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These are pictures of our - 2008 Lotus Exige-S 240 - Ordered May 5, 2008 - Click thumbnails and yellow text for larger pictures


The Delivery:

 

 

August 25, 2008 - the day it was finally delivered to the dealer.

August 28, 2008 - It is FINALLY HERE!!!

August 28, 2008 - After I got to drive it around a little, it was Rachel's turn to have some fun!!! (Video capture)

August 28, 2008 - The 1st parking, we were VERY worried it would not make it up our driveway without scraping the bottom. It made it!

August 28, 2008 - The interior / dashboard


The day after (Aug 29th) - registered, inspected and ready to go!

 

 

Awwww, now just look at that smile!

Close-up shots of the interior

Drivers side Interior

The seats

Front driver's side

Picture of the side

Rear quarter

Front / Top

Rear open

Engine close-up

About to be parked after a nice long day of fun


Miscellaneous Pictures:

 

 

Great way to put some break-in miles on the car, drive it to MSR to watch some racing! I got some great rides too, but no track driving for ours until I get some miles on it!

After fettling we decided to drive it around for the 1st time with the roof removed. It is great fun, and it made the engine sound even sweeter!

After fettling we decided to drive it around for the 1st time with the roof removed. It is great fun, and it made the engine sound even sweeter!

Dyno day with a friend, see "Tech Pics" section below for details. This is a vid cap of a friend and I dynoing our cars. Due to problem my first 2 runs did not get recorded so later they moved my car over to the dyno on the right.

May 31, 2009 - 10 years and 2 days after I took delivery of my ///M3

Sample pic from one of the many Autocross events we attend (normally run ASP-T)

First "Big Track" event with the Lotus - Eagles Canyon (07/2009). Proofs from hart-photography.com

After a day at ECR we often visit downtown Decatur for dinner.

Getting ready for the next track day, anyone need to borrow a 600ft/lb torque wrench?

Eric coming off track at ECR, Rachel following - riding with her instructor in his 2010 GT3.

Rachel waiting for her run session during a member day at MSR Cresson.

Can't get enough of MSR Cresson. Another member day.

So what do you do when you can only afford time trial and solo type racing with your Lotus? If you are lucky, a car owner invites you to join a Lemons or Chumpcar team! In the past I had offers from others but finally the stars aligned and I got to take part in a Chumpcar event at ECR. We had a 1st generation RX7 with a Ford (aka Lincoln) 302 V8. 190hp in an RX7 is never going to be slow! ;) The car handled great, the zip ties and bailing wire held all the parts together, and there was no problem out accelerating all but the few other RX7/5.0 conversions. We made it to the middle of the 2nd day before fuel starve issues ended the race for us. This was my first official-real-door-to-door racing event ever and it was awesome!

A perspective I never get to see using a borrowed video camera during fun runs on MSR-C's 3.1

Our car is fully streetable but when two people with a weekend's worth of gear take a 4+ hr each way drive to a track it gets a little tiring. Enter "Operation LOTOW" - February to August 2012: Part 1 was to make room and convert the garage door to high lift and install a car lift. Part 2 was to get a vehicle that the wife could primarily drive daily that a) got ok MPG, b) wouldn't destroy the bank, c) was somewhat utilitarian, d) and COULD tow. Part 3 Custom order and take delivery of the trailer. We are extremely pleased! The 2012 Ford Edge is a comfy ride, very convenient, and tows the Exige/aluminum trailer combo like a champ! Ok, ok, I am not a fan of the bling wheels but it is what it is. :)

Ok, no Lotus content here but still track and mid-engine car related! ;) A friend wanted to drive a Ferrari for his birthday so being a good friend I "slum-ed" it and drove an F430 with him on the TMS infield track. (We loved it!) FYI, the helmet is borrowed and is not my costume from the movie "Spaceballs" Almost a year later Rachel and I were hired as drivers/instructors for the same event. We each got to drive 8 customers around a course to show them what a Ferrari and Lamborghini could do! Between drives we would instruct customers through the course as they enjoyed these beautiful machines.

Our first out-of-Texas track, NOLA in New Orleans, LA. Great facility, friendly people, and an easy track to learn which is good if after 10+hrs of driving you only have 2 track days to play! It was also my 1st trip to the French quarter. Can you say, "peanut butter bacon burger" at Yo Mamas? Mummmmmm Heaven.

