in a straight line.

With that in mind, I started doing some homework - not planning to make a change right away but wanted to see what my options were. A few companies do a service in which you can ship off your ECU and it comes back a few days later with a new map on it including Lotus themselves which lowers the cam switch point.

When my car was new, a "Lotus Motorsport" ECU was available as an optional extra. I think on the Exiges it also came with the TRD airbox that I'm using as a set. I guess it was under-advertised or people prefer the perception of a sharper "kick" of the later cam-switch, but I don't think it was all that popular.

I asked a local(ish) Lotus technician his opinion and he replied saying he had a Lotus Motorsport ECU lying around that he would exchange for mine, along with a small fee of course. 24 hours later the deal was done and I had a new ECU!

An added bonus to the Motorsport ECU is that I can enable traction control if I want it. I already have the wiring in my centre console, and a T/C warning light on my dash - I just need to buy and install a toggle switch. I can't say I've missed not having T/C, but it can't be a bad buffer to have lying around when driving on the road.

I've only driven the car for half an hour or so since swapping the ECU and so far I'm pleased with the change. The Cam switch is "only" 500 RPM earlier at 5700 but it does make all the difference. Firing up through the gears is much easier now that I've got a bit of margin before the limiter. The cam switch kick is now all but gone, you get a noticable surge of power through the revs instead now making it smoother and more linear. I can see why some people may not like it but for track driving there's no doubting that this is better. I've effectively gained slightly longer gearing with no change to the power delivery, feels great.

If you look at a torque graph for the standard car, the torque tails off quite a lot at 5700rpm until the second cam takes over so the "kick" that you feel is magnified. This earlier cam switch smooths that out nicely.

The car also feels much smoother and I dare say a little more powerful at low revs whilst off-cam too, though it could be placebo.

So far, very happy. Cheapest remap I've had on a car by a country mile and easily reversable but I fully expect this to represent a marginal lap time improvement on track


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Wrighty
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Registered: 28th Feb 04
Location: Howden
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27th May 16 at 07:04   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

nice, used to like coming across good deals like that when building cars
VrsTurbo
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27th May 16 at 07:06   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

When's the supercharger being ordered
Kyle T
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27th May 16 at 09:07   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by VrsTurbo
When's the supercharger being ordered


No immediate plans


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Kyle T
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26th Jun 16 at 20:12   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

No updates in a bit, mainly because the car hasn't needed any attention and on the few occasions the weather has been nice, I've just been driving it.

That said, over the last few weeknights I decided to make a start on dismantling the dashboard to see what was banging around inside it... This car rattles a fair bit, and I'm happy with that - but something new started, and it sounded so close to me it could have been inside my head!

Dashboard was easy enough to get off, but LOADS of little self tapping screws holding it all together so took a fair bit of time.




Once off, I quickly found the issue. The pipe leading to the left hand air vent was loose of its slots within the ally dashboard front and as a result was moving around a bit, the plastic occasionally dinking the aluminium.

After slotting it back into place, I put a strip of tape across the top of all the tubes to prevent them coming loose again. Pulled about half a kilo of leaves/crap from the dash and then began the chore of putting it all back together.



Next up, I'd decided to have a go at a DIY refurb of my gearknob. It's a brushed aluminium jobby with loads of scratches, notches and a worn patch presumably from a wedding ring.


I screwed it off, then found a bolt with a thread to match that of the gear stick, then dremelled off the head of the bolt so it would fit in my drill, AKA - Pikey Lathe.





Once fitted, I secured it in a very safe manner, between my knee and a recycling box and got to work progressively with three grades of wet/dry whilst buzzing the knob around at a million RPM.

I can't remember the grades I used, but something like 200/700/1200 maybe and really made short work of it. Really wish I took photos of each stage, but I didn't.

After the 1200 grit it pretty much looked fresh from factory, but felt really rough to the touch, like rubbing your palm over a dusty blackboard. I decided to go for one more finishing layer with some autosol and a rag.

I knew this last stage would make it more polished than brushed, but wasn't expecting a result like this!







Pretty chuffed with that


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi

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