Lotus Elan

Spa 6 Hours

PostPost by: pir26r » Sun Oct 01, 2023 10:17 am

A fantastic performance by the Lotus Elan 26R's in the Spa Six Hours Endurance with three Elans in the top 10 finishers.
A special mention to the Jordan / Tordoff / Dorlin Elan which finished a magnificent 2nd overall only 1 lap down on the winning GT 40 driven by Griffiths / Shedden/ Priaulx. A stunning achievement given the quality of the field (see attached final classification).
Over 6 hours the 26R is a mighty performer.
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PostPost by: Wheel Art » Sun Oct 01, 2023 2:51 pm

Brilliant drive indeed.
The 2023 edition of the Spa 6 hours was amazing. The Elans would have been no match for gt40s in a one hour race, but over six hours the lotuses needed less fuel pit stops.
4929c2ed-588f-404f-a44f-4884d6644681.jpeg and
Fuel stop, notice the elan in the queue

We were at the foot of the Raidillon and it was amazing to see the different braking points and racing lines; the elans using their lack of weight to brake later and carry the momentum through the bends and overtake much more powerful machinery.
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PostPost by: pir26r » Sun Oct 01, 2023 5:50 pm

Great photo.
A friend who has raced an Elan in the Spa 6 hours told me that in the hands of top drivers in race conditions the GT40 is about 10 seconds a lap quicker.
As you point out over 1 hour the Elans have no chance, but over 6 hours a lot of other factors come into play.
In this years race fastest race lap comparisons were:
GT40 - 2.43.081
Elan - 2.50.369 (Littlejohn) - an incredible time.

I am no expert but I would have thought if the Elan loses momentum it is much harder to get it back than in the GT40, hence increasing the differential.
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Mon Oct 02, 2023 6:16 am

Congratulations indeed to the 3 Elans in the top 8.

Anorak observation: the Elans were all in the pre 31/12/1965 GTS10 category and the GT40s run to 1966 GTP (sports prototype) specification which gives a supplementary advantage (as if if one was needed!).

The Spa 6 Hours is a great event, and indeed is the only race of its length on the classic calendar (the Le Mans Classic comprises several 45minute demonstrations).

Here is quite a good YouTube of the event (perhaps others will appear):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eS_gwV8azo

Just to give an idea of the significance of the 2'50.3" lap time (possibly achieved by slip streaming), this was comparable with the Lotus 25 R4 also taking part (although it has been faster on previous editions).
1965 Lotus Elan S2 26/4022 (originally Dutchess Lotus East, PA and NJ Area, USA)
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Tue Oct 03, 2023 12:51 pm

I was not able to attend the 6 hour race this year, but I did go to the Silverstone Classic Festival and was able to snap this photo of the Elan the came 2nd overall at the Spa 6 hours (1st pre-1966 and GTS car):

P1000511.JPG and
1965 Lotus Elan S2 26/4022 (originally Dutchess Lotus East, PA and NJ Area, USA)
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