The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) unveiled during the PRI Show an exciting new prototype series that will be called the NASA Prototype series (NP). The NP series will debut in fall of 2015.
The NP series is a collaborative effort between NASA and Élan Technologies that will feature an all-new affordable prototype racing car called the NP01. The goal of the NP series is to give rise to the most affordable prototype class ever created.
The NP01 will be unlike anything currently available in motor racing. With an introductory complete kit price of just $59,995, the affordable new prototype will feature a closed cockpit design for increased driver protection. The NP01 weighs just 1550 lbs. and boasts an estimated top speed of 155 mph. The NP01 will be powered by a sealed 185-horsepower, 2-liter Mazda power plant mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission.
“The NP Series will feature a brand new spec prototype chassis designed specifically around the goals that make NASA competition so attractive to competitors – easy access to local racing with the chance to compete for a season ending class championship,” said Ryan Flaherty, NASA National Chairman. “The NP Series will offer something unique in all of motorsports – the opportunity to race a prototype style vehicle designed from the ground up to be fast, fun, safe, and most importantly affordable. This new series is exclusive to NASA. Drivers will be able to compete at over 150 NASA sanctioned events nationwide. The series will visit many of the country’s greatest racing venues with the opportunity to run for a NASA Championship crown at either Virginia International Raceway or Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The NP01 will feature an innovative rules package focused on performance, affordability, cost containment, and driver ability.”
While NASA has basically been known as an affordable road racing alternative to SCCA for production car classes, the addition of an affordable prototype class will add sex-appeal in spades. The NP01 will be similar to a Radical but cost several thousand less.
“The power-to-weight-ratio will make quick work of any straightaway before approaching the corner where drivers will appreciate the downforce produced by the front splitter, rear diffuser and adjustable rear wing,” said Mark Sanderson of Élan Technologies. “The NP01 will run on spec Toyo Proxes RR competition tires to further equal the field and accentuate driver ability as well as help to keep costs in check.”
The NP01 is specifically designed around the idea that it must be fast, safe, reliable and easy to maintain. Élan Technologies utilized a component design approach for the bodywork that consists of fenders, engine cover and front hood sections as individual pieces. If one of the pieces is damaged, for example a small fender, it is easier and more cost effective to replace it than an entire front nose piece. Much of the hardware on the car has been standardized to simplify maintenance as well. This translates into cost savings that all competitors will really appreciate.
The NPO1 model can be seen at the NASA booth, 3309, at the PRI Show this week in Indianapolis.