Six Lotus Formula One cars were built into a sculpture by Gerry Judah earlier this month, which appeared as the centrepiece of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which is the largest car culture event in Britain. Capita Symonds were the structural engineers. Measuring 28m in height, it is the 16th project created by Judah for the annual festival which takes place in West Sussesx; the family seat of the Earl of March.
The sculpture works to capture the essence of Lotus from past to present. The 3D infinity loop was designed to mimic the tracks of the Scalextric car racing game, crafted from a triangular stretch of 6mm flat metal sheet with a curved surface, painted white and made by Littlehampton Welding. Steel plates were joined together to complete the structure, which symbolises the engineering DNA of Lotus.
Cranes were needed to raise the structure and position the cars on to its surface, loaned by Classic Team Lotus as well as the Lotus F1 Team. The collection includes the green and yellow Type 32B, the car in which Jim Clark won the 1965 Tasman Series in Australia and New Zealand, and a red and white Type 49, which saw Graham Hill win the race. A JPS-liveried Type 72 in which Emerson Fittipaldi became the sport’s youngest champion, a black and gold ’79 driven by Mario Andretti, a yellow Lotus 99T driven by Ayrton Senna, and the current Lotus grand prix car which has seated Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
Lord March oversaw the design of the sculpture, who thought it was important to incorporate winding curves and corners, and the track itself is shaped into a trefoil knot. “What you see in the structure is the track, but inside it is 98% empty space,” explains Gerry Judah. “In automobile terms, this would be a monocoque body, a tribute to the legendary designer and Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s introduction of monocoque chassis construction to automobile racing.”
The sculpture will be dismantled and returned to Lotus’ Norfold headquarters, a source of great disappointment to Formula One fans who flocked to view it in West Sussex. However, though the cars are to be removed, the track will be displayed alongside the Hethel test track.