Race Report: Round 1 - Circuit of the Americas

Race Report: Round 1 - Circuit of the Americas

And so it was on the week-end of March 18-19 that Lotus Cup USA. began the 2017 campaign in Austin, Texas, at what is arguably the finest racetrack in the Western Hemisphere. COTA is the only purpose-built Formula One track in the United States. The facility is fabulous, what one would expect of a project costing somewhere near $400 million to complete.

Congrats to our 2016 Champions!

Congrats to our 2016 Champions!

As the 2016 season came to a close, Lotus Cup USA drivers, teams, officials, and families gathered at jack Ranch in Indio, CA to celebrate a season of winning, good times, and camaraderie. The seven-event championship visited the best tracks out West including Laguna Seca, Sonoma Raceway, the Thermal Club, and Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch. In the end, there can only be one Champion (per class)! Please join us in congratulating the following drivers for their efforts on-track this season that earned them the top spot. 

VIDEO: Round 6 @ Sonoma Raceway

VIDEO: Round 6 @ Sonoma Raceway

Lotus Cup USA returned to wine country for Round 6 of the 2016 championship at Sonoma Raceway. With challenging weather conditions throughout the weekend, drivers overcame rain filled practice sessions to compete in dry races both days. As the championship battle heats up, every point matters as we close out the season at the Thermal Club.

VIDEO: Round 5 @ Spring Mountain

VIDEO: Round 5 @ Spring Mountain

Lotus Cup USA returned to Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch for a Duel in the Desert that featured excellent racing throughout the field. Racing on the popular 'Mansell' configuration, Lotus racers challenged the 3.4-mile circuit in impressive fashion. 

VIDEO: Round 4 @ Thunderhill Raceway

VIDEO: Round 4 @ Thunderhill Raceway

After the summer break, Lotus Cup USA was back in action at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA for Round 4 of the 2016 Championship. Even with 100-degree weather, drivers attacked the 3-mile circuit with close wheel-to-wheel racing throughout the field.

Race Report: Round 4 - Thunderhill Raceway

Race Report: Round 4 - Thunderhill Raceway

Lotus Cup USA returned from a long summer break to commence the second half of the season at Thunderhill Raceway.  As in 2015, Lotus Cup shared the venue with NASA.  Unlike the previous year, however, the heat returned, albeit without the usual wind from the South.  If drivers complained of the cold and damp conditions at Laguna Seca in May, the triple-digit temperatures of the northern Central Valley in August at least made it easy for them to get heat into their tires. 

VIDEO: Round 3 @ Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2016

VIDEO: Round 3 @ Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2016

For Round 3 of Lotus Cup USA action, drivers challenged the world famous corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 14th & 15th. A perfect race weekend featured an action packed wheel-to-wheel battle in each race.

Race Report: Round 3 - Laguna Seca

Race Report: Round 3 - Laguna Seca

In May, Lotus Cup USA visited Monterey, California, and the iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  Laguna Seca is several tracks in one.  It is tight and technical in many places.  Yet the steep hill climbs after Turns 5, 6 and 11 reward big power and torque.  Agonizing patience is required in some corners, bravery and a quick flick of the wrists in others.  And then there’s “The Corkscrew” – perhaps the most famous corner on any road course in the Western Hemisphere.  The drop from the top of The Corkscrew through Turns 9, 10 and 11 is breathtaking in its intensity.

VIDEO: Round 2 @ Buttonwillow Raceway 2016

VIDEO: Round 2 @ Buttonwillow Raceway 2016

Round 2 of the Lotus Cup USA 2016 Championship challenged the popular Buttonwillow Raceway (13CCW). Action throughout the field showcased close and exciting Lotus racing in each class. Enjoy the action!

