Lotus Elan

LeMans Classic 2018

PostPost by: lance54 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:12 pm

Big thanks to Peter Auto for Live Stream Coverage via YouTube of the fantastic 2018 LeMans Classic with the Historic Motorsport minded world.

The Elans in Plateau 5 performed well against mostly Big Bore V8 Machines. After 3 races (2 day light and 1 night each 45 minutes) the best Elans placed 25th, 28th and 29th overall in a field of 75.

90_90_Classification_SCRATCH PLATEAU 4.pdf
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With the LeMans Classic Performance Handicap applied the Elans were 3rd, 4th and 5th overall.



During Race 2 the Tromans/Reichman/Grant Elan 26R posted an amazing Top Speed of 238 KPH.

top-speed-race-2.jpg and


That's 147 MPH for us Yanks!
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:22 am

Lance

Thanks for the post. 220 kmh was easily beaten by the best Elans with a few cases over 230.

I did a little research and all the high speeds were recorded in the cool of the early morning and the Tromans' Elan only lasted a two laps (it was in Race 2 / 3) at that speed and apparently did not make Race 3...

I suspect this was achieved through drifting. I'll ask Raceworks for more information.

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PostPost by: lance54 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:32 pm

I believe the Dunlop M Section tire they use is 23.8 inches in diameter.

With a 3.55 final drive it would require 7,400 RPM in top gear to reach 147 MPH.

7,800 RPM with a 3.77 final drive and 8,200 RPM with a 3.90.

The LeMans Circuit probably allows a significant amount of time at or near terminal velocity.

Better has a strong valve train for those prolonged high RPM.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:00 pm

The right valve train design allows 8500+ sustained rpm unless trying for radical cam accelerations to get 0.5 lift in a 300 degree cam which I wish I could do. Its all trade offs of valve train life versus engine life versus power band width and revs it occurs at etc etc . But above 8000 rpm sustained you will break things in the nose of the engine unless you replace them frequently

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PostPost by: Frogelan » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:02 pm

Most competitors are able to top 8500+ rpm.

It was very hot (32C ) during the day which is why the other top speeds were lower.

At Spa the Elans are able to do 210 kmh (same timing team).

I'm reluctant to guess the gearing from wheel sizes as there is often a difference between theory and practice !

Also, remember that the 3.44: 1 diff is homologated (if you have one made).
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:23 pm

lance54 wrote:I believe the Dunlop M Section tire they use is 23.8 inches in diameter.

With a 3.55 final drive it would require 7,400 RPM in top gear to reach 147 MPH.

7,800 RPM with a 3.77 final drive and 8,200 RPM with a 3.90.

The LeMans Circuit probably allows a significant amount of time at or near terminal velocity.

Better has a strong valve train for those prolonged high RPM.


many are using Avon CR6ZZ which is given for 579mm diameter (22.8") when new , then my spreadsheet gives at 8500 rpm :
4.1 229 km/h
3.9 241 km/h

4.44:1 212 km/h
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:20 pm

These speeds sound possible to me.

In 1961 a Costin nosed 1300 cc Elite was clocked at 142 mph (228kmh) according to my Ortenburger Elite book (in 1963, a fast nose MGB managed 139 mph (223 kmh).

Admittedly, the Mulsanne straight was longer, the Elite was a very aerodynamic but I can see no reason why a "modern historic" Elan should not be able to manage 230 kmh (8,500 rpm with a 3.9:1 final drive).
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:09 pm

Frogelan wrote:These speeds sound possible to me.


possible and even achievable apparently, but I would visit my cardiologist first...
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PostPost by: lance54 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:00 pm

My experience in the USA where the longest straights are all under 1.0 mile is 8,000 RPM in top gear.

With on a 22.4 inch tire that's 130 MPH with a 4.11 final drive (my usual) and 137 MPH with a 3.90.

The next 500 RPM and 10 MPH would require some additional straightaway.

