As test-drives go, it was pure rock’n’roll. But even veteran rock legends have to respect the awesome power of a Lotus.
Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who, will not forget his outing on the British sports car company’s own track in a hurry. The 67-year-old reached speeds of up to 160mph around the circuit at Hethel, near Norwich.
But such is the G-force generated by the awesome horse-power that at one stage he had to pull over to deal with a wave of overwhelming car sickness . ‘Never eat a sausage before being thrown around in one of these,’ he laughed, as he emerged from the car back at the pit stop.
During Roger’s visit to the Lotus HQ he also viewed plans to customise — or ‘pimp’, as the motoring fraternity dubs it — an Evora sports car.
And when the dream car becomes a reality, it’ll be displayed at the Classic Rock Awards in November before being auctioned online for the Teenage Cancer Trust, of which Daltrey is a patron.
The styling ideas board featured pictures of the band draped in the Union Flag, and a Fender Stratocaster, as well as The Who’s ‘mod’ logo. One potential design he saw featured two small Who logos on the side of the car with an arrow sweeping across the roof.
The singer, now touring the rock opera Tommy, is considering either gun metal grey or a deep racing green. Back on the track, he took the wheel of the T125 F1-style racing car which, with a VI P support package, Lotus is selling to the superrich for £650,000 — a million U.S. dollars.
The singer of the 1967 hit I Can See For Miles had to have his trademark blue-tinted Lennon-style glasses taped to his temples, but even then each time he pulled down his helmet they ended up tangled around his chin.
‘I can’t see the end of the track,’ he laughed.
‘I’m a bloody OA P. Do I need a blue badge for this?’ Yet in spite of the years, he still topped an impressive 160mph. ‘I wasn’t frightened of it, but it took some getting used to. The Gforce is tremendous. It’s great on the straights, but going through the chicanes was something else.
‘Driving the Formula One car around the track was far harder work than performing on stage. You really do need to be incredibly fit. You probably basically need to be young — your insides get thrown about.
‘With poor eyesight, the only real difficulty was seeing. I wasn’t used to the corners coming up that quickly. The whole experience has left me with ultimate respect for Formula 1 racing drivers.’
When he reached 120mph, he said: ‘I imagined I was being chased by the police on the M25.
‘Everyone should do an advanced driving course. The most dangerous thing ever invented is the speed camera. Everyone is looking out for the damned cameras, rather than watching the road.’
Asked whether he’d be prepared to part with the asking price for the T125, he laughed and said: ‘I’d rather spend the money on building a hospital ward for children with cancer.’
He is adorable and never 4get the hair.