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A Chat with Clive Chapman about Lotus’ Discovery of Ground Effects

Submitted by on March 22, 2016

Andretti Peterson 1978 Dutch Grand Prix

Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson on the way to a one-two finish in the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix. Image thanks to the Cahier Archive

“The Type 78? Well I’ll tell ya, it’s like it’s painted to the road.” – Mario Andretti

Sit down with Classic Team Lotus’ Clive Chapman for a chat about Lotus’ discovery of ground effects, and the impact it had on the sport of Formula 1.

Featuring plenty of footage of their stunning JPS Type 78, Type 79 and Type 91, of course.

“When ground effects arrived, Team Lotus had an unfair advantage. Maximum downforce minimum drag was what designers went to bed dreaming of.”

The video, from Goodwood Road & Racing, includes some interesting insights into Lotus’ process and Colin Chapman’s drive. It goes into fascinating behind-the-scenes detail into the technology, how it came about, the way the team developed it through the Lotus 78 and the 79, and the progress of the drivers in uncovering its full potential.

The Lotus 78 would take seven wins and seven pole positions and contribute significantly to the 1978 Drivers’ and Constructor’s championships that Mario Andretti and Lotus would secure with the even more advanced Lotus 79.

This is the kind of story that made the golden era of the sport so magic. Hit play, and enjoy it.

MORE LOTUS: One off Grand Prix winners: Gunnar Nilsson Belgium 1977

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