In its first appearance in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the Élan NP01 laid down a best qualifying lap time of 1:52.079, which was on par with one of the Porsche GT3 Cup cars in the ES class.
Designed primarily for spec-class sprint racing, the NP01’s debut endurance race showcased the car’s speed and its ability to finish, but one of the cars suffered damage in a crash with a much heavier production car and was forced to retire early.
The race served as a chance to develop the platform and dial in setups. Team CLP Performance took first place over Élan NP01 Team 1.
“We went into this thing thinking it was a 25-hour test session, so we’ve got a lot of things to report back that could be better or little things we’re going to change ourselves because we’re going to run these cars in the NP01 traveling series in 2016,” said team owner Pat O’Keefe. “We’ve got four of them out there, so we’ve got a lot of head start on the other teams with more than a season’s worth of racing in one event.”
Team CLP had some braking problems in the middle of the night and was behind the wall for 40 minutes for repairs, but the team got the car back together and got it back on track to finish its first and possibly most grueling endurance race.
“This is our first 25 hour. For me it was amazing,” O’Keefe said. “It was the car’s first race and my first race, so a lot of firsts. It was awesome. I couldn’t be happier.”