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Discussion Starter #1
all, I am signed up for two events at VIR on consecutive weekends. This will be my first time on the track and I am excited and nervous.

I have a Lotus Sport Elise, number 47 of 50. The question in my mind is about the roll over bar requirements. One club says that for convertibles, factory roll over bars are not acceptable (which the Lotus Sport Elise has), that convertibles must have SCCA approved roll-bars.

The first question is whether the Elise even qualifies as a convertible or as a targa. second, is the factory set up going to pass tech inspection for roll over bar, or should i pull out of the event for which the club insists on an SCCA approved roll over bar?

Thanks!
 

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In your position I would argue that the Elise should be considered a targa as it has a fixed B-Pillar, similar to e.g. Porsche 914, Toyota MR2, 911 Targa and so on - however, I would try as best you can to pre-clear this with whoever is running the event, preferably by email or similar so there can be no argument on the day of the event.
 
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Mount your hardtop on the car and it isnt an issue. If you have the canvas top then argue its a targa.
 

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contact the event organizers. via email. get a response in writing. bring the email with you to the track events. don't pose the question as an open ended one.

something to the effect of:

i have a lotus elise with a hardtop. the lotus is equipped with a stock four point roll structure behind the cabin enclosed within the body shell. is there a problem with this vehicle running in your event?

if they say no, then lobby for a full refund.

you do not want to show up, get bounced, and be out a weekend and possibly the regis fee.

no matter anyone says here, it's the organizer's event and they can set the rules as they see fit.
 

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Structurally speaking, there is virtually no difference between an Exige and an Elise with its hardtop in place. Both tops are mounted identically, same hardware and all. If an Exige can run, so should an Elise w/hardtop.
 

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From what I saw on the NADA web site, the Elise is listed as a coupe:
http://tinyurl.com/2s4xen

When you say factory roll over bars are not acceptable, do they tist particular cars as examples? Typically, they are talking about the S2000 (because the hoops are so freaking low) and the new Miatas and BMW Z3s.

The elise roll bar is a true roll bar (as youve stated), thick enough and with substantial bracing. I know VIR is OK with it, I have been in MANY elises on that track as an instructor, so I am OK with it too. ;)

Bottom line is that it is all up to the event organizer on what they will accept. You should check with the club and see if the Elise falls under this statement, I would say no it doesn't, you are fine. They may say the same as me, but may state that you must have the hard or soft top on at all times. I am certain the organizers will know if it is OK.

Also, what clubs and dates? We may have the answers for you and you woldn't even have to mention it to the organizer?

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I heard back from them via email. they say the Elise is good to go as stock.

Thanks everyone.

Dave, I am signed up at the end of March with NASA, the subsequent weekend in April with the Tarheel sports car club, and am thinking of signing for the June event with Mazda Driving Associates.

Now i have to buy an SA2005 helmet and find out if I fit in the car with it on (I'm 6'3")
 

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I instruct with NASA and Mazda club. I won't be there in March though, March weather is too unreliable, it could be 110 degrees, it could be 3 feet of snow (and I mean from one side of the track compared to the other side). Not that VIR isn't fun in the snow, it is, I just hate being cold. ;)

Try the helmets on at OG Racing in Manassas. Their shop is great! I am sure they will let you walk out and sit in your car for a "test sit" if you wanted.

PS, both Mazda and NASA are OK with the Elise as is. Dunno about Tarheel, but I tend to think they would say yes too. I have only heard good things about them.

See you in June!
 
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