July11, 2008 Lotus Cars, the team behind some seriously cool Gravity Racing machines, has redeveloped a slightly different racing machine – a competition sled for the Royal Air Force Bobsleigh Team. The RAF approached Lotus with the challenge to repair one of its competition sleds that had sustained significant nose cone damage, a large crack in the chassis, and various wear and tear. After over 70 hours of engineering time, the company turned it from a safety hazard to a place-winning racing machine.
The new and improved sled reached speeds of 135km/h, and finished third at the 2008 Inter-Services Ice Championships. Now painted in Lotus’s green and gold, it left driver RAF Sergeant Michelle Coy and Junior Technician Caroline Gray duly impressed. The company was chosen for its reputation for working with composite materials – but its reputation on the track couldn't have hurt.
Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive for Group Lotus, said "When the RAF Bobsleigh Team approached us, we were immediately grabbed by the very clear association between our high performing, exciting and high technology sports cars, advanced RAF aerospace engineering and the extreme sport of Bobsleigh.”
"Lotus is regarded as a world leader in composite research, development and manufacture. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to demonstrate our skills outside the car industry. The advanced composites repairs have been done to an extremely high quality, keeping weight to a minimum and are another example of our skills. The resulting Sled has been returned to the RAF as good as new."