Lotus Elise GT1 (Type-115) Racing Car 1997 Year 1/43 Scale Rare Sports Vehicle
Era : 1980-1999
Scale : 1/43
Material : Diecast
Recommended Age Range: 12 Years & Up
The Lotus Elise GT1 (also known as the Lotus GT1 and known internally as Type-115) is a race car developed for grand tourer-style sports car racing starting in 1997.
Former factory driver Mike Hezemans of the Netherlands, feeling that the Elise GT1's main faults were in its power and aerodynamics, decided that the car should not be abandoned and convinced his father Toine Hezemans to provide financial help in his project. The pair bought two former Elise GT1 chassis abandoned by the factory along with their inventory of parts. Hezemans and his small team consisting of chief mechanic Hans Willemsen and two mechanics, Peter Classen and Mario Van beek, set out to eliminate the known faults in the car. They took the chassis to the Netherlands and in their small workshop, the car was extensively reworked. The front end was made longer and smoother in an attempt to increase front downforce. To replace the Elise GT1's Chevrolet V8, Hezemans turned to Chrysler, buying a pair of 356-T6 8.0L V10s producing 620 hp (462 kW) and 800 N⋅m (590 lb⋅ft) of torque, which were being used in Chrysler's GT2 class racing cars. The engine was fitted in the car by extending the chassis. The Hewland gearbox was retained as the team had a small budget. The new cars were promised to compete in the 1998 FIA GT Championship season. In order to make the cars compliant to the regulations of the FIA, Hezemans turned to his friend Erich Bitter who was an independent German car manufacturer. He agreed to give the cars his firm's name and the car were named Bitter GT1s.
The cars never matched even the lackluster performance of the original Elise GT1s. The only race in which they actually competed, Silverstone, saw both Bitters failing to finish, as the torque produced by the new V10 engine was too much for the gearbox. After failing to even get past initial practice at the next race at Hockenheimring, the project was cancelled.