Lotus Only Track Day at Mount Panorama Bathurst

08.02.2018

A Track Driving Experience run by Simply Sports Cars at Mount Panorama Bathurst

 

Over 70 Lotus sports car owners came along to our Lotus Only Track Day at Mount Panorama to enjoy an exclusive day at the world famous Mountain. The event started on Tuesday afternoon with scrutineering and registration just before the invite only dinner held overlooking the famous Chase at the end of Mountain Straight as the sun set. It was an early night following a talk from Mark O'Connor and interviews with guest drivers Barton Mawer & Paul Stockell.

 

 

Fresh espresso coffee was brewing as the room filled with nearly 100 drivers ready to listen to the early morning Drivers Briefing with insider tips and hints on how to have a safe, but enjoyable day. Our driving groups were split into Sprint & Drive which included some pace car laps and even placement of timers in some of the Drive Group participants to help with ensuring people were allocated according to their pace to maximise safety. The drivers were soon to be surprised by the announcement that Mark O'Connor would be driving a Lotus 3 Eleven for the first time with the car unveiled as everyone headed back down to the pits. The pit lane quickly filled with colour with all kinds of Lotus sports cars doing this track day - Elise, Exige, Evora and from various generations including some first timers & seasoned campaigners. We had a group from Victoria and another group come down from Queensland with some chatter about which State would be the fastest.

 

 

Under clear skies the first few sessions ran and smiles were as wide as the harbour bridge, you could almost smell the adrenalin in the air. Drivers were quickly grabbed by the roving Channel 10 RPM reporter, Kate Peck, as the TV crew captured the events of the day after driving a Lotus Elise Sprint 220 up to Bathurst. Boss Hunting also joined us having been given the keys to a Lotus Evora 400 sports car ready to capture the lifestyle aspect of Lotus ownership and how easily you can live with an Evora everday. Lunch soon followed with fresh gourmet salads and slow cooked beef brisket just some of the choices on offer.

 

 

After the lunch break the afternoon swept past with personal bests being recorded and many a driver commenting that fear had turned into pure enjoyment as they began to realise just how lucky we all were to be driving at speed at a private track day on Mount Panorama Bathurst. Meanwhile on the aussieelises forum there was some chuckling going on as an older generation Honda powered Lotus was seemingly topping the time charts. Mark O'Connor soon put that to rest by recording a 2.22 lap around Mount Panorama in the Lotus 3 Eleven. To put that into context it was the first time the sports car had been driven having just been taking out of the shipping container, no set up tweaks, no modifications and the first time car/driver/track had been together too, so some serious speed indeed (We should also mention it wasn't Mark's car.)

 

 

So what was it like for a Lotus on Mount Panorama? Well it's a tale of many angles.... light is right did prevail with Ashon in his Rover powered S1 Elise clocking a highly respectable 2.46, only 20 or so seconds slower than the 3 Eleven with its 20 something years of 'progress', Jeffrey Morton ran the first shakedown of the Australian Production Car Series Lotus Exige Sport 350 with a best of 2.24 while Simon in his first drive of the KTM X-BOW R in road going spec clocked up a 2.30 lapping the Mountain quicker than a lot of V6s. There was sheer joy though with everyone loving the flowing parts at the top of the mountain while getting a breather going up and down the long straights. For the full list of results check out the Natsoft timing

 

 

LOTD 2018 #2 and #3

For those who weren't able to make it, we also announced that LOTD 2018 #2 will be at Wakefield mid July & that LOTD 2018 #3 will be at Phillip Island in November, a 2 day event where we will be a support category to the Australian Production Car Series (the week after will be Targa High Country, a perfect double header of driving nirvana in Melbourne) so if you are interested email Emma to get on the list.



 

What did the drivers say?


 

Hartley 
"Congratulations on yesterday. It was a bucket list event which you guys did well to pull off. Not only did you bring it about, but you organised it in probably the most professional and seemless way I’ve seen- and I’ve seen a few LOTDs. 


I confess to going into the day with trepidation- and rightly so it’s a scary track, but I became more comfortable as the day progressed and I absolutely loved it. (By the way Mark, I dropped 6 seconds in my last session- your advice not to push really worked!)

It’s also a tribute to the Lotus community that track behavior is respectful and predictable. In any other group I would be worried about going up Mt Straight in a Congo line at 180- don’t tell anyone.  Great dinner and lunch. The boys at SSC are a class act as usual. Always happy helpful and supportive.  Also I benefited from advice from Bart who is a terrific communicator. He genuinely cares which is a rare factor when dealing with a numpty like me. "

 

 

Tony
"So I got an Exige V6 , went to Bathurst , had a ball and  all within 5 days . Now the question is what other dealership could do this..........."

 

 

David
"Fabulous day. Sign me up for next one. Superbly organised. Thanks to all who made it a success"

 

 

Neil
" Thank you Mark and Lee and team SSC. What terrific events. Was great to catch up with you all. I gave a Porsche and VW Golf R owner a tour of the  assembled Lotus cars and he was impressed enough with the cars and the incredibly professional SSC organization he is now looking for an Exige."

