Two years later...
now we are going to begin our third racing season with the Europa S2.
The story told briefly:
In Winter 2010 we decided to race the Europa. My father, my two older brothers and me would be the drivers.
But before we were able to start racing, it took more than six month to get the FIA Historic Technical Passport. Unfortunately we were not allowed to start in GT class. Because of the not-standard engine and the flares, we must start in the Two-Seater-Racing-Cars class against cars like Porsche 906 and 907. These opponents are uncatchable for us, but it's already great that we are able race the Europa.
Two years ago, we talked to some Lotus-"Experts", which said that the Europa is in standard configuration already quiet fit for racing. So we installed the safety measures, semi-slicks and went to Spa-Francorchamps to race. We thought the engine would have around 130 HP...
But after the first qualifying it was obvious that the Europa is not fit for racing...
My father's short conclusion: "No brakes and no power."
In the paddock we were able to improve the brakes by using endurance-racing brake-pads and racing braking fluid. The engine could not be done there. In the race, we did not finish, because the fan wheel collapsed and killed the radiator.
And after this weekend, we saw another problem. The frame was cracked on some positions.
We had to do "something":
- restore the frame by welding it
- reduce weight
- improve the brakes
- improve the engine
The frame is completely restored now. It is welded on all cracked positions and painted in grey.
We reduced the weight from about 740 kg to 680 kg by using light-weight parts (for example the new radiator and fan wheel) or removing superfluid parts like the leather-interior, the heater and so on. We also replaced the original door windows with electric lift by lexan-windows. The brake is now a two circle system with steelflex brake-lines.
And the greatest succes was the engine. At the first race it had maybe 100 HP (little tuned 1565cc engine).
Now the engine is "really fit for racing". Racing parts like pistons, rods, crank shaft and cam shaft are used. And also the cylinder head was completely conditioned for racing. Now it has about 150 HP.
It's running great. I still remember a situation from a race on the Hockenheim-Ring:
A 2,0 Porsche 911 is in front of me, both of us are accelerating out of a corner and I overtake him like it would be nothing. This Porsche had no problem and it is a quiet fast 2,0 911. A great feeling :-)
But still the braking is not like we would wish it. It seems like the rear brakes are not working good enough... We have to brake until 70 metres earlier at the hairpin in Hockenheim than some other cars (for example: a Porsche 911 can brake at about 120 metres and I needed to brake around 190 metres before the corner).
Everything else on this car works great now. We replaced the original (soft) coils and dampers by racing parts. We also reduced the cars height until 7 centimetres. When we learned about setting the car up, we could be able to reach top ten positions in our competition. In Hockenheim we reached position 27 of 50 cars and P3 in class.
The two other races in 2012 went quite bad. We had to retire two times, but the damage was not too bad (first time head gasket and second time overheating engine). Now we use a new wider radiator for 2013.
In three weeks the first race of the 2013 season will be started on the Formula One Track of Hockenheim. I'm looking forward to this weekend
P.S.: Here are a few pics