Sportscars look ahead to big season

The NZ Sportscar series is looking ahead to a bigger and better racing season with the NZRDL as more of the spectacular mini-prototypes join a growing field.

Several new cars are in the pipeline to race at some point during the season and a further number should rejoin the series after time out from racing. Organiser Dean McCarroll says the class is gathering pace all of the time.

“We expect to see a few more Hayabusa powered cars on the track this season and the return of a couple of cars mid-season,” he explained. “We could also possibly have a car from the South Island for the MG Classic round (a Radical SR3). Craig Sawyer has also rejoined us with his Beattie 2000 and will be running in selected rounds. It is also possible that a Formula Suzuki will join us for the season with Kev Addington driving.

“Several Juno drivers will be out there looking for top honours including  Bryan McConkey, John Ryall, Allen Barker at the AKL events and myself with a possible appearance from Iain Slight at some stage. Mark Galvin will be a force to be reckoned with in his home built and extremely powerful Hayabusa Turbo DeltaFX.  We hope to see more of Russell Burling in his highly modified and very quick Lotus.
“Mike Limbrick has been busy preparing his Mallock U2 for a run this season. Johnny Mines will be out there in his self built JRM and Robert Hulme will also contest this season in his Nemesis. All in all, it should be a very competitive session and we all look forward to some good racing, whilst not losing sight of the fact that the name of the game is to enjoy ourselves.”

One of the most interesting cars in the field this year will be Gerard Barker’s new Reynard Inverter – a car designed for entry level sportscar racing by the world renowned former Indycar and F1 designer Adrian Reynard. The chassis purchased by Barker was Reynard’s own and will run in the same Gulf livery that it ran with in the UK.

The car has a high degree of both sophistication and simplicity, which reflects the designer’s experience in motor racing at the highest levels as well as serving the needs of club racing. The body generates high levels of downforce, hence the name of the car, Inverter, reflecting the notion that the car could be driven on an inverted surface at speed.

Water jet cutting, CNC tube bending and plasma cutting have ensured economical and accurate construction. This car was the second built by Reynard and was successfully raced by him during the past three seasons in the Bikesports Championship against Radical and Spire sports cars.

It has carbon fibre bodywork, magnesium wheels, Farringdon steering wheel, Tillett seats and a Geartronics paddle shifter. The engine is a Suzuki Hayabusa ,which is coupled to a Radical chain drive differential. An unusual feature of the Inverter is the stainless steel chassis and aluminium honeycomb panels for bracing. Safety has been addressed with an electrically operated plumbed fire extinguisher system and side impact panels which are bonded to the aluminium honeycomb panels. Vinyl wrap has been used instead of paint as a measure to minimize the weight of the car at a remarkable 500kg.