Class Description

The NASA Prototype Series was created to meet the needs of competitors seeking an extremely competitive, cost-effective platform utilizing a purpose-built, closed-cockpit prototype-style chassis specifically designed with the series goals in mind; fun, fast, safe and affordable. The series’ focus is on driver skill by way of intentionally limiting the number of electronic aids and adjustments available to series competitors. This emphasizes driver skill over car setup and assists in limiting costs further.

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Eligible Makes and Models

NASA NP01 Prototype built by Élan Motorsports Technologies

 

Donor Prices and Availability

$65,000, readily available new through Élan Motorsports Technologies

 

Engine Specs

Horsepower

185

Torque

145 pound feet

Compression ratio

10.8:1
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Weight

1,450 pounds without driver

 

Fuel Required

92 octane

 

 

Average Cost to Build Car

$65,000 for the kit

 

Average Cost to Buy Built Car

$73,500

 

Cost Analysis

Average cost to run a weekend — $1,500, estimated

 

Typical Modifications

No modifications permitted other than adding fluids, foam-fitting the seat, adding headrest, harnesses and side nets, driver cooling system, radio communications, auxiliary electric gauges and thermal hose sleeves.

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Consumables Prices

Tires, size, brand and prices

Toyo Proxes RR 235-40R-17, $222 to $235 each

 

Brakes, brands and prices

Hawk DTC60 $150 to $200

 

Available contingencies

Toyo Tires, Mazda, Hawk Performance, AiM Data

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Factory Participation

None. However, because this is a Mazda-powered vehicle, Championship-winning drivers are entered as semifinalists in the annual Mazda Club Racer Shootout.

 

Benefits

Fast, lightweight, closed-cockpit prototype racecar built by one of the world’s leading manufacturers of racing cars, engineered for reliability, durability and lower operating costs. No-lift shifts, low fuel consumption.

Challenges — $65,000 price tag for a racecar isn’t within everybody’s reach.

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Rulebook Highlights

No modification of axles, CV joints, clutch disc, pressure plate, flywheel, throw‑out or pilot bearing, shift linkage or transaxle assembly is allowed. REM or Cryo treatment of transmission parts is specifically forbidden. Shifter cables must be original parts supplied by Elan Motosport Technologies.

 

Wheel bearings must remain as original OEM from Elan Motosport Technologies or equivalent OEM. No ceramic, no polishing, no coating of the bearing. Grease must be used; oil is not permitted.

 

Any competitor found to have an illegal drivetrain, including a broken seal will receive the following penalties:

  1. Disqualification from the event.
  2. Suspension of NASA competition privileges for thirty (30) days.
  3. The car and drivetrain are suspended from competition until the unit(s) specified by the Tech Chief are checked, inspected and resealed by Élan Motorsports Technologies.
  4. For a second illegal drivetrain violation, the competitor will be permanently disqualified from further NP01 compe­tition. Drivetrain violation components will be identified within the class specifications. Drivetrain violations will be perma­nently tracked by NASA.

 

What Racers Say

Matt Rivard, NASA Central Regional Director
Matt Rivard, NASA Central Regional Director

“It was so easy to drive. I had never been on this track before and it was my first time ever in this car, and I was obviously timid at first, but I find the car real easy to get used to. It was my first time using a sequential shift box, my first time left-foot braking and it all went perfectly. You do have to use more force on the shifter than I was expecting. It’s set up for flat-shifting. When you’re upshifting you can keep your foot to the floor and you have to pull the shifter hard enough to get the gear. If you pull it halfway or not hard enough, it’ll cut the throttle for an instant and you won’t get the gear and you find that you’re still at the top of the rpm range and you hit the fuel cutoff.”

 

Here’s what Erik Cassen, a NASA Central racer, had to say after test driving the NP01.

 

Lapping Videos

 

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Image courtesy of Brett Becker