Artist Gerry Judah has created the Lotus sculpture for the 2012 Goodwood Festival Of Speed in West Sussex, England.
This is the 16th sculpture created by Gerry Judah for the Festival of Speed, an annual event held in the grounds of Goodwood House.
Each year, Goodwood has featured a marque, a carmaker that inspires disciples because of its style, success on the track, or both. In 2012, the featured marque was Lotus, the British car manufacturer that sponsored Gerry Judah’s installation.
The sculpture was designed to capture the essence of Lotus from its beginnings to the present. A 3-D infinity loop was designed, resembling the grandest, most ambitious Scalextric track ever imagined.
The track itself is a triangular section of 6mm flat sheet metal with a “continuously variable curve developable” surface, which was painted white. These were fabricated by Littlehampton Welding and transported 22 miles to Goodwood in 11 sections by individual articulated lorries and a police escort.
Multiple cranes were used to erect the installation and place six significant Lotus cars onto its surface. The cars, which were loaned by Classic Team Lotus and the Lotus F1 Team, included a green and yellow Type 32B, the car in which Jim Clark won the 1965 Tasman Series in Australia and New Zealand, and a red-and-white Type 49, in which Graham Hill raced to the crown. The other cars were a JPS-liveried Type 72, in which Emerson Fittipaldi became the sport’s youngest champion; a black-and-gold ’79 responsible for Mario Andretti’s world title; a yellow Lotus 99T driven by Ayrton Senna; and the current Lotus grand prix car as driven by Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
Gerry Judah worked closely with Lord March and Lotus to determine the design. The winding curves represent Lotus’s natural environment: cars that are built for cornering. The 150-metre-long track is shaped into the shape of a half-hitch, or trefoil, knot.
“What you see in the structure is the track, but inside it is 98% empty space,” explains Gerry Juddah. “In automobile terms, this would be a monocoque body, a tribute to the legendary designer and Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s introduction of monocoque chassis construction to automobile racing.”
“The monocoque structure, which is made of steel plates and joined together to create the loop, is meant to highlight the engineering DNA of Lotus,” confirms Gerry Judah. “It’s a lightweight engineering construction and I think its form shows the Lotus psychology and culture.”
“What we have here is a technique for building freeform shapes. In the future, we expect that lots of structures will be built like this, from bridges and large span buildings, to roller coasters, but before that we will be building some even more spectacular sculptures.”
With the Festival over, the sculpture is being dismantled and will be brought to Lotus’s Norfolk headquarters. Though the cars will be removed and returned to Clive Chapman’s Classic Team Lotus workshop and to the Lotus F1 Team, the sculpture will be displayed on a plot next to the Hethel test track.