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XPIT Chassis

The XPIT has also been known as the Trident, Piranha, and Jedi.

D Sports Racer


The car pictured to the right is Ed Murray's Jeddi D1 built on an XPIT Formula 4 chassis fitted with a Honda 900 engine. The car was completed in late 1982 and homologated in January 1983.

Recent Owners

Jerry Dykhuisen reports, “I purchased the X-Pit from Charlie Brown in 1991 and ran it for seven years. Charlie called it a Trident when he owned it and I called it a Piranha. It had originally been dubbed a Jedi, but Charlie was denied permission to use the name when he asked George Lucas.

He had repowered it with a Yamaha FZR which I ran the entire time. By the time I got the car, the tops of the side panels no longer looked like upside down catamaran hulls. Charlie had flattened them because, as aerodynamic as the were, they generated zero downforce and made the car a 'handful to drive, even in a straight line', as he put it.

When I had the car, it held the DSR lap record at Sebring and was the SARRC champion in 1991 and won numerous regional and national races. I went to the Runoffs twice, taking 12th the last year they were held in Atlanta (1993) and 11th the following year, the first year they were held at Mid-Ohio.

The body style was actually kind of ahead of its time, with the raised center section and side pods, looking a lot like today’s generation of sports racers.”3

Jerry sold the car to Mike Vanderwalker.


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Waterford Hills
May 17, 19832

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Moroso in 1994.3

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Moroso in 1993.3

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Moroso in 1994.3

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Runoffs at Mid-Ohio in 1994.3


The Concept

The car was the brainchild of four racing friends; Ed Murray, Gary Hensley, Rod Hahnemann, and Dave Craddock of Preform Resources.

"We decided to pool our energies into one effort with the goal of reaching the Runoff in Atlanta," recalls Rod Hahnemann.

"There was a group of Formula 4 cars from Canada that raced at Waterford [Hills Raceway] and Ed thought, 'Why not put one of those new Honda V4 Interceptor motors in one and run it in Formula Continental?'"

Getting Started

Ed Murray "did some research and learned that there was a chassis available, ... but never completed. The car was designed as a Super Vee by Eric Seacrist, owner of EXPIT Cars in Wireton, Ontario, who built many of the Formula 4 cars." Rod comments that Eric "was a true craftsman and probably one of the best engineer / fabricators I have ever met."

Ed and Ron went to Wireton in October 1982 and Ed made a deal for the chassis. They would supply and engine and Eric would complete the chassis.

Gary Hensley was the co-owner of Motion Honda in Detroit. He "arranged to borrow a V4 Interceptor from another dealer" and it was delivered to Eric Seacrist's shop to install in the chassis.

A Change of Plans

Once the V4 Interceptor was at EXPIT Cars, it was discovered that the engine rotated in the wrong direction! So, the plans changed dramatically. Formula Continental was out. Now the group would build the car for D Sports Racing instead using the 900 Honda out of Gary's AMA Superbike.

The Body

Rod recalls, "I think it was Ed and Dave that came up with the idea of pulling a mold off Ed's Nacra 18 Catamaran boat hull to use as a model for what became to car's sidepods. It goes through water fast doesn't it? Low drag!"

"We were were going to use the original XPIT center section, but Dave came up with McLaren's 1982 Indy March/Buick center section, from Teo Fabi's ride, that he borrowed to take a mold off of." Dave says, "We were doing some repairs on it and I asked Wylie if we could take a shot off it. He said, 'I don't care long as you don't hurt it!'"

"The body ended up being a three piece affair. The sidepods could be removed for access to the fuel cell, oil cooler, suspension, etc. The center section, including the nose and tail came off in one piece. No wings, but aluminum covers over the front suspension. The rear wheels were within the sidepods. Originally there was no radiator as the Honda 900 was air cooled."


Rod further recalls, "Gary and I made a few modifications to the motor. The two main ones being a dry sump oiling setup and a change of carburetors. The dry sump involved making a new oil pump from two wet sump units. The other carb change required fabricating a new intake maniford to accept two 40 DCOE Weber carburetors.

The car was chain drive, using an open differential developed and built by Eric Seacrist for Formula 4."

Debut Season

"Ed ran the car starting with a club race at Waterford Hill in April, 1983. He broke the DSR lap record and finished first overall in each of the weekend's three races, including the feature where he bested all of the GT1 cars. Needless to say, the car's appearance drew a crown.

After the initial outing, we entered and won Regionals at IRP and Waterford, and then went to our first National at Mid-Ohio. There we met up with Jeff Miller, AL Beasley Sr., and Chuck Rupert among others. We didn't win (which was a reality check), but finished the race third or forth. We realized that the car was a bit underpowered and needed some suspension development.

We did have a fair season in 1983 with a second at the IRP National, a first the Grattan National (I think the first National DSR win on Hoosiers) and a third at Blackhawk. After Blackhawk we were qualified for Atlanta, but a late season crash at Waterford sidelined the car. "

On from There

"We started the 1984 season at the IRP National where a GT1 car decided to eliminate Jeff Miller and Ed from the race in turn 1. That was our last National.

We subsequently rebuilt the car with a Kawasaki 900 Ninja and Ed ran it in club events until selling it to Charlie Brown at the end of the 1994 season. I believe Charlie ran the car for a year or two before buying a car from Beasley.

We last saw the car at the first Runoffs at Mid-Ohio (1994). The body had been modified (mostly the shape of the sidepod noses) and I believe it was Yamaha powered. I think Charlie Brown had switched from Kawasaki to the Yamaha."


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Ed Murray tries on
the new side pods





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1982 Honda CB900F


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Nacra Inter 18


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Ed Murray (left) and
Rod Hahnemann (right)
work on side pod model.


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March 82C


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Jeddi D1 nose


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Ed polishing the model


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Homologation papers

1Most of the text on this page was provided by Rod Hahnemann, as well as some from Dave Craddock. Photos of the XPIT were provided by Dave as well..

2Photo by John Gacioch.

3Photos provided by Jerry Dykhuisen.

Revised: January 02, 2007.

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