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Track & Race

Caterham-Lola SP/300.R › Mugen Atom › Daytona 24Hr



track and race theme to get us started in 2011... following the UK’s catalyst to the motoring industry, Autosport International at the NEC in Brum. We’ve got two of the most exciting cars from the show in full detail... to drool over, and they are both British: The devilishly handsome and frighteningly fast Caterham-Lola SP/300.R and the latest offering from another Blighty cottage industry giant, Ariel Motor Company, with its Mugen-engined Atom. Here are two track and race tools that certainly get our blood pumping. What do YOU think? Also this month, we’ve got a report from America, and our first lady, Ashley Van Dyke, who’s keeping an eye on a young race ace named David Cheng... racing in the legendary Daytona 24Hr, in a BMW M6. We’ll be following his story closely, to get an insight into this most hardcore of USA circuit races. Do enjoy the FREE monthly magazine, and please join and follow our daily-updated blog at, where you can read all Road Magazine back issues and see the latest car news, and coolest videos, FREE!


Prototype Go Caterham’s very first sports prototype racer is go! Enter the very special, very exciting Caterham-Lola SP/300.R. Frighteningly fast, rammed with C21st technology and drop-dead-gorgeous. Radical... be worried!


o, the rumours were true... two British sports car greats, Caterham and Lola, have joined forces to create something super special, ultimately desirable and highly exclusive. And here it is, the CaterhamLola SP/300.R – a car that makes one very proud to be British, we feel. What-ho and who-bloody-rah! This is Caterham’s first ever sports prototype racer,

created with technical and design input from Lola and powered by a state-of-theart, supercharged 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine, with 300+bhp, generating a quoted 0-60mph time of a staggering 2.5 seconds, and a 170mph top speed. Make no mistake... this is not a car for the faint-hearted. Big balls will be required to pilot this track and race weapon. Caterham Cars say: “We

have opened an exciting new chapter in our 50-year history with the release of its first ever sports prototype racing car for a new one-make series and the trackday community.” The beast has just last week been unveiled at the Autosport International Show (Birmingham, UK), to sit alongside the legendary Seven, remaining true to Caterham’s lightweight, minimalist core DNA to

deliver “all the thrills of driving a fast, but confidenceinspiring, sportscar.” Caterham Cars are in the final stages of development of the powertrain and handling characteristics of the car, in readiness for a onemake championship to start in 2012, while the feasibility of a road-legal version of the car is also being considered. And we can not wait to see one of these on the M25, can you?! Exclusivity is guaranteed

with the SP/300.R, as only 25 will be manufactured each year, allowing Caterham to focus on enhancing the build quality of every vehicle and maximising its renowned one-to-one customer service, for a bespoke final specification and set-up for each lucky customer. The car will provide the ‘top end’ natural progression for Caterham’s already successful domestic and international racing ‘ladder.’

It will also provide the blossoming premium trackday community – both home and abroad - with a potent new model: One to get really excited about! We can’t wait to test one at a circuit, and see if it’s as good as it looks and reads in the technical specification (see on). Bearing subtle design cues from the Seven, the first new model from Caterham since the 21 road car reproduces the Company’s core motorsport values of

“affordability, reliability and accessibility.” Lola, as technical design consultant, has driven the aerodynamic styling and downforce development, creating something breathtaking, and no doubt... hugely effective. Meanwhile, Caterham’s engineers have been responsible for developing the Ford power plant, braking system and making sure the company’s renowned ride and handling characteristics are firmly transferred into the SP/300.R. “Motorsport is not only part of the history of Caterham, it’s been the lifeblood running through the character of our vehicles – race cars for the road,” explains Ansar Ali, managing director of Caterham Cars. “Today, racing is not only the heartbeat of the business, it’s an intrinsic part of our fabric both here and abroad and the SP/300.R represents the next logical step in the development of our product offering.” Caterham’s engineers have chosen Ford’s supercharged Duratec with its drivers in mind. The supercharged induction module has been chosen for its

