Shelsley Walsh, the world’s oldest motorsport venue, is preparing for two days of Lotus celebrations as part of its British Midland & Leaders Hill Climb Championship weekend on 18-19 August. Alongside iconic road-going Lotus models there’ll be landmark racers and iconic road cars, some racing in anger, many on parade and all available for close inspection.
The man behind the Lotus festivities is Paul Matty, marque specialist and sponsor of the Paul Matty Sports Cars Lotus Hill Climb Championship, which will see 30 cars campaigned up the 1000-yard race track. Says Paul: “The Championship sees 1960s single-seaters and road cars competing against sports racers such as the 23b, XI and 30. But the weekend isn’t just about Lotus as there will be dozens more cars taking to the track, some of which pack modern Formula One-style technology that enables them to touch 140mph in places – with spectators just yards from the action”.
Paul and his team have pulled out all the stops to get some truly ground-breaking Lotuses to this year’s event, including 30 cars invited specially. They’ll all be racing – and none of them will have been seen hill climbing before. These include a trio of Grand Prix cars, a pair of Lotus 30s plus a raft of Formula Juniors. One of the highlights though will be the ex-Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Innes Ireland Lotus 19, fresh from its four-year restoration.
Other highlights include the sole 22 built in period with a Lotus twin-cam powerplant and the unique 35 F2 V8, fitted with a Martini eight-cylinder engine, along with a brace of Lotus 18 Grand Prix cars, the ex-Jack Brabham Lotus 24, complete with Coventry Climax V8 – plus Cortinas, Elites, Sixes and Sevens in abundance.
And with the Elan celebrating its 50th birthday this year, naturally there’ll be plenty on hand to mark the occasion – including a trio of rarities. Taking part will be an Elan BRM alongside the Shapecraft Elan campaigned so successfully by Malcolm Ricketts. And as if those aren’t enough, also there for the weekend will be the only aluminium-bodied Elan 26R, now owned and raced by Martin Stretton.
Anyone turning up in a Lotus will be able to park in the one-marque parking area, and to celebrate the Elan’s half-century, the model will get its own parade lap.
Unlike many motorsport events, at Shelsley Walsh you can get into the paddocks, up close to the cars and talk to the drivers, while you can also watch from the start line. You’ll struggle to find a friendlier motorsport venue anywhere in the UK; anyone who wants to make a weekend of it can even camp on-site.
To discover how to be a part of this huge garden party, log on to shelsley-walsh.co.uk or phone 01886 812211.
18 August: Advance £10, on gate £12
19 August: Advance £12, on gate £15
Accompanied under 16s are free.
Advance ticket sales close 10 days before the start of the event