First off let me set out that I’m a Lotus fan….I’ve had the original Elise S1, the revised version from the mid 2000s (an S2 Sports Racer to those in the know), a VX220 (the Vauxhall branded Lotus) and I currently drive a Lotus Evora S, so I was looking forward to getting my mitts on another hand made British sports car for two days.
I dropped off my Lotus at the Garforth factory and the guy handing over the car said “Evora, very nice, who do you work for?” After reassuring him I wasn’t a spy from the Lotus factory I was shown into the factory to pick up my G40 GRDC in bright yellow – so this won’t be a covert weekend drive then.
The GRDC is a racing car that is road legal rather than a road car that’s good for racing. So to go with that vibe there is a start up procedure to be followed. This, just like many high end cars, is a keyless start but to outwit any thieves it requires a Thunderbirds style 3-2-1 go start up procedure to bring the 1.8L Ford Zetec engine burbling to life.
This car is low (it goes under the LNT Factory barrier) but it looks good for it. I drove it straight over to Beverly to see a client and the ops Director thought it was ‘beautiful’. On the way I took the motorway route and the car wasn’t too loud though I doubt I would have been able to say much to a passenger if I had one.
It was a really nice cruiser in 5th gear and I had no complaints, on the A and B roads at the end unfortunately I got stuck in a long queue of cars, so the fun had to wait for the return journey. I decided to take the scenic route on the return so taking the A and B roads only via Pocklington, York northern ring road, B road across to Wetherby and then the back route home via Harewood.
On the Sunday I went for a drive up to Brimham Rocks taking the long scenic route via some back B roads, Menwith Hill, Lindley Wood Reservoir, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Leathley and Arthington. It’s an absolutely brilliant car, and I really enjoyed the tight twisty B roads and it had enough punch to be able to pass some of the slower cars on the straight bits.
Not surprisingly it got a lot of attention, kids mostly, in the Brimham Rocks car park: I definitely heard shouts of ‘Daddy, look, racing car’.
I enjoy seeing the positive reactions a car like this brings. There are no driver aids so you feel part of the car, it’s got similar DNA to a Lotus and it really is a driver’s car. It has a practical boot (golf club size if you’re that way inclined) and Air-Con so you could use it as a road car on a regular basis but I would want a second car to hand for nipping to the shops etc. What really sells it to me is the GRDC programme.
Ginetta will train you as a fully licensed racing driver and along with other buyers of the G40 GRDC will put on four races for you in the first season with full Ginetta trackside support and hospitality at four classic British tracks, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington & Rockingham and in your second season you get to race at Spa.
Right where’s that order form I know I’ve got it round here somewhere.
The car david drove was a G40 GRDC priced from £29,950 + vat. supplied by Ginetta, Helios 47, Garforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS25 2DY. 0113 385 3850