LOTUS RACING LAUNCH NEW EVORA GTC
Having been honed on Lotus' Hethel Test Track, the car has already found its first customers. McMahon Raceworks with Condor Motorsport has just placed an order for their Evora GTC, and will enter it in America's Grand-Am road races, the Rolex Sports Car Series. The team led by David McMahon with Armando Trentini as lead driver and consultant, spent two days this week getting familiar with the machine on the ragged edge at Lotus Headquarters.
Meanwhile, Team Bullrun's Evora GT4 will be converted to GTC-spec in June. Raced by British drivers Richard Adams, David Green and Martin Byford, Bullrun's Evora has proved phenomenally competitive in the 2012 Britcar MSA Endurance Championship and currently leads the standings.
The engine and gearbox of the GT4 Enduro are carried over to the GTC, but the car has been on a diet. Carbon-fibre doors, roof and engine cover have replaced fiberglass panels, and Plexiglass replaces the windows in order to trim yet more weight off what is already a very light car. At 1,130-1,140kg, depending on customer specification, the GTC is 30kg lighter than the Enduro.
It's not all take-away. Traction control and BOSCH racing Anti-Lock Brakes system have been added to optimize power delivery and braking control. With England being particularly damp for the past month, serious testing of the GTC has taken place in the wet where the car's intelligent traction control and ABS have come to the fore. A definitive comparison test will be conducted shortly, but already it has proved to be faster than the previous evolution.
The wheels and tyres are wider which not only gives the car more grip through the curves, the front and rear wheels rise to 18x10Js and 12Js respectively, mated to 27/65-18 tyres at the front and 30/65-18s at the rear..
In order to accommodate the wider wheels, flared arches have been fitted, which give the car a more aggressive silhouette.
Its 4-litre V6 continues to pump out 450bhp and 460Nm of torque, linked to an XTRAC six-speed sequential paddle-shift gearbox.
As well as the MSA Endurance Series and Grand-Am GTC (undergoing homologation), the car is eligible for the British GT Championship, VdeV Series, Dutch Supercar, and CREVENTIC Endurance Races, such as the Dubai 24 Hours and the 12 Hours of Bathurst. (All subject to confirmation)
Louis Kerr, senior motorsport engineer, Group Lotus: "The GTC is faster than the GT4 Enduro even though the powertrain remains the same. We've managed to reduce the weight, and added ABS and traction control. Wider wheels mean customers now have a much greater level of traction and selection of tyres they can use, the flared wheel arches accommodate this, which gives the car its visual definition and makes it look more muscular without hampering the aero."
Claudio Berro, director of Lotus Racing: "The Evora's development and a front-row racing car is achieving its performance targets and the GTC is an evolution of a car that has already taken wins on the track - the GT4 Enduro. Last month Team Bullrun took victory at Silverstone in the Britcar endurance championship with a GT4 Enduro that benefitted from GTC development parts, and the team's upgrade will be completed in June when there's an appropriate lull in their racing schedule. The car's weight-saving and improved grip and braking abilities should help increase the gap between them and the teams chasing them in the championship. We're very pleased to welcome McMahon Raceworks to Lotus ownership and will provide them with a car adapted to US racing rules, and look forward to seeing the GTC make its marque in Grand-Am."