At 3.6 miles the Mulsanne must be 1.0 mile or more before, between and after the chicanes and it starts with a fast corner at Terrte Rouge....plenty of straight for a Elan to reach 8,500 RPM in top gear.

I experienced the Mulsanne back in 2004 when I co-drove the LeMans Classic in a 1955 Lotus Mark 9. That Mark 9 has been at most all LeMans Classics with several owners including 2018 when it clocked a top speed of 120 MPH and finished 3rd Overall in the Performance Corrected Results for Plateau 2. I drove it with a 1100cc FWA Coventry Climax but it may now have 1500cc FWB.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:32 pm

As an aside, did you notice that one of the Elan drivers was former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon?

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PostPost by: Frogelan » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:44 pm

Yes, Tim there were comments on a previous thread.

His brother and driving partner, Pierre Fillon, is also President of the ACO.

Tell me Tim, as you seem to have encyclopedic historical knowledge, what happened to the 1964 Gele / Richard 26R car (registered 770H75 race number 38 ?

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PostPost by: toomspj » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:46 am

My GTS Elan pulls about 8700 rpm in top at Thruxton - with a 4.4 diff and Section Tyres that's a shade over 140mph. Grant Tromans Elan is a lot more loved and prepared than mine, so I can quite see those sort of speeds. I would bet that he's got a 4.1 or even 3.9 diff fitted for LeMans with Avon tyres.

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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:52 am

[quote="Frogelan"]Tell me Tim, as you seem to have encyclopedic historical knowledge, what happened to the 1964 Gele / Richard 26R car (registered 770H75 race number 38 ?Andrew[/quote]

The only Elan that ever raced at Le Mans in period, on 22nd June 1964. The car was a 26R which was delivered in late May of that year to Charles Delecroix, owner of The Royal Elysées dealership, which at that time was the Lotus France official importer. He contracted René Richard and Pierre Gelé to drive the car and had it prepared to a high standard in the short time he had available.

The car was equipped with a single wiper, race number illuminator light, Perspex bug-deflector, twin driving lights necessitating relocation of enlarged indicators, the registration 77 QH 75 as you note, Perspex covers over fixed headlights (perhaps the first time this mod was carried out?) and a small light mounted in the leading edge of the front bumper, for flashing or use as a running light. Painted blue, it had yellow sills and small yellow roundels on each door. It had the standard Lotus 26R fitted anti-roll bar hoop behind the driver, retained the equally standard and potentially lethal wood rimmed steering wheel and an extended rear view mirror!

It was entered in the Prototype Class, under race number 38. Driven by René Richard the car was lying 44th overall after three hours, when the water pump failed, it lost all its coolant and retired. In 1965 Pierre Gelé attempted again to drive at Le Mans, this time in an Elan entered by Claude Laurent, but they did not start.

History after 1964 still sought!

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PostPost by: nmauduit » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:00 am

trw99 wrote:
Frogelan wrote:Tell me Tim, as you seem to have encyclopedic historical knowledge, what happened to the 1964 Gele / Richard 26R car (registered 770H75 race number 38 ?Andrew


The only Elan that ever raced at Le Mans in period, on 22nd June 1964. The car was a 26R which was delivered in late May of that year to Charles Delecroix, owner of The Royal Elysées dealership, which at that time was the Lotus France official importer. He contracted René Richard and Pierre Gelé to drive the car and had it prepared to a high standard in the short time he had available.


Ian Walker had also entered a modified car ( #39 ) though it did not appear (Nürburgring accident not repaired in time) - neither of the two cars took part to the April test apparently http://www.racingsportscars.com/entry/L ... 04-19.html

short of period photos, one can get a glimpse at https://iwr.org.uk/ as IWR is offering a limited number of "faithfull recreations"of that coupe.
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:13 pm

Thank you Tim and Nicolas.

I have done a bit of research into other races (notably the Nurburgring) and very few Elans finished races in period...other than the IWR / semi-works cars.

I'm installing a Burton water pump conversion...and a Dynator to try to have reliability.

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