November 17-18, 2012 - Drove from Dallas to Austin for the Inaugural weekend at COTA to welcome F1 back to the USA! I was at the inaugural weekend for TMS back in 1997 and the crowd control was a nightmare. Not so at this event. It ran like clockwork and although I have visited some F1 venues before, we finally attended our first F1 race! We also saw Ferrari Challenge, GT3 Cup, and Historic Grand Prix races. What an awesome weekend and we got up and close to the greatest in motorsport. We saw lots of our friends there and it seemed like anyone who was anyone was there for the first race! We were in the stands @ T11E. Pic top to bottom: Team Lotus - K Raikkonen / R Grosjean. Red Bull - S Vettel, M Webber, McLaren - L Hamilton / J Button, Ferrari - F Alonso / F Massa, Mercedes - M Schumacher, N Rosberg.
In Jan'13 I went back to actually drive the track at the first ever HPDE (in my ///M3). I was there again in Mar'13 for the first Pro Mazda, Continental Tire Challenge and Rolex Series Grand-AM races! I have a feeling visiting COTA will be a reoccurring event. ;)

Well, with about 200 pictures being taken of the car every time we drive it somewhere I FINALLY stumbled on one taken at MSR-C via random Google search! I recall it was from my 1st test day after a 8 month hiatus. It rained that Saturday but I got a few sessions in. I then stayed near the track (THANKS RUSTY!!) and had a great Sunday. Looks like the picture was taken by the NTLC. Thanks guys!

We average about 24 track days a year but after an excruciating 8 month hiatus we tried to make up for lost time. We mounted up some new Hoosiers and snuck in 4 full track days in June 2013! Some proofs from hart-photography.com

Nice shot from MSR-C in March'14 - Thanks Jeff!

Pic from one of my trips to Texas World Speedway (TWS) in College Station, TX - May'14

Update: Exactly a year after this picture (May 16-18, 2015) I made it down to TWS for the final time. Hosted by The Drivers Edge, my friends and I had an absolute blast bidding it farewell. It was a great moment spent with them and we are all very sad that it has closed. - R.I.P. - Texas Motor Speedway - 1969 to June 2015

Waking up to another beautiful morning at MSR-C - Oct'14

My 1st trip to Hallet Motor Racing Circut in Jennings, Oklahoma. I only got to drive a few sessions before the weekend got rained out but I already can tell that I really like this course. I hope to return soon! - Apr'16

Road Trip from LA to Sonoma and back again via the Pacific Coast Highway. Awesome trip - we saw some amazing museums and many other points of interest. Our track cars were not with us but that did not stop us from visiting some famous tracks during our trip. Hopefully one day we will visit them with our cars! - Buttonwillow, Sanoma, Laguna Seca - Aug'16


Tech pics (see Tech Specs tab for more information):

 

 

The ADVAN A048 LTS is Yokohama's DOT-Legal Competition tire designed for the drivers of vehicles who participate in autocross competition, track schools, lapping days and circuit-type club racing. The ADVAN A048 was developed from Yokohama racing technology and came standard with our car. On the outside, the ADVAN A048 molds a race-ready compound that provides dry grip over a wide range of temperatures into a 6/32-inch deep, "single block" tread design that increases tread stiffness and features a wide center area that stays in continuous contact with the track to enhance cornering stability, on-center feel and steering response. As the tire's outer shoulder tread wears from hard cornering, the ADVAN A048's directional tread design and symmetric internal construction allows worn tires to be remounted "inside-out" on their wheels to help prolong their life. On the inside, the ADVAN A048 features twin steel belts that are reinforced with spirally wrapped nylon cap plies and belt edge strips. The belt package is placed on top of a rounded casing design that allows the tire to predictably handle transitions from straight-line travel to high g-force cornering and back. When hot they handle even better than the spectacular AD07's that I have on my M3 - but they wear much faster too!

The Toyo Proxes R888 is Toyo's DOT-Legal Competition R-compound tire billed to be ideal for road racing, track days and high performance driving schools and is their next-generation, street legal competition tire. In competition the R888ís semi-slick shoulder area, continuous center contact area, and improvements in casing and 6/32-inch deep V-tread design improve dry performance while maintaining wet traction and control. They are rated 100 AA A. While I had NO complaints at the track with the Yokohamas, they did tend to harden up due to heat cycling toward the end of their (ahem short) lifespan. Besides being cheaper than the Yoko A048s, the 888s do not heat cycle, and are sticky down to the chords so they are able to be used longer than the A048s. The trade off is that they are noticeably heavier and their side walls are about 5% less stiff than A048s. I ordered my set cpmpetition heat cycled which makes them more resistant to losing their strength when they are used. For the track, these are also spectacular tires!

