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Lotus 101 Grand Prix car set to return to Snetterton Lotus Festival

Friday, June 10 2011

The Lotus 101 Formula One car from 1989 is the latest product from the factory to be confirmed at the Lotus Festival, which takes place at Snetterton on June 25/26.

The car launched a new era for the team, after the departure of Honda and designer Gerard Ducarouge. Aerodynamicist Frank Dernie, formerly from the Williams team, embarked upon his first full F1 design. With turbo engines banned, the team eventually settled for a Judd customer unit after a brief dalliance with Tickford.

The car was a great deal smaller than the previous year's challenger but even with Nelson Piquet on the driving strength, this did not translate into results and halfway through the season legendary team boss Peter Warr, who passed away late last year, stood down from the team.

The 101, like many of the racers from Lotus, is part of Snetterton's history, having its shakedown run there in March of 1989 in the hands of then test driver Martin Donnelly. The Irishman had just made the step up from Formula 3000 and would eventually become a works driver for the team.

The car that will feature at the festival was first raced in April of that year by Piquet, before being campaigned by Satoru Nakajima for the rest of the season. The Japanese driver scored a best result of fourth in the Australian GP.

The following year the car was tested by Johnny Herbert before being sold by Team Lotus. After spending the next 20 years in storage it was purchased by Steve Griffiths, who restored the car to original condition, including a rebuild of the Judd V8. Completed in time for last year's festival, it will return later this month.

"I'm pleased to return to the Festival after last year, as the reception in Norfolk was awesome", said Steve. "With so many people associated with the marque, Norfolk is Lotus, isn't it? The people were brilliant, and I couldn't miss coming back. I'm looking forward to the 300 circuit as everybody I've spoken to has said it's fantastic."

Tickets for the Lotus Festival at Snetterton are available in advance from £10 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click the link below.