linear torque delivery across the entire engine speed range, which is perfectlymatched to the lightweight architecture of the car. The Duratec unit is wellknown to Caterham’s engineers and already boasts a proven track record as a resilient engine that is costeffective for customers to run. And Caterham has worked alongside partners

such as Pectel to deliver a highly-developed package that will reward drivers with advanced data logging and features such as ‘push to pass’ power enhancement and an integrated semi-automatic gearshift control. The SP/300.R will come with a Hewland semi-automatic FTR transmission, and Caterham aims to reproduce the enormously-

durable drivetrain solution that has been so successful in the Superlight R300 series, where engine rebuilds are virtually unnecessary. A lot of work has gone into the sub-600Kg car’s chassis - an aluminium tub with a longitudinally mid-mounted engine, coupled to a stressbearing rear transaxle. A forward splitter and large rear wing reduce lift, while

a flat underbody maximises ground effect benefits. A broad aero platform generates optimal downforce and balance, while the aerodynamic performance is fine-tuned by ducts and dive-planes. The SP/300.R bodywork also features an F1-style raised nose section and sectioned panels, which will help reduce repair costs, ease maintenance

and, importantly, allow single-handed removal of body panels track-side. Caterham quote a 500bhp-per-tonne figure for the SP, 0-60mph in 2.5s and a 170mph V-max. Suspension will feature front and rear dual wishbones with pushrod dampers, adjustable ride height, with bespoke ATS, Speedline or OZ wheels and custom-made Cooper Avon tyres, creating “a race car of exquisite balance and stability.” Naturally, the SP/300.R has been built to comply with MSA safety regulations and it is Caterham’s intention to launch a one-make race series for the SP/300.R in 2012. Bring it on! We at ROAD applaud Caterham and Lola for creating this exquisite engineering masterpiece, and can not wait to see the SP/300.R race, and being driven at flat chat at European circuits, ASAP. Something tells us that this is going to be a very special moment in Caterham’s illustrious history. It’s got the looks, it’s got the pedigree, it’s got the specification and we’d bet our grandmothers it’s going to go, stop and handle like a true champion. Hooray UK!

Caterham SP/300.R Technical Specification Engine

Supercharged Ford Duratec 2.0L

Chassis and body

Max Power


-Lola-developed aluminium honeycomb monocoque chassis

Push-to-Pass Power

335PS @7800pm

-Seven-piece lightweight Polyurethane body system

Max Torque


0-60mph (claimed)


-Lola-developed aero package, including:

Top Speed


-Adjustable carbon rear wing

-Composite front splitter



-Composite rear diffuser

Overall length


-Aero-optimised dive planes

Overall width


-Three-stage downforce configuration


1015mm -Quick lifting onboard air jack system


450kg @ 250kph

-Left or right-hand drive -Schroth six-point harnesses



-MSA specification twin roll over protection hoops -MSA specification front crash structure -FIA approved fuel cell with external filling point


Braking System

-Caterham Supercharged Ford Duratec 1999cc

-AP Racing braking system

-Rotrex supercharger with charge air cooling

-AP Racing adjustable pedal box

-Aero optimised induction -Uprated conrods, pistons and bearings

Wheels & Tyres

-Dry sump

-ATS centre-lock Formula 3 wheels 9x13 and 10.5x13

-High-efficiency ducted cooling system (40deg ambient)

-Cooper Formula 3 size bespoke slick tyres

-Aero-optimised high level ducted quiet exhaust -Hewland FTR six-speed sequential gearbox


