I remember reading some time ago in SELOC that one should not use the windshield frame as an aid in getting in and out of the Elise because it is made from GRP with no metal reinforcement. Some had experienced cracked windshield glass as a result of doing so. I believed what they said, but a recent experience demonstrated to me the extent of the situation.
At the recent SoCal Temecula outing, Shinoo (who is not a big burly guy) used the windshield frame as an assist getting into the Euro 111 there. I was amazed at the amount of deflection of the entire windshield that resulted from that. When I mentioned that to Shinoo, he reached up from his position in the driver's seat and fairly gently pulled on the upper windshield frame. The amount of movement was more than a little disconcerting.
Several people on this forum have expressed concern about chassis rigidity in an open top car and, wrongly, assumed the hardtop would add significant rigidity. I'm now left wondering if it might not be a good idea to have the top (either top) in place during very high-speed runs to counteract the wind force. I've never heard of a windshield failure at high speed, but then again, most Elise won't go as fast as the 111R and Fed, And, probably very few people in Sport 160s or Sport 190s were on a track at that speed without a top.
Any comment from Europe? Arno?