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The Lotus Type 119c soapbox racer

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June 30, 2006

Image Gallery (11 images)

July 1, 2006 The rise in popularity of gravity (aka soapbox) racing has been spectacular in recent years, and one of the most successful teams has been the Lotus team from the famous motorsport constructor and design studio. Now the team is heading for a showdown at the Brooklands Museum Soapbox Derby on 16 July, 2006. The Lotus Type 119c soapbox racer is the reigning Goodwood Festival of Speed Gravity Racing champion and record holder, beating Bentley and B.A.R in the final event held in 2004. Following the omission of the downhill event from the crowded Goodwood Festival of Speed line-up, attention has turned to the Extreme Gravity Racing (XGR) Series in the USA, and the UK-based Brooklands Soapbox Derby which ran for the first time last year, being won by the gravity racer of another famous motorsport group – Lola. Accordingly, two unbeaten cars will face off for the Brooklands title. The closed-cockpit Lotus Type 119c "streamliner" features an aerodynamically-efficient ultra-light carbon-fibre monocoque, remaining true to the "performance through light weight" philosophy of Lotus founder Colin Chapman. It will be lining up once again against familiar automotive constructors such as Lola, Vauxhall and Ford as well as entries from schools, colleges and privateers. Excellent image library with this story.

Paul Adams, who successfully piloted the Lotus Type 119 soapbox to victory in the Roadster Class at the Goodwood event in 2002 and who clinched the overall win in 2004 with the 119c, will be returning to the driving seat hoping to lift a third trophy. On being back behind the wheel after a two-year break, Paul Adams explains: "I am really excited to be able to race at such a historic circuit and be reunited again with past competitors, which will certainly make for some good and fun racing. We will be shaking down the car on the Hethel Test Track, so that I can familiarise myself once again with the controls, oil the nuts and bolts and blow off the cobwebs!"

Teams will race from the top of the Test Hill of the Brooklands circuit, which then leads on to the exciting banked section before the Finish Straight in front of the paddock. The record, held by Lola Cars for descending the course, is 71.8 seconds, and competitors are expected to reach a top speed of around 35 mph.

Lotus Team members

Paul Adams, 26 - Pilot Billy Carroll, 28 - Engineer/Running gear Dave Larkman, 35 - Engineer Simon Wittenberg, 26 - PR/Commercial Activities

We have previously covered several extreme gravity racing stories such as Motorsport without the motor, the design of the Volvo Extreme Gravity Car and The billycart goes (WAY) upmarket!

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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