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Numbers add up for Lotus 2-Eleven Aussie motorsport debut.
Lotus Cars Australia announces the brand new 2-Eleven will make its Australian competition debut at the Mt Buller Sprint hillclimb in early November. And if superstition is a guide, the numbers are looking good.
Fresh from its first public display at the Sydney motor show, the track-focussed 2-Eleven is currently being prepared for its first competitive outing Down Under.
In August 2005, Lotus unveiled and entered the 'Circuit Car' prototype at the UK's Shelsley Walsh hillclimb 100th anniversary; the oldest motorsport event in the world.
With its recent elevation into full production status, the 2-Eleven will challenge Australia's premier hillclimb event in Victoria's north-east.
While the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb lasts around 35 seconds, the Mt Buller Sprint takes in 132 corners over a 16.1km climb in less than eight minutes.
Lotus Cars Australia Sales & Marketing Manager Jonathan Stretton announced the competition debut of the 2-Eleven at the recent Sydney motor show: "Though the 2-Eleven is road legal in the UK, in Australia it is sold for track use only, so we will be using events like the Mt Buller Sprint to demonstrate the 2-Eleven and its competitiveness.
"Given the prototype's debut at the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, we considered the Mt Buller hillclimb as a fitting way to start its competitive life in Australia."
Mr Stretton also announced the 2-Eleven's crew will consist of Sydney racing motoring journalists Dean Evans and Samantha Stevens. "We considered a number of drivers for the 2-Eleven, but with his history and success with Lotus over the past few years and his famous Bathurst 16th-to-1st internet video, Dean was a natural choice.
Stretton added: "Dean has competed in the Mt Buller Sprint twice before in a Lotus Elise and Exige, so it was only natural to progress into the 2-Eleven and we have full confidence in Dean showcasing its potential."
Navigating will be Samantha Stevens, whose major events include this year's Targa Tasmania and the two previous Mt Buller Sprints. "Over the past year, Samantha has proven she has the enthusiasm and experience for the job," added Stretton, "plus she adds some attractiveness to the cabin that Dean can't offer..."
This week the Lotus 2-Eleven completed 200km in testing at Eastern Creek Raceway. Evans was very enthusiastic: "What a car! It's so light and responsive, but incredibly easy to drive fast. It's like pushing a toy around on the floor: it goes immediately where you want it, but I was amazed at how easy it was to drive on the limit.
It's the fastest production car I've ever driven around that track - by some margin."
At just 745kg, the 2-Eleven's supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder offers 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. Top speed is 249km/h.
On numerals, Stretton quipped: "The car's number has been confirmed as 21, its CAMS club number is 2011 and the event starts on the 2nd of the 11th. Given the two years and eleven months since the prototype ran at Shelsley Walsh, we're numerically harmonised."
The 2-Eleven features adjustable traction control, where the amount of slip can be tailored to 18 different settings via a cockpit dial. The same system also incorporates adjustable launch control.
The 2-Eleven's external body is an all new ultra-lightweight composite structure with core-mat technology weighing just 40kg.
Ohlins adjustable coil-over shock absorbers, an adjustable front sway bar plus a strengthened rear suspension brace are all designed for competition.
The recommended retail price of the Lotus 2-Eleven is $127,500 plus statutory government charges, sold through the Lotus Cars Australia authorised dealer network.
Supporting sponsors of the Lotus 2-Eleven's entry at the Mt Buller Sprint include OZICOZI Paint Protection and Monza Imports for AlpineStars.
The 2007 Mt Buller Sprint's 10 competitive stages run from November 3-5.
Dean Evans, 35yo
1st 2006 Lotus Trophy
1st 2006 Targa Tasmania class
3 x Bathurst 3 Hours
2005/06 Mt Buller Sprint
1st 2001 Mirage Cup
Samantha Stevens, 29yo
1st 2007 Targa Tasmania class (nav)
2005/06 Mt Buller Sprint (nav)
2006 Lake Mountain Sprint (driver)
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