Lotus X180R IMSA 52591001

VIN: 52591001


(Credit: Vintage Race Car Sales)

October 2020

Offered by Vintage Race Car Sales in Maryland for $149,000:

In 1990, Lotus Cars USA convinced the factory in England that it was time to build a Lotus Esprit race car. The SCCA was promoting a race series called the World Challenge, and it was felt that the Esprit would fit right in. This was a professional race series populated by production-based sports cars such as the Corvette. The factory responded by taking two Esprits off the production line, and converting them into the first X180R Type 105 race cars. Under the banner of the Pure Sports team, based in Texas, the cars experienced a very successful debut, even winning the very first race that they were entered in with Doc Bundy as their driver. The team then went on to win two other races with Bundy and Scott Lagasse in 1990. The first year results were so impressive that three additional cars were commissioned for build for the 1991 season. Using what they had learned with the first two cars, the three new cars, designated Type 106, had additional modification to improve their chances for a championship. The two cars from 1990 were upgraded to the new Type 106 specification, and the race team now had five cars to run. Jack Ansley, of Road Atlanta fame, was brought on board and established the Lotusport team, now based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The heart and soul of the team still remained with lead driver Doc Bundy, however, additional new drivers joined the team for the second year including; David Murry, Michael Brockman, Bobby Carridine, Paul Newman and Bo Lemler. With the new team came, additionally, a new race series. In 1991, IMSA had started promoting a series called the Supercar Challenge with rules that were similar enough to World Challenge that it allowed cars to compete in both series. Although he was only entered in three Supercar races in 1991, Doc managed a first and third place result in two of the races. Bobby Carridine captured second place in the SCCA World Challenge Driver’s Championship in 1991. In 1992 David Murry, now signed full time, and Andy Pilgrim joined Doc Bundy as lead drivers, with Bobby Carridine and Paul Newman sharing one car. Bo Lemler and Steve Hanson rounded out the effort with the “customer seats”. This year it all came together for the team with race wins at Road Atlanta, Portland and Phoenix and many other podium finishes. The team concentrated on the IMSA series, but David Murry did win the SCCA event at Road Atlanta when the team decided to enter one car at the last minute. Doc Bundy won the Driver Championship from Hurley Haywood, the 1991 champion, and Lotus finished a close second in the Manufacturers Championship to Porsche. The team started the 1993 season with a one, two, three finish at Miami for Doc, Andy Pilgrim and David Murray. Unfortunately for the team, this dominating finish resulted in the team being forced to add weight to the cars for the remainder of the season making them less competitive. Doc and Andy finished second and third in the Drivers Championship, but the Manufacturers Championship once again eluded the team. The team ran the 1994 season with four of the drivers finishing in the top ten in points, but the team only ran a few races in 1995 before calling it quits due to IMSA’s continued performance penalties of the four season veteran car. This being the ultimate testament to the Esprit’s competitive performance and design. The five racing legends were then, as so many racing icons, shelved to gather dust at Lotus Cars USA. Two of the cars remained in the Atlanta area, including the car that Doc Bundy heavily damaged in a race crash at Sebring in 1993. These two cars were purchased by Steve Hanson, one of the team’s drivers and sponsors. Another car was sold to Kyle Kaulback in Pennsylvania, and the two remaining cars eventually were purchased by Bruce Morton in Arizona and modified to run in the Speedvision Challenge. Although hopes were high in 2000 with Elliot Forbes Robinson and Butch Leitzinger as drivers the team was under funded and did not complete the season with only 4 rounds being contested. The cars went dormant after that. In 2002, Yesteryear Motorsports Racing owners Kevin McGovern and Jaime Goffaux acquired three of the cars including one of the 1990 cars and two of the 1991 cars and began the resurrection of the LotuSport team acquiring the name from Jack Ansley. These cars have been race restored to the 1991/1994 Supercar series specifications, sorted, and competitively run in Vintage Racing events ever since – including invitation and attendance to the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the championship car in the summer of 2012. A standing invitation for return remains to present day.

The following preparations have been performed :

  • Original chassis – strengthening/front end geometry engineered by GMT Racing and executed by Yesteryear Motorsports/LotuSport Racing
  • Original documented ’93 season Lotus motor with 8 hours –completely rebuilt/serviced by Yesteryear Motorsports/LotuSport Racing
  • dyno tuned engine management mapping for complete drivability in vintage events by At Speed Motorsports and Yesteryear Motorsports/LotuSport Racing
  • Upgraded original spec Renault Sport UN1 gearbox – completely rebuilt by GMT Racing 2010
  • Upgraded racing twin Tilton braking system – engineered by Yesteryear Motorsports/LotuSport Racing
  • Moton shocks rebuilt by Moton in 2009 with 12 hours on the shocks
  • Suspension rebuilt and serviced by Yesteryear Motorsports/LotuSport Racing
  • New custom FIA approved ATL fuel cells included
  • Race ready – AP Racing brakes
  • Excellent condition original Compomotive/Revolution wheels
  • completely restored interior to original specification/material
  • Pristine condition fiberglass body and paintjob
  • complete custom frontal clearfilm paint protection by Proform
  • Equipped with a AMB transponder – 4943723 The first X180R Type 106 constructed by Lotus Cars, 1992 IMSA championship car and overall winner of over 10 Professional IMSA and SCCA World Challenge races. Driven professionally by Doc Bundy, Andy Pilgrim , Paul Newman Driven in vintage competition by Ken Fitzgerald, Doc Bundy, and David Murry

The Lotus X180R is the most successful Lotus factory race car since the last Lotus F1 world championship

Photos from Vintage Race Car Sales

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