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NASA Announces New Prototype Class to debute in 2015!

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ChrisC

NP Series will run the all-new NP01

 

Indianapolis, IN —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 http://www.elangroup.com/ 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.

 

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The Official NASA Prototype Website

 

The NP01 Spec Sheet

 

NASA partnered with Élan Technologies to design and construct the NP01. Élan will build each NP01to order and ship them either as an easily assembled kit or completed vehicle per the customer’s request. The NP01will 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 155mph. 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 driving ability.”

 

“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.

 

Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations John Doonan weighed in: “NASA has outdone itself again. Through innovation and a clear vision to provide the grassroots community with competitive, safe, and affordable racing, NASA’s Prototype series will be a place for many to test their mettle. We are humbled by and proud of NASA’s decision to power these race cars with Mazda engines as reliability and performance are at the core of our technology.”

 

“Toyo Tires and NASA have enjoyed a long and successful partnership, and we are excited to work closely with the talented team at Élan Technologies on this new endeavor,” said Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager, Competition Performance Products Division, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “The Toyo Proxes RR has proven to be in a league of its own when it comes to balancing the ultimate in performance with consistent lap times and a long life. These are all factors that make it the natural choice for affordable road racing such as this new spec series.”

 

“I’m very excited about this new NP Series” said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Director of Business Development. “It is truly unique and innovative in the world of motorsports. Most racing drivers only dream of piloting a professionally built prototype and this new series will provide everyone that opportunity at a truly affordable price point. I would even go as far as to say that this vehicle will likely be the cheapest to purchase and operate factory prepared purpose built race car on the planet. I can’t wait to see what the NASA membership thinks of this new offering. Working with Élan Technologies on this project has been a privilege. They have established themselves in the motorsports community as one of the premier chassis manufacturers. The level of professionalism and experience they bring really solidifies this program ensuring competitors will be provided a very high quality race car they can compete in for years to come.”

 

 

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About NASA

The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) was formed in 1991 with the premise of delivering high-quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the nation. NASA has created programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars in a controlled professionally managed environment. NASA offers many different programs that will allow you to enjoy motorsports on a number of different levels, including our High Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Rally Sport, Time Trial, NASA-X and Competition Racing programs. For more information, log onto http://www.nasaproracing.com and connect with the community at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

 

About Elan

Élan Technologies is a Georgia based technology company providing design, engineering, fabrication, and manufacturing services to the automotive, motorsports, aviation, aerospace and defense industries through its three divisions: Élan Precision Products, Élan Composites, and Élan Power Products. The company is part of a technology group that includes Élan Technologies, DeltaWing Technologies Inc., and Panoz LLC. For more information please visit http://www.elangroup.com.

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ILIKETODRIVE

Is it April 1st already?

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Revolution Mini

doesn't look that safe to me

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C.Plavan

Anyone send a deposit in yet?

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Bryancohnracing

Yes, orders have been placed and I expect production to commence after January 1. Details to come after the first of the years, as you can imagine people are busy with the holidays plus traveling to see family and so on.

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cancouper

where do you go to order one?

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peterjank

Here is a link to the nasa prototype web-site:

http://nasaprototype.com/

 

Here is a link to the reservation deposit form that can also be found on the website above:

http://nasaprototype.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/NP01-PRODUCTION-RESERVATION-Application.pdf

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kbrew8991
doesn't look that safe to me

why?

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Revolution Mini
doesn't look that safe to me

why?

 

just looking at the cage

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fbirch

Have any simulations been done to estimate the kind of lap times one of these cars will turn on some benchmark tracks? Of course this is a spec series, so it’s all relative, but I’m just curious to know what kind of lap time could be expected at a track such as Road Atlanta, Barber, TWS, NOLA or some place where I have firsthand experience. On power-to-weight alone, I believe the car falls between GTS3 and GTS4, but it seems as if the ultra-low CG, big aero and absolute lightness should give it other advantages in terms of lap times relative to those cars.

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kbrew8991
doesn't look that safe to me

why?

 

just looking at the cage

From the two fish-eye lens shots of a mockup? Gotcha.

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Jeremy C.
Have any simulations been done to estimate the kind of lap times one of these cars will turn on some benchmark tracks? Of course this is a spec series, so it’s all relative, but I’m just curious to know what kind of lap time could be expected at a track such as Road Atlanta, Barber, TWS, NOLA or some place where I have firsthand experience. On power-to-weight alone, I believe the car falls between GTS3 and GTS4, but it seems as if the ultra-low CG, big aero and absolute lightness should give it other advantages in terms of lap times relative to those cars.

 

Yes, but nothing that we can commit to just yet.

