As a Lotus mechanic for the last 9 years and recently becoming a first-time owner, we were able to attend one of the days of the annual West Coast Lotus Meet this year! On Thursday, May 16, 2019, We participated in the trackday portion of the event, which was held at Thunderhill West, and hosted by Golden Gate Lotus Club.
The 2019 West Coast Lotus Meet (WCLM) is set in the scenic Sierra Nevada foothill and California Gold Country just east of California’s State Capital, Sacramento California.
The 2019 WCLM is hosted by the members of the Sacramento Chapter of the Golden Gate Lotus Club. They are excited to invite the members of the GGLC, Lotus Club of Southern California, San Diego Lotus Club as well as the Evergreen Lotus Car Club, Lotus Owners of Phoenix, Lotus Colorado, Southern Nevada Lotus Club, Club Lotus Northwest and the Lotus Car Club of British Columbia and Lotus Enthusiasts from every corner of the globe.
The WCLM will be five days of total Lotus celebration starting Wednesday, May 15 and ending Sunday, May 19. -http://westcoastlotusmeet.com
Though the WCLM is a five-day event, we were only able to attend the trackday portion. We had to tow the Lotus back to the shop, so that we can pick up and transport the Trackspec E36 M3 to Sonoma Raceway the day after, just in time for our weekend NASA ST4 Race. We were sad to miss out on all the other fun festivities that WCLM had planned for the week, but hope to be able to attend it next year.
We haven’t been to a GGLC trackday in a couple years, nonetheless with a Lotus, but we weren’t surprised that we had such a great time.
There were only three run groups:
Advanced Group for experienced drivers with 15+ track days/racing experience or equivalent
Intermediate Group for drivers with at least 7 track days experience, and
Novice Group for drivers with at least 1 track day experience
Every session was 20 minutes. So having only three run groups meant everyone got to drive SEVEN sessions. Going back out every 40 minutes almost felt like there was no break between sessions. It was awesome!
GGLC is open to all makes and models, but being a weekday and rain in the forecast, there was not much traffic at all and hardly any issues throughout the day. Everyone had such a great time. The weather was also cooperative. Some of our friends cancelled last minute due to the weather reports showing rain and thunderstorms, but we just had some light sprinkling in the morning.
Also, GGLC provided lunch for everyone, including veggie burgers! We had some vegan friends come along with us. It was their very first car track day (coming from motorcycles), and they were impressed that they were well-fed. Thank you GGLC! :)
Since the last time this car was at the track, not much has changed other than the GRP carbon side skirts and the Difflow diffuser. Unfortunately, the rear wing is still in production, but we should be seeing it soon. The car ran great all day and I managed to do a 1:26 flat on some tired RE71Rs (video below).
This was the first time on the West side with the Exige and it was a a ton of fun. The tight configuration is a blast in a light and nimble car. My biggest complaint (excuse) of the day was the open diff and how much wheel spin I was getting coming out of Turn 7, over the crest of 8, out of 9 and 10. I really had to be patient on the throttle in these corners. All in all it was a great day and I really enjoyed being out on track with a bunch of other Lotus cars.