Vision Director Martin Wills had an adrenaline-pumping start to the 2013 Lotus on Track Elise Trophy season this month, spinning clear off the track in the first race but taking a podium position in the second.
Held at the Snetterton 300 circuit earlier this month, Martin qualified 5th on the grid out of 27 cars but managed to spin at the 4th bend, narrowly missing the barriers.
Martin, who was placed 2nd in the 2012 season, said: “The engine cut out, which is quite common in a spin, but I managed to start it again and get back on the ‘black stuff’. I was back in 19th place by this point but fought my way back to 7th place before the chequered flag was waved. It wasn’t easy as smoke caused by oil leaking on the exhaust manifold filled the car for the final four laps.”
Battling back to fighting form
Believing his leak was fixed, Martin took to the grid once more for the second race of the day but within two laps his car was full of smoke again. Despite this he continued.
“Throughout the whole race I had difficulty breathing but more importantly had seriously impaired vision due to the amount of smoke. I later found out that the scrutineers and course clerk almost pulled me in for safety reasons. Thankfully they didn’t as I ended up clinching second place!”
Martin fought his way to a podium spot in a tense three-way battle. He was later interviewed for Motors TV, which covers all Lotus on Track races, and was given a new nickname – James Bond – by the channel’s commentators, which seems to have stuck in the paddock.
“It could be worse,” joked Martin. “One guy is known as the ‘Ballerina’ because he is always spinning!”
Prior to racing his Lotus Elise, Martin won 16 out of 17 races at the MGF championships.
Watch the upcoming Lotus on Track races on Motors TV
28 April – Silverstone
18-19 May – Brands Hatch Indy
15 June – Oulton Park
20 July – Cadwell Park
24-25 August – Brands Hatch GP
28 September – Donnington
26 October – Snetterton 300