Before the epidemic, friends and family were amazed that I was flying to Australia for a story. "Why should you go there now?" they asked, I was willing to travel to a country that was in the midst of incredibly violent fires. It was worth squeezing the juice, reasoned. I was traveling to experience Lotus the brand is not possible in the state or anywhere else in the world.
For most people, a racetrack is a racetrack and a car is a car. However, if not all race tracks are created equally and I have to explain that some cars are more special than others, you may want to jump directly to our Food and Drink section.
Commonly referred to as "Bathurst", Mount Panorama Track is a 3.86 mile long track in the hills of New South Wales, a two-hour drive from Sydney. You can easily do this up to half the time, but Australia's heavy traffic laws and ubiquitous speed cameras guarantee heavy fines for speeders – ask me how I know. Several weeks after my visit, I was fined $ 190 for exceeding the post limit by just 10 miles / hour. Seriously.
With the country's institutionalized contempt for fast driving dating back to the early 20th century, it is not surprising that motorsport enthusiast Bathurst mayor Martin Griffin has found a gap by declaring it a "tourist route" with the implicit benefit of attracting visitors' interest – and possibly tourist dollars – 17 In March 1938. Two months after its opening, more than 20,000 spectators gathered to watch rage-driven racing cars in the Australian Tourist Cup, Panorama Mountain's first auto contest. Since then, the route has remained open to the public and has been subject to traffic rules and law enforcement outside four days of the year when it was closed and turned into a good-faith race track.
In competitive mode, everything and everything comes here: cars that fight for superiority, dealing with each other, colliding with obstacles and pushing the limits of human and mechanical endurance – all in the name of sports. Every day of the year, locals use this route to go down the hill, commute to work and return to their idyllic home.
The world has changed in decades, as Griffin has the vision to take a corner from the lush landscape for motorsport. However, the first urge to blunder in fast-moving cars remains unchanged after so many years, a reality that happens when I am before the sun on the race day in Bathurst to watch racing cars on the grill in the dark. This grueling, half-day endurance race was launched thirty years ago, and this year's qualifying sessions were more colorful than usual thanks to the pressure of the kangaroos that are limited on the track and on the track. The race organizers try to limit (but often fail) to temporary fences – ‘roos comes in for a massively funny and fortunately trivial effect.
The race in Bathurst is particularly fierce because this sidewalk was built as a road, not a circuit, if they lose control of their car or go by another vehicle, especially along the Skyline and esses part of the track, they leave it almost anywhere, here is a dizzying 16 percent meets concrete barriers that do not forgive the note. The day before the race, walking on the track was strangely peaceful, save the neighborhood kids on skateboards, bikes and improvised scooters by keeping the route. Going up the hill to experience the race in real time was like witnessing a 21st-century automotive Woodstock, full of local characters, straight from the cast.
Watching Bathurst for 12 Hours was a lifelong opportunity. So why did Lotus fly me halfway around the world when the size of the race participation consisted of a static indicator of cars and rumblings that could join the field the following year? I set off in an accident of up to half a dozen Lotus (and later, Knotty Mount Panorama Circuit) to connect the dots.
The only Lotus model currently on sale in the USA is Evora GT, a lightweight sports car that feels and behaves like an enlarged, more buttoned cousin of Elise and Exige. These edgier models were proposed by the state until 2011, when their exemption expired for advanced airbags. These latest models continued to evolve in other global markets, and the latest was to exemplify their most extreme repetition, re-experiencing the modest Elise model in steroids through a nostalgic return lens. The Exige 410, which now weighs over 2,300 pounds but packs a 410 hp super-charged V-6, is the right visual marker for its abilities: the palpé that makes it absolutely sharp at home With ram-pressing force, the laser feels sharp and bad.
Driving these Lotus models from New South Wales was not what I imagined. For starters, if you're expecting a hilly turn, you have to drive a few hours into the interior of the country with these heavy speed limits, of course, to see where the remote terrain begins uniquely. As I walked around the areas surrounding at least the Marrangaroo National Park, I saw seemingly endless forest stretches, most of which were predictably protected and reduced from fires. But at the same time, I looked at the gorgeous layers of lush greenery untouched, like in the beautiful Spicers Sangoma Retreat in the Blue Mountains where I stayed in a bungalow-like bungalow.
Driving on smaller back roads, where the threat of speed cameras was reduced, was intensely satisfying. Lotus has long been recognized as a driver brand, and has focused on maximizing the pilot's pleasure with Elise, Exige and Evora instances, minimalist interiors and a direct and attractive road command. However, two days later, when we returned to Bathurst for a rare track day with 102 of our closest friends to Lotus, the natural habitat of the cars was explored. The sea of British sports cars reflected a rapid range of experiences, from rats, well-worn pallet machines (a little) to the cushier, more modern Evora. The hot tours of the same vehicles I drive on public roads have revealed the basic personality traits that define these highly focused machines: Elise agile and sensitive, Exige is more extroverted and furious and Evora is more refined and friendly to the journey.
But to say more than curvy bodywork was the soul of the participants who took advantage of a rare opportunity to use Australia's Lotus and the permission of Simply Sports Cars, a Sydney and Melbourne-based franchise specializing in the brand. It's not just pure speed that can't be accessed from the road – it's definitely there. It was a sense of community that surpassed any cultural or political relationship through a passion for motor sports and sports cars that differentiated the crowd. These are people who love to drive without embarrassment, and many have traveled and pulled their cars hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of miles away.
At least for now, analog sports cars that burn Lotus's bread and butter with manual gearboxes. However, the mark expects a bold new future with its Evija model. Fully electric hyper cars are planned to be released this year initially, but will likely be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With a range of 2,000 hp and 250 miles, it conjures up a utopian future for two in gobmackly style. However, given these turbulent times, it is not possible to wonder how the face of gasoline-loving enthusiasm will change as the world quickly turns into a different area than we are accustomed to.
While pessimism is a very easy outcome when digesting these tough times, an optimist may still think that foundations are still more important than ever: What we value should be considered, researched, and enjoyable on a racetrack, or the perfect route to match this souffle. hunt. The rest, as they say, is just noise.