30 Lotus Cortinas will fight for Goodwood’s Jim Clark Trophy in 2023

Goodwood

Good news from Goodwood—to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the launch of the Lotus Cortina the British race circuit is to host the biggest grid of LoCos since the 1960s.

The all-Lotus Cortina race will feature no less than 30 cars lined up on the glorious Goodwood track as the highlight of its 80th Members’ Meeting on April 15-16, 2023. It will be a two-driver race, pairing the cars’ owners with VIP racers from Le Mans and the British Touring Car Championship.

The winners will receive the first Jim Clark Trophy awarded at Goodwood, named in honor of the two-time Scottish Formula 1 World Champion and Indy 500 winner who was also a dab hand behind the wheel of a Lotus Cortina. Clark won every race in which he drove one, taking the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship, and even letting loose in the 1966 RAC Rally. Clark’s car is now owned by three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti so hopefully he’ll be on track in it for this extraordinary race.

In case you need reminding, the legendary Lotus Cortina came about when Ford’s British PR boss Walter Hayes asked Colin Chapman if the 1.6-liter Cosworth-fettled twin-cam Ford Kent engine, used by Lotus in the Type 23, could be fitted into 1000 Cortinas. That number would meet Group 2 homologation rules and Ford could go racing. Ford supplied two-door Cortina shells and Lotus fitted the 106-hp motor, along with a close-ratio gearbox from the Elan, new suspension, Girling brakes, and aluminum doors, hood and boot lid to save weight. Such was the demand for this “tin top Seven” that production went far beyond the homologation requirement. Some 3300 Mark 1 models were built, followed by over 4000 Mark 2s which launched in 1966. Goodwood hasn’t stated whether both models will be eligible for the Jim Clark Trophy.

Tickets are now available to members of the Goodwood Road and Racing Community but if you can’t get along, don’t worry as the event will be live streamed on Goodwood’s YouTube channel as well.

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