I will say that your thinking is right on target and the car should prove to be one of the best bang for buck buys on the market today when considering speed vs reliability and cost of operating!

I don't think there is anything on the market that can compete with what this car has to offer!

 

Some exciting new additional details on the car should be ready for release next week!

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kbrew8991

the article in Speednews (at least I think it was there) about the car was really neat. The one that explained the idea of alot of the philiosopies, target times and such, reasons why stuff X, Y, and Z was selected was really good. Made the car make alot more sense to me.

 

Now to just find the extra $$$$ I'd need to be able to consider one for my next racecar. First world problems!

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Grintch
The goal of the NP series is to give rise to the most affordable prototype class ever created.

 

Seems like a fail out of the gate given a G3 SRF is $40K, a ESR is like $55K, or looking just at closed cockpit cars, the European motorcyle powered group CN offshoot class (group CM) also looks cheaper.

Edited by Guest

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ASR AutoSport

Bruce,

Of course there are cheaper classes, but none of them can hold a candle to what this car is. The NASA Prototype is without a doubt the most economical prototype of its kind, by far.

John

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kbrew8991
The goal of the NP series is to give rise to the most affordable prototype class ever created.

 

Seems like a fail out of the gate given a G3 SRF is $40K, a ESR is like $55K, or looking just at closed cockpit cars the motorcyle powered group CN offshoot class also looks cheaper.

Did you read the article that layed out the reasons why things are what they are with the car? If not.. you should. I thought alot of the same things you did until I read their reasoning.

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Grintch
The goal of the NP series is to give rise to the most affordable prototype class ever created.

 

Seems like a fail out of the gate given a G3 SRF is $40K, a ESR is like $55K, or looking just at closed cockpit cars, the European motorcyle powered group CM class (group CN offshoot) also looks cheaper.

Did you read the article that layed out the reasons why things are what they are with the car? If not.. you should. I thought alot of the same things you did until I read their reasoning.

 

 

Can't find it. The link above doesn't work.

 

If you split hairs I guess you can claim it's the cheapest of it kind, as it is the only one of it's kind. It's certainly not the cheapest sports racing class ever created. And prototype is a junk term. These cars are not prototypes for anything (when do you expect to see a production version of a Bently GTP or Audi R15 prototype), so I convert "prototype" to sports racing car.

 

Do we even have a class or series for the car, as it doesn't seem to be a good fit with a normal NASA race weekend.

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kbrew8991

could've sworn it was in SpeedNews or similar, but now my google-fu is striking out... pretty sure it was even written by either Will Faules or Jeremy Croiset too. Hopefully they'll pop in and link it.

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ElanMark

Hi All,

I am new to this forum so please forgive me if I've missed something previously. I am the program manager for the NP01 here at Elan and would be more than happy to answer any questions so please don't hesitate to drop me an email anytime.

 

I'd like to reply to a few of the comments in this thread:

 

The chassis we had at PRI was not complete. It was correct in dimension and basic layout, but not complete by any means. Here is a drawing of the proper chassis. ChassisandDrivetrain.jpg

Based on our analysis this chassis compares very favorably in torsional stiffness to the carbon tubs we manufacture. The challenge was to make a chassis strong and safe yet inexpensive to fabricate and analysis shows this chassis meets those requirements. For a car of this weight and size the chassis is a good bit stronger than typically considered necessary.

 

To NP01 was never intended to be the least expensive racing option. However, we did want to make it the best value for money available. It also had to be as safe as possible, easy and inexpensive to run, look aggressive, and provide a lot of content for the money. For several reasons we opted to use more durable automotive power and a proven race gearbox rather than less expensive bike power. In addition, a lot of design time has gone into making it inexpensive to operate. All four uprights are the same part. The number of fastener and joint sizes is limited so fewer spares will be required. The car has huge brakes and tires to reduce the frequency of replacement. The body is designed to be replaced in sections to reduce repair costs. Nothing against a new SRF by any means, as the class has proven to be a huge success over the years, but the NP01 will be a good bit quicker, has real aero experience and offers the added safety of a closed top. The $65,000 kit includes everything needed to build a running car except safety belts/nets, fluids and fuel. This means all wiring, engine, transmission, wheels and tires, shocks, pushrods, rockers, fuel cell, plumbing, AIM MXL2 dash, Stop Tech brakes, complete body, suspension and all the fasteners needed. The kit requires no welding or fabrication and can be assembled in 80-100 hours by anyone with previous race car build/preparation experience.

 

I'll try to keep up with this forum and add things where I'm able, but please don't hesitate to email me directly if you have comments or questions. The input is much appreciated!

 

Mark

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