-Shiftec paddle shift system

-Front low/high beam lights with permanent LED running

-Dual plate sintered clutch


-Limited slip differential

-Rear LED running lights with integrated brake lights -High-intensity rain light


-Pectel engine and gearbox management with integrated

-Pushrod activated coil-over adjustable spring-dampers

data logging

-Adjustable anti-roll bars front and rear

-Momo steering wheel with integral driver display system

-Lola Formula 3 gearbox-mounted suspension



Following the awesome Atom V8 in 2010, another limited edition Ariel Atom, celebrating 10 years of the ‘no screen, no roof, no doors’ hero is here & just ten 270bhp Mugen-engined Atoms will be hand-built – Banzai!


hat you are drooling over is the culmination and celebration of a decade of the heroic Ariel Atom: The 270bhp, very limited edition Ariel Atom Mugen. Launched last week at the Autosport International Show, this unique collaboration between the Ariel Motor Company and Mugen has been built to commemorate 10 years of Atom production, and 1,000 Atoms manufactured: And what a fitting, exclusive representation of a unique brand it is. Only 10 of these ÂŁ41,450 + VAT red-chassis, white body beasts will be made, each signed and numbered and coming with a hand built engine by a Mugen technician, and the usual hand built, bespoke Ariel technician care and panache. Simon Saunders of Ariel

said: “It’s directed at the person who does a lot of track days and is designed to give great low end grunt and throttle response to fly you out of corners. It’s been built as a response to a lot of supercharged Atom customers who say that car is too fast for track days, leaving them with no one to play with! People have been asking us what we could extract from the normally aspirated engine, and this is the end result. “It’s a hand built car, tailored to suit individual customers, who we know and like as friends and who are

passionate about their cars and driving. The formula of Ariel + Honda + Mugen has resulted in a very special car that takes the track day car to another level.” The Honda K20Z Type R engine has been tuned by Mugen to produce 270bhp at 8,600rpm and 255Nm at 6,000rpm and features high compression FIA pistons, high lift FIA camshaft, pulley and valve springs, FIA intake manifold and 64mm throttle body, a baffled sump, balanced flywheel, uprated oil pump, NGK racing spark plugs and each unit is run in and given a full

power test on the Mugen dynamometer. Alcon 4-pot lightweight brakes, 4-way adjustable remote dampers & springs (modified versions of the V8 units), adjustable wishbones and Yokohama AO48 rubber make up the chassis spec. And, “inside,” there’s a new LCD flat screen display housed in C-F, featuring shift lights and a plethora of info like lap times, data logging and much more. Expect 0-60mph in 2.9s and a top end of 150mph+. Could this be the best Atom to date? At £41K, we think it’s a steal...


So you want to race Daytona? Young American race ace, David Cheng talks us through his path to Daytona 24Hr in his BMW M6


t’s been a dream of mine from day one – to one day win the Daytona 24 Hour race. Now, at last, it seems I have an opportunity to live my dream. At 3:00pm January 29th, the 49th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona will begin. Roughly 50 teams of four drivers will compete in the Super Bowl of sports car racing – the toughest endurance race on the America race calendar. For the past five years, I’ve been chasing my dream of becoming a professional racing driver. And this year I will race amongst the ranks of the best drivers in the

world, at the legendary Daytona 24Hr. I was born in Beijing, China, into a family with absolutely no racing pedigree. However, my first recollection in life is of me sitting in front of our TV on my Tonka truck, watching a Formula 1 race. I don’t remember much from that race, but I do remember how amazed I was at the sound of the cars, how exciting the speed was, how there were so many fans all waving red flags with a yellow shield and a prancing horse on it, and the announcers cheering enthusiastically for some guys named Hakkinen

and Schumacher. At this moment, I fell in love with motorsport. In my mind, the absolute coolest job in the world was to become a race car driver. So I set about achieving that goal... After moving to the States at six years old, my passion for racing grew, as I did. Fast forward a decade and I turned sixteen, which was a big deal for me; as this auspicious anniversary meant I could finally get my driver’s licence. Also unknowingly, that’s when racing would slowly start to turn from fantasy into reality. Growing up in a Chinese family, I was raised with traditional parents who wanted me to get