Lotus goes racing... on ice
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For those readers sweltering in the summer heat, we have some winter-inspired news to cool you off. Back in February, Ferrari revealed that its engineering group would team with the Italian Olympic Committee to develop advanced equipment designs for Olympic sports, one such event being the bobsled. Apparently at about the same time, another automaker was also knee-deep in its own bobsled adventure. Group Lotus was commissioned by the Royal Air Force (RAF) to make some repairs on a sled the team intended to use for the 2008 Inter-Services Ice Championships. In general disrepair with significant nose damage and body cracks, the bobsled required complete refurbishment before it would be deemed competition-worthy. The RAF team approached Lotus based on the group's experience working with composite materials. The combination of RAF's aerospace engineering knowledge teamed with Lotus's roadgoing experience was sure to create one mean sleigh.
The 70 hours of engineering time dedicated to the sled's makeover saw it achieve speeds approaching 85 mph, sending the RAF team to third place at the Inter-Services Ice Championships with Sergeant Michelle Coy at the helm and Junior Technician Caroline Gray at the brakes. Although there weren't reports on the number of competitive entries, a podium finish for the new development team sounds respectable to us.