Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Two New Cars Announced In SportsCar

The February 2006 edition of SportsCar magazine's Buyers Guide lists two new groups who intent to sell sports racers in the U.S. Also, other manufactuers have made changes to their existing or recent offering and are noted.

Fusion Racing of Canada and Gloria of Italy both have plans to build and sell sports racers to customers intending to compete in SCCA C and D Sports Racing classes.

Richard S James of SportsCar says, "The number of choices continues to grow, especially in the sports racing categories. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, the track day market is growing – there are a lot of people who like to go fast, but don’t necessarily want to race. That means greater volumes of cars sold, delivering greater variety and lower prices the SCCA racers. It may also provide a well of future competitors. There’s also the new IMSA Lights series, partly based on SCCA’s C and D Sports Racing rules, that is encouraging some manufacturers to build new sports racers.”

The new Fusion FR-C01 and FR-D01 will be sold for CSR and DSR respectively. Fusion Racing will also offer a closed cockpit version of the FR-C01, ala mini Daytona Prototype. The Fusion Racing website so far only says, "The revolutionary FSRP-06 will take sports racers on a whole new direction and will be designed to meet the stringent demands of sanctioning bodies like SCCA ASN and FIA.".

The new Gloria B65 will be sold for DSR. The Italian manufacturer of open wheel formula cars is trying to branch out into sports racers and is currently seeking a U.S. distributor. Gloria’s concept of their car was shared with SportsCar (displayed above), but the Gloria website doesn’t show any information on the proposed sports racer.

Also shown as revised cars were the ADR, Elan/Van Diemen, Johnston, Phoenix, Stohr, and West. All of these are familiar with those that have follow SCCA sports racing during 2005.

The ADR Chassis has developed from the Sport II, to the 1000 (intended for DSR), to the ADR3. Distribution of ADR cars in the U.S. has been taken over by ADR North America and the first ADR3 chassis arrived in California in November, 2005. The ADR3 is designed for CSR and endurance racing using either a Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engine, or a 2.0 liter Honda K20A engine.

Elan/Van Diemen
The Elan/Van Diemen looks to be a reworked version of the car that was originally introduced in 2001 as a bodied formula car. The DP-02, for C Sports Racing, is said to be the first new product from the new Elan Motorsport empire.

The Johnston SRP-1 first debuted at the December 2003 PRI show. Ownership of the project changed hands along the way but continued to make progress, including development work on the track in 2005. Johnston has already been fielding two cars at the early East Coast National races in 2006.

The Phoenix CSR-1 and DSR-1 are the cars that started life as the Merloy, then Maloy. Phoenix Race Cars, Inc. acquired the design and ownership of the cars in 2005 and has continued development. Phoenix also has offered contingency sponsorship in 2005 and 2006 for winning drivers in Phoenix cars.

The Stohr WF1 dominated the 2005 DSR National Championship in its first outing at the hands of Mark Jaremko. Lee Stohr continues improving upon the Stohr DSR that debuted at the 2001 SCCA Runoffs. The WF1 is the next evolution of Stohr cars for those that want a leading edge design for CSR or DSR.

West Race Cars has taken the Stohr DSR and refined it in their own ways to produce the WR1000 and Unlimited for DSR and CSR. West formerly took over the operation of Stohr Racing Cars, and has continued to support existing customers while their own unique version of the previous cars.