 

 

 

Melanie
"Thank you to SSC and Lotus Family for the opportunity to be part of the Bathurst LOTD. An incredible experience. "

 

 

 

Joshua
​"Phew.....Just walked in the door twenty minutes ago.....after spending 9 hours on the hume reflecting on what a epic adventure that was! I can only echo the thoughts already shared re the whole day. Hugs and Kisses to Mark,Lee, the SSC Crew and our sensational Lotus community. God damn we are lucky to have these guys and each other to share our automotive passion. Thanks for helping me ticking off one of my bucket list tracks!!! "

 

 

 

Giles
"After a great day BIG thanks to everyone at SSC - Had a ball. BUT, Just as Richie and the boys were leaving, I found my front pads were down to the metal. Caught them as they were leaving and they unpacked their van, found some Pagids, jacked my car up beside the road out of the track and had me fitted up within 20 minutes.  Thank you SO much.  True service as usual from the boys at SSC. I can now drive all the way to Qld." 

 

 

 

Michael
"What a day.  It was great to see so many faces from all around the country and for once at an LOTD, there was actually time to catch up with most of them.  The circuit blew my mind a bit but was still smiling at the end the day.  I think it was relief!  Got home last night just before midnight and slept the sleep of just.

Mark and Lee really put their c$%k's on the block to make yesterday happen, so a huge thanks to them and the entire SSC team for their commitment and dedication to making sure we all had a good time.  Thanks also to all the other participants for your cameraderie and general joviality."

 

 

 

Rob
" Wow - what a fabulous event ! Dinner , driving , comraderie , all first class . Can’t beat it . Thanks Mark , Lee and team SSC. Dave , Tim , for me , of special note was a wonderful chat with Greg , he was having the best time - he’s very proud of you two and LOVED the HPE . Family time is great time .

Just about converted a mate who was coincidentally there in his 911 with Evolve ... he was amazed by the number of Lotus , the smiling faces and commented on the quality of Lotus driving"

 

 

 

Ashton
"Home and unloaded - a million thanks to the SSC team please Paul and HUGE thanks to Lee, Mark, and all the SSC team for an amazing day. As has already been said by Dave, this sort of event doesn't just happen, so massive thanks again chaps! Thank you too to everyone who was there - as always it was a delight to catch up with all the familiar faces, and it was also a great pleasure to meet so many new ones too! Quite a lot probably not on here, but for those who are, thank you! Can't wait for PI in November - now that's called bookends"

 

 

 

Tim
"I can't thank Lee, Mark and the Team enough for having the nuts to get this Bathurst LOTD up and running. I do hope we can come back next year!!! Thanks you to ALL of the SCC crew. Incredibly well organised day. As always - great to catch up with so many mates."

 

 

 

Steven
"Have put my bro-in-law back on the plane to Perth. He was totally delighted after an amazing Bathurst experience with Lotus and SSC - especially as he got more laps in the Drive category in my car than we got in sprint. While he’s not ready to sell his 500+ HP HSV race Ute yet, he was very impressed with the Lotus handling and the comradeship between the extended Lotus “family”. Thanks again to Lee, Mark. Paul & Emma for an amazing couple of days at the mountain. Bring on the next 2 LOTD’s - especially at the Island!"

 

 

 

Dave
"Excellent way to spend a day. Bathurst, great mates, great food and Lotuses. What could be better. Thank you for all the hard work to make it such a success . I know that it doesn't just happen. My Exige worked hard all day with Dad and I sharing it. It never complained and just keep revving all day and while I should have been quicker I'm happy with the times and left something on the table to chase next year. Dad even managed a 2:55 which is not bad for a 77 year old codger in a NA S1 Exige." 

 

 

 

Lee
"Mark and the SSC team, Sensational, your really do set the standard for a sprint event.  It was great to catchup with everybody and I couldn't asked for a better day, even managed to drop my PB by 5 seconds."

 

 

 

David
"All I can say it was one of my all time car experiences loved every minute"

 

 

 

Brett
"To all of my extended Lotus family, it has all been said but an epic day on the famed Mountain. To the cast & crew at SSC - champion effort as always team, your support and professionalism is second to none. To the old and new friend met over the past couple of days - I can only you all had an absolute rush driving the famed Mount Panorama. Larry and I thank you all for a thrill of a lifetime."

 

 

Dru
"Brilliant day and huge thanks to the SSC team for giving us this opportunity.   Bathurst exceeded all expectations by a big margin!"  

 

 

Dave
"Home safe. Excellent day. Thank you all"

 

 

Leigh
"Likewise. Awesome day and company as always. I came ..... I saw ..... I didn't conquer  

Firstly congrats to the Guys and Girls at SSC for organising and running a sensational event ..... you just keep raising the bar. 

The track is a unique challenge ..... so many blind corners and camber changes ..... I was just starting to get my head around it in the last session ..... I will be back.  

Lastly as always it was sharing a unique experience with such an awesome group of people. So thank you all"

 

 

Zed
"Thank you all as well. Great day so well organised and it’s locked in the memory bank- bucket list - tick... SSC is like no other dealership. It’s filled with race engineers and driving enthusiasts. I love that so many have their own Lotus as well. This is an amazing community!

 

 

Roger
"Morning trip back to the south coast via the locust fields of Goulburn but dreaming of fast corners & the 'Sess'"
 

 

 

Martin
"Thanks to the SSC crew, another fantastic LOTD! Looking forward to Phillip Island"

 

 

 

David
"Awesome 24 hours. Thx to all who put together a brilliant event."

 

 

 

Paul
"Yeah thanks to all. What an amazing experience. I loved every minute of it."

 

 

 

Tony
"What a great day got to meet some of the faces from Aussieelises and even got to have dinner with Giles !  .. and doubled my knowledge on the Lotus community in 1 day thank you all."

 

 

 

Check out the photo gallery below
Download your photos from our shared folder here

 

 

 


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