The Lotus Type 102. Image: Paul MelbertEnlarge Photo
When the 1990 Lotus Type 102 in Camel livery takes to the track for this year’s Goodwood hill climb, however, it will be former Lotus F1 driver Martin Donnelly in the cockpit.
The car’s owner, Andrew Morris, will be somewhere in the North Atlantic as part of his 2,587-mile self-propelled journey across the ocean. Morris is teaming up with Roz Savage to become the first male/female team to make the crossing, and the pair will continue their voyage through the Bristol channel and inland waterways into London.
If all goes well, Morris and Savage will be in London for the start of the Summer Olympic Games; if all goes perfectly, the pair may even beat the 115-year-old standing record of 55 days and 13 hours for the ocean crossing.
Morris’ absence gives Donnelly a chance to be reunited for a second consecutive Goodwood Festival of Speed with the car he drove during the 1990 F1 season. The Lotus Type 102 used a Lamborghini-sourced V-12 engine, making it the only Lotus F1 car to be powered by a V-12.
Despite the massive engine (or perhaps because of it) Donnelly’s best finish during the 1990 season was a seventh place in Hungary. Later that season, Donnelly suffered a career-ending crash behind the wheel of his Lotus 102 during qualifying for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix.
The Lotus 102 will join some 40 other classic Lotus road and race cars, as the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed honors the brand as this year’s featured marque.