Competition DNA is at the core of every Lotus product, and so it can be little surprise to learn that a spirit of healthy competition has been one of the core TLR successes throughout the history of the club.
Across hillclimbs, gymkhanas and rallies, TLR members and Lotus cars had already featured prominently within the SA motorsport environment for decades when, inspired by the Caterham Challenge in the UK, a group of TLR members put forward a proposal for a dedicated Lotus racing class for local events. This lead by Oscar Marucchi, Iain Pepper, John Barty and Roger Pearce, in 1996 the Lotus Challenge was born and the first race at Zwartkops.
Initially run as a handicap series, by the late 1990s the Lotus Challenge rules had been refined to introduce a scratch championship with categories for both road and race-dedicated cars. The rules have continued to evolve over the years, with the mainstay of the current competition being a field of Class B cars (featuring 1600 Toyota 4AGE motors) and Class L (featuring 1600 Ford Rocam motors).
Both categories race to a set of rules designed to promote exhilarating, affordable racing.
The Lotus Challenge fields are typically amongst the largest single-marque racing grids in the country and the close on-track competition and close camaraderie in the pitlane is something that the Lotus Challenge has become famous for.
Beyond the Lotus Challenge, Lotus and Lotus-type cars are raced across South Africa in a number of prominent multi-marque series. There are also a few original Lotus Formula racecars still competing in the Historic Single Seater category.