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Catia-designed racer wins Soapbox Challenge

09 July 2004

A Delmia sponsored Lotus has won the Goodwood Festival of Speed Downhill Soapbox Challenge.

Weighing less than 50kg, the Type 119c ""Streamliner"" features an enclosed cockpit with a carbon fibre monocoque and uses the same titanium and tungsten materials used in Formula 1 racing. This minimal weight allows the strategic positioning of ballast to optimise the weight distribution inside the soapbox. The wheel spokes are enclosed in sleek carbon fibre covers and the design was fine-tuned in wind-tunnel tests, giving it an efficient aerodynamic profile.

The concept was designed with Dassault Systemes' Catia CAD software.

Paul Adams, pilot of the racer, achieved a course record of 63.998s, in so doing, reaching speeds of over 101km/h down the Goodwood Hill, powered by nothing other than the force of gravity. The Lotus team was 3.5s faster than the second placed team, Bentley.

Head of vehicle engineering at Lotus, Steve Swift, commented: ""This was a splendid result over the weekend, and it is marvellous to witness the team's dedication to this project paying off. Winning is always special, but by such a huge margin and with a record time is fantastic and shows what an incredible job these talented young engineers have done"". During the nine-month concept-to-production programme, the Type 119c project team had access to the state-of-the-art facilities at Lotus' Hethel base. The Lotus Type 119c will now take its place in the Soapbox Hall of Fame at Hethel, alongside its predecessors, the 2002 Type 119 and last year's winning roadster-class Type 119b.





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