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Classic Lotus cars to star in Great Yarmouth festival

Classic Team Lotus

Racing and road cars from Norfolk’s iconic sports car makers Lotus are revving up to star in a seafront wheels festival at Great Yarmouth over the first weekend in September.

The famous marque is at the front of the grid for this year’s Great Yarmouth Wheels Festival which brings an array of classic and contemporary vehicles to locations along the Golden Mile.

Five famous racing cars from Classic Team Lotus’ stable of historic Formula 1 machines will be on display at Anchor Plaza during the weekend of September 3rd and 4th.

They come from a Works Collection of models which drove Team Lotus to 77 Grand Prix wins and seven World Championships.

Drivers included the legendary Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ronnie Peterson, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna.

Famous racing car liveries on display will include Gold Leaf, John Player and Camel as well as classic British Racing Green.

The display will be in a large marquee along with archive film of the cars and team.

Classic Team Lotus events co-ordinator Sapphire Nichols said the 25-strong Works Collection cars were normally housed in a special, atmosphere-controlled, barn at their base in Hethel opposite the Lotus cars factory.

“It is rare to have five of the Works Collection cars together on display in Norfolk,” she added. “People love to see the cars, and learn about their histories.”

Enthusiasts from the East Anglia Lotus Club will also bring a collection of sports cars from 1960s Elans to more modern models such as Esprits, Europas and Elises, to Britannia Pier Plaza during the event.

A Go Go Dragons sculpture painted as Lotus F1 driver legend Jim Clark who won the world championships in 1963 and 65 will also be on show. Its creator was East Anglia Lotus Club member Owen Wright to commemorate Clark’s Indianapolis 500 win in 1965.

Other attractions appealing to car loving “petrolheads” are:
• American low-rider and muscle cars from Best of Britain Cars
• Lotus Carltons and other big Vauxhall Opel makes from the Autobahn Stormers Club
• A Ford GT40
• Jaguar XK8 and XKR cars
• An Austin truck

Visitors can get a taste of Formula 1 track action and pit crew skills with a F1 driving simulator and wheel and spark plug changing have-a-go challenges.

Away from the seafront in the Market Place there will be two-wheeled pedal power with the Pro Action Sports team from the Extreme Wheels Roadshow. Six top riders will showcase BMX jumps, choreographed routines and a mountain bike trail show – with a chance for fans to meet the team and get posters and selfies.

People can also ride in vintage style between the town and seafront display areas in a classic 1959 Spratts coach.

The Great Yarmouth Wheels Festival is in its second year, having featured the Bloodhound land speed record car in its debut last autumn.

The event is funded by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business
Improvement District which is using a pot of levy payers money to organise and support events to attract more visitors to the area, to boost the local economy. There is also support from Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Joyland Diner

BID board member Lyndon Bevan said: “The Wheels Festival was popular in its first year, and we hope the chance to see some of Norfolk’s finest sports and racing cars will draw even bigger crowds this year.”

LOTUS FIRSTS
Classic Team Lotus’s cars trace the design developments of the racing car through the 60s, 70s and 80s pioneered by the visionary Colin Chapman and his engineers.

They introduced many innovations now familiar on today’s F1 cars, including:
• Aircraft style bag fuel tanks for fuel (Type 25, 1962)
• Using the engine as a structural member (Type 49, 1967)
• Full sponsors colour schemes (Type 49B, 1968)
• Side mounted radiators (Type 72, 1970)
• Ground effect air flow under the car (Type 78, 1977)
• Carbon fibre monocoque (Type 88, 1981)
• Active suspension (Type 92, 1983)
• Aerodynamic bargeboards (Type 97T, 1985)