Race Report: Round 2 - Buttonwillow Raceway

Race Report: Round 2 - Buttonwillow Raceway

Every year, Lotus Cup returns to Buttonwillow Raceway Park.  But it seemed a little different this year.  The landscape was different.  The El Nino rains had turned much of the usually dusty infield into a series of small ponds.  The mid-April date was certainly different – in fact, the weather was cool and pleasant most of the week-end.  And the configuration was different – Lotus Cup would run the #13 circuit counter-clockwise for the first time since 2012.

Video: Round 1 @ Willow Springs 2016 Race Recap

Video: Round 1 @ Willow Springs 2016 Race Recap

Lotus Cup USA returned to action for its sixth season in North America at Willow Springs International Raceway on March 12th & 13th. Enjoy the action from the season opener! For more information, please visit www.lotuscup.us.

Race Report: Round 1 - Willow Springs Raceway

Race Report: Round 1 - Willow Springs Raceway

After a cold and wet winter, Lotus Cup USA commenced the 2016 season at Willow Springs International Raceway.  The series last visited the track known simply as “Big Willow” three years earlier, in 2013.  The self-proclaimed “Fastest Track in the West” is an intimidating track that is hard on cars and even harder on egos.  If you want technical, go next door to Streets of Willow.  Big Willow is all about power and downforce, speed and bravery.

Race Report: Round 8 - Thermal Club

Race Report: Round 8 - Thermal Club

Lotus Cup USA wound down the 2015 season in the luxurious confines of The Thermal Club, located near the sunny winter paradise of Palm Springs. The Thermal Club is a beautiful private racing facility that includes its own private airport and a three mile road course that will soon be expanded to roughly 4.5 miles. The track is ringed by member garages and casitas. The Thermal Club is home to series sponsor Sage Automotive Group’s Lotus of the Desert / Lotus of West Covina, which hosted the Lotus Cup race as well as the Lotus Advanced Driving Clinic the same week-end. Lotus Cup USA thanks them for their support and hospitality!

Race Report: Round 7 - Auto Club Speedway

Race Report: Round 7 - Auto Club Speedway

The weekend of November 7-8, Lotus Cup USA returned to the high banks of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, for the first time since the 2014 season opener 20 months earlier. This time, the track was dry, the weather was pleasant and the championship would be decided for three out of four Lotus Cup classes. Auto Club Speedway places a premium on horsepower, aerodynamic efficiency, and guts. From the exit of Turn 16 to the braking zone for Turn 3, Lotus Cup drivers keep their right feet planted for more than 36 consecutive seconds of wide-open-throttle – although some confess to having to battle against their own self-preservation instincts upon entry into the left-hand sweeper known as NASCAR 2. Lotus Cup racecars typically maintain over 2.1 g of lateral loading there – if the driver can resist the strong temptation to lift.

Race Report: Round 6 - Buttonwillow Raceway

Race Report: Round 6 - Buttonwillow Raceway

Lotus Cup USA returned to action October 10th and 11th with two races at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California’s Central Valley. Lotus Cup used the popular CW#13 configuration, which features something for everybody – tight, technical sectors that place a premium on precision, gut-wrenching elevation changes and high-speed sweepers to test a driver’s courage. Although Buttonwillow’s pit wall has claimed its share of victims, the most common penalty for a mistake is an up-close, personal visit with the fertile Central Valley soil, which can make a car and driver look suspiciously like they just completed a dirt-track campaign. Lotus drivers have even been seen using a leaf-blower to remove the acreage of topsoil that was redistributed from Buttonwillow’s infield to the interior of their steeds. 

Race Report: Round 5 - Thunderhill Raceway

Race Report: Round 5 - Thunderhill Raceway

Following the summer break, Lotus Cup returned to action at Thunderhill Raceway. Thunderhill is a driver's favorite, featuring a great combination of technical corners to test a driver's skill and high-speed sweepers and blind crests to test one's courage. Previous outings at Thunderhill were noted for close competition, thrilling last-lap heroics and most of all, heat. This year, Lotus Cup ran with NASA on August 29 and 30. The temperatures were thankfully mild although a strong wind from the Southeast affected vehicle dynamics on Saturday.