Mahiki Racing Pre-Season Divulgence

We are, at the time of writing, one week away from the inaugural round of the British GT Championship held at Oulton Park in Cheshire, and just a week later, the European GT Championship kicks off in Paul Ricard, France, marking the 2024 GT season officially underway.

The response to our launch has been astounding, and everyone at Mahiki Racing is delighted to hear such positivity surrounding the car, the team, and the ethos.
2024 began with an overwhelming debut of the car at the NEC in Birmingham for the Autosport International show, and with plenty of testing days in between, Media Day on the 12th March at Donington Park garnered even more support as we entered the final run up towards the official beginning of the season.
Shortly after the Autosport show, we dove straight into testing around the UK tracks Silverstone, Snetterton, Donington, and Oulton Park. February proved to be, above all else, wet, and as fun as it can be to fly around the track when it’s slick, it was slightly disappointing that we couldn’t test in a range of conditions.
Fortunately, the European tracks Paul Ricard and MotorLand, Aragon bore the perfect dry conditions that were needed to even the playing field. The main takeaway, upon concluding the first bout of UK testing, is that the Emira GT4 is an incredible race car. Only a few of the drivers have prior experience with Lotus cars so, as a team relatively new to the land of Lotus, each discovery is just as pleasantly surprising as the last.

The design of the Emira is so ridiculously clever, each and every curve is unbelievably deliberate. Lotus are absolute masters of their craft. For example, one of the things the engineers love the most is testing in the wet as it highlights the Emira’s brilliant aerodynamics; it takes us back to basics with accurate flow visualisation whereby watching the water follow the same path, you can accurately see where the air flows – gliding over the top of the bonnet, dipping underneath the wing mirror, splitting into two streams, where it then comes back down below the rear wing, making the car particularly ‘slippy’.
Almost like a figure of eight, the air dances through the curves that have been so carefully sculpted onto the side of the vehicle.

Imagine sticking your hand out of the window on the M6, the resistance you feel when your palm is facing the wind, and then the ease when your fingers face the wind; Lotus have designed the Emira so that the fingers are always facing forward. It’s an insanely talented way of ensuring maximum aerodynamic speed for the GT4, and we could see it happening visually with the movement of the water during particularly drizzly days out on.

The Lotus Emira GT4 is on track to become a fan-favourite at this year’s championships. Already, the sound, the colour, the livery and the excitement surrounding the Lotus name have captured the attention of the fans, which is very encouraging for the whole team both in front and behind the scenes. Every part of what we’ve chosen to do for Mahiki Racing is deliberate. Every small detail is meticulously thought out and represents something extraordinary, much like Lotus itself. For a race team speed and power are down to the car and the drivers, the emotional response is down to the way the fans perceive the brand, and that is why such deliberate design choices have been made. It’s important to consider that Lotus cars already have such a distinct, weightless look, and anything that you want to plaster over the top of that must integrate seamlessly into the body without taking away from the already flawless design. The Mahiki Emira GT4 livery was crafted to represent our and Lotus’ limitless possibilities, as this car is more than a GT race car; it is allegorical to the passion and drive that every single member of our team exudes when it comes to motorsport. As we are an ever-evolving team, we are constantly open to new partnerships and are eager to develop new relationships which can only mean that the Mahiki Racing Emira GT4 cars will evolve with us, adapting to each and every new adventure that we embark on.

The Emira is a lightweight, mid-engine sports car, and Lotus’ engineering genius continues through the chassis design, giving exceptional feedback to the driver. Because of the nature of the vehicle, getting into the Emira GT4 feels like stepping into a fighter plane, the cockpit wraps around you and before you know it, you feel like Maverick as you fly round the track.
The power delivery from the engine makes it a very driveable car in both wet and dry conditions, and being a V6 engine it gives a great spread of torque without being turbo-charged. Our engineers are loving the challenge of actually learning everything about the car without the help or assistance of search engines or historic data. It’s a great thing because once we do fully understand, then everything else falls into place and we become the only experts in the world with such comprehensive knowledge of the Emira GT4.

The demographic of the Mahiki drivers is diverse. There are Ian and Steve, aged 50 and 44, Nathan and Jordan, both 27, Max aged 24, and Dexter and Gordie who are 20 and 21. This means we have a broad range of perspectives and differing techniques, the most apparent being that of their ability to ‘drive by the seat of their pants’.
Younger drivers are rather fearless, whereas more experienced drivers drive a lot more critically and methodically, which is where simulator training provides an advantage for both age groups. Between muscle memory and repetition, learning the tracks on a simulator allows the drivers to become naturally methodological on each track they drive, allowing them to both ‘send it,’ but also think analytically about every corner and every straight they are racing. The Mahiki Racing drivers are dedicated and motivated, in fact every single racing driver you meet, whether that be a 5-year-old novice or a seasoned veteran, they all have that shared motivation; it’s not just about going as fast as you can, it’s about the training, the mentality, the passion, and the unwillingness to accept anything less than perfect.

Ultimately, with Oulton Park and Paul Ricard fast approaching, we are ready to shake up the competition. It’s been a hectic start to 2024 between testing bouts, but the results have been more than positive. This is hopefully just the beginning of a long relationship with the Emira, and we’re proud to pioneer the return of Lotus in GT racing.
The road ahead is long and challenging, but we’re ready and unafraid to give it our all.
All the races in both the UK and Europe will be available to both watch live and after the fact on the respective British and European GT websites.

We are looking forward to our next instalment in Chicane where we can delve into the details and behind the scenes of the first few races; in the meantime, we are keeping our social media, the Lotus Driver’s Club, and the Mahiki Racing website updated with the good, the bad, and the ugly; stay tuned.

Lotus Emira GT4 Oulton Park Testing for British GT 2024