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PJT

Lotus Academy Bronze

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Back from my day at Hethel. ¬†9 of us on the course in two groups. ¬†Martin Donnelly was one of the instructors for the day. ¬†I had the other guy! But no complaints ūüėé After briefing, did the first of two runs on the North track. ¬†I felt a little slow, and afterwards,¬†disappointed in myself that I didn‚Äôt make the most of the session. ¬†I mentioned this to Geoff (my instructor) at the start of the second session, and he was surprised by¬†my feelings, and said he thought I did well. The second session was much better in my mind,¬†as I pushed harder and stretched the Elise and myself more. ¬†The traction control is left on, which surprised me a bit, with Lotus being Lotus. ¬†Had a virtual factory tour due to Covid, then the last session on the South circuit. ¬†This was slower and more technical.¬†Getting a good time was down to control and patience. ¬†Any over exuberance upset the line for the next corner and problems¬†just snowballed. ¬†Last trip out on the circuit was a demo from the instructor.

After that it was a trip to Team Classic Lotus for a tour and talk, which I enjoy greatly.  Surprised at how free you were to wonder among the cars with Carbon body panels lying all over the floor.  Careful where you place your feet! 
 

It was a full day from 8:30 to after 5.  Always leave these things wanted twice the track time, but that’s life!

I’d say the instructors were gentle with you. I have had an experience where the instructor was shouty and harsh.  Although an unpleasant experience, I learned more.

Good value for money?  These things are always really expensive, but you get to drive someone else’s Elise risking their car, using their tyres and fuel, so that’s got to count for something.  Put it this way, I’ll be doing the silver next year.  

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Edited by PJT

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Pete

interesting to hear your thoughts, i have debated doing this myself but never got as far as booking.

paul

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I did the same full day course a few years back and Martin Donnelly was my instructor for the day.  Great bloke with lots of really fun stories from the old days.

Was good fun though and I learnt a fair bit, including the secrets of weight transfer to get that front-end to really bite!  Ooooh, nice.

And the demo lap by Martin was, ahem, shall we say, exciting!

Edited by Eric

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I really like to do this driving course but as I am not interested in going on a track will this course be a bit of loss ?

I am not a fast road driver but I would like to know and appreciate the limits of a car ? In some way I like to enjoy my Evora knowing the car has far greater limits than my driving skills ?  

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I have recently done the Scare yourself sensible event. 20 minutes driving an Elise 220 sport around Hethel and then a couple of fast laps with the expert driving. There were no lap times and it is geared towards enjoyment. I went with my brother and friend, we had fun and will do it again. It gives you a taste of the capabilities at a reasonable cost.

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I looked again at lotus academy website and the scare yourself looked fun but I think me personally I might benefit from the Bronze level as I will find out more about myself as a driver than about a lotus as the cars are designed to perform. 
I will save up and maybe ask for Xmas gifts to be directed towards the cost of Bronze course, hopefully when COVID situation calms down I will look at booking a date and I guess the revamp to facilities will had been completed ? 

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Bronze level is the way to go. I dropped a subtle hint just before Christmas last year and received a LDA voucher in my stocking. I was booked on one of the courses running in June this year but got cancelled in late May by LDA as they were still closed at the time. I was sent a voucher code, so am planning to rebook for mid-summer 2021. I'm really looking forward to it and hoping that the new facilities will be open by then, but I wonder if the Control Tower will still be there;  I’ve read that it has terminal concrete cancer so will be demolished sadly.

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