The tires above are spectacular at the track, but regular street driving and even if you were to Auto-X does not heat them up up to their operating tempture (even here in Texas). What that means is that for the street they do not grip as well as high performance street tires would. So, we bought another set of wheels and mounted maximum street grip tires - The Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec. These tires are better for the street as they last longer, provide more grip on the street, and are 1/2 the price of our race tires. Dunlop's Extreme Performance Summer tire are designed for drivers of lighter weight vehicles who are often confronted with the task of working tire temperatures up to the point of generating peak grip. The Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec tread compound is molded into a directional design featuring notched, continuous shoulder ribs, large intermediate shoulder blocks and a wide center rib to deliver consistent contact with the road and enhance grip during cornering. Two wide, circumferential center grooves, wavy shoulder grooves and multiple lateral grooves provide water evacuation to enhance wet traction. The tire's internal structure includes two wide steel belts reinforced by JointLess Band (JLB) Technology spirally wound polyamide to provide strength, uniform ride quality and high-speed capability while steel cord reinforced, 2-ply polyester sidewalls help resist lateral deflection to provide responsive handling and cornering stability.

Now that operation LOTOW is complete there is no reason for me to worry about driving the Lotus to and from the track. We have gone through countless sets of A048s and 888s but starting in July'12 I have moved the daily street tires (Star Specs) to our stock wheels, and mounted a set of properly heat cycled Hoosier R6 then later R7 to our spare wheels. Unfortunately our wider heavier spare wheels and light R6 tires are about 3lbs heavier each than our stock wheels with almost worn Toyo 888s but provide more grip. I was able to go with larger widths and have had ZERO rubbing issues so far using 205/45-16 on the front, and 245/40-17 on the rear (R7s did rub, I had to go back to 225/40). On my 1st run ever on these tires so far at MSR-C 1.7CCW I saw sustained lateral-Gs of 1.45g, highest I ever saw with 888s was a blip at 1.35g. They seemed to still provide me with ample feedback/warning when controlling the car at the limit. These are still not "full slicks" as they are still DOT legal radials and they do not grip as much as A6s but they do obviously provide a LOT more grip than any previous tire I have used. Feedback from other Lotus drivers is that they will last much longer than 888s, and even when heat cycled out will grip no worse than worn 888/A048s did. They are slightly more expensive but in the long run these should be a win/win/win.

So here is the deal, if you want to listen to music just turn up the volume. The volume control is located just under your right foot. Come on people, the engine is right behind you! While I am sure the head unit is a fine piece, it was paired with only 4 speakers which have zero bass. I think it would sound better if the stereo was a jam-box that was dragging behind the car. But I knew this going in, maybe someday I will upgrade the stereo but it will do for now. Funny, cars delivered only a few weeks earlier still came with the Alpine CDA-9856, mine was delivered with a CDE-9872 w/ipod adapter.

Pictures of before and after intercooler air intake fettling.

Stock airbox and filter on the left, new Cup airbox with K&N filter on the right.

Larini de-cat race pipe

Saikoumichi oil catch cans

Stock intercooler on top, Really Light Stuff (RLS/Bell) on bottom.

Finally made it to a dyno with a friend that had a '07 Exige-S w/Cup airbox and Lotus Stage 3 cat back exhaust. He put down 208RWHP. Click to the right to see my dyno graph - 241.5 RWHP @ 7946 RPM, 163.2 FT/LBS torque @ 7621 RPM. That easily puts the car above 265 crank HP. Not too bad for a 2070lb car!

I took the day off after Memorial Day '09 and thought I would finally try to build a radiant heat barrier for the intercooler. Luckily my faithful garage dog Morgan was there to help! In this picture you can also see the RLS intercooler and the catch cans.

Sept '09 we got another set of wheels that we will use to mount tires that are both more sticky on the street and 1/2 the cost of the tires we use for big track. Top pics are stock Fronts 6J x 16 - 195/50R16 Yoko A048, Rears 7.5J x 17 - 225/45R17 Yoko A048. Bottom pics are Fronts 16x7 +27 offset 205/50/16 Dunlop Star Spec Z1, Rears 17x8 +35 offset - 235/45/17 Dunlop Star Spec Z1. Ideally with the new wheels we could fit 215/45/16 and 245/40/17 sizes but at the time no company I wanted to use made the size in an ultra performance max grip street tire flavor.

A friend and I got restless and tried to think of ways to increase the amount of air to the intercooler. At the time we did this, no one was selling a good solution (besides moving the intercooler location). We now have 3 chambers each with their own airsource providing air to the intercooler instead of only the small duct attached to the roof scoop.

Baffled oil pan install.

Floating rotor and stock cracked rotor.

New carbon fiber front lip/splitter. Look closely and you can also see the floating rotors and the 4-point harnesses installed a year ago.

Made good use of a day off to configure, install, and test our new video and data logging equipment. Finally found a use for the rear view mirror I had removed the day we got the car. Not shown is a track map in the lower left hand corner that would display if I were at a configured track. For a newer animated picture click here.

I upgraded my Smartycam to the newer HD Rev2.1. Click the thumbnail to the right for an example screen capture.

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