Looking at this highly modified Elise, it's hard to imagine the owner of this Lotus started out looking for a fuel-sipping econo-mobile because he's ended up with a race-winning track weapon.
For a living, Dr. Edward Park makes breasts look good. But at the weekend, his mind is focused on the whine of a supercharger and a revving Toyota motor as he ran neck-and-neck with his good friend on the final lap of the 2011 Lotus Cup at Willow Springs Raceway.
Coming down the straightaway before the final turn, Park braked late and ducked inside his friend, stealing the checkered flag after a frantic duel with other supercharged Lotus in the Cup class.
"Before the Lotus I had an BMW M3, M6 and Range Rover, all of which were gas guzzlers," Park said. "I was researching cars with the best gas mileage and was surprised to see the Lotus on the list!"
At this point, you might be inclined to think Dr. Park is good at finding loopholes, but in 2008 he purchased this Chrome Orange Lotus Elise from its first owner. "The moment I test-drove the car, I was smitten. It was like a go-kart on steroids. The visceral experience was unmatched by any street car I'd driven before!"
Park bought the car on a Friday and by Saturday was at the track to "lose his Lotus virginity," as he put it.
"I had no track experience whatsoever but fortunately I'd hired an instructor. And from that day forth, I was hooked," he said.
Being a plastic surgeon, cosmetics were high on his list of priorities for the car. So Park started by pursuing Colin Chapman's theory about adding lightness with lots of carbon fiber parts. This included door sills, race seats, a splitter, scoops, etc. He also had Specialty Car Craft paint the car in a custom matte orange, making it one of a kind.
With the car looking fast, Park knew it was time to back it up with a BWR S/C supercharger. Once installed it took the horsepower to 227hp at the rear wheels. "...Not bad for a modification under $5000," Park said. Of course, this was what he thought before the next track, whereupon he promptly blew the engine's top-end.
That experience left him desiring not only more speed but reliability. His search led him to Dynamic Racing Solutions (DRS) in La Habra, CA. They fitted new Eibach valve springs to avoid the previous problems, adding Bosch 550 injectors a new fuel pump and fuel pot.
With a healthy heart, DRS also installed a BWR sway bar along with two-way adjustable Ohlins shocks. These were enhanced by Volks wheels - 15" fore, 16" aft with 205/50 and 225/45 Hankook Z214 C71 tires respectively.
With the motor now making 250whp, Park went on to make light work of the field at the next Lotus Cup race, finishing first in the race and claiming second overall in the series.
Park has since sold the Elise, satisfying his need for speed as the proud owner of a Lotus 211, perhaps the ultimate trackday tool and a guarantee of more racing silverware.
2005 Lotus Elise
Owner: Edward Park
Occupation: cosmetic surgeon
BWR S/C Supercharger
Tubular GT3 exhaust
Moroso oil pan
Bosch 550 injectors
ProAlloy radiator by Sector 111
APR CF splitter
APR CF side sills
APR Raceview mirrors
APR rear wing
Reverie CF 5 element diffuser
Reverie CF side scoops
Custom turn signal delete
Custom rear gills delete
Reverie CF steering wheel
Reverie CF seats
Schroth Profi harnesses
CF door sills
CF door panels
Hawk HT10 brake pads
Stainless steel lines
Ohlins two-way adjustable suspension
Volk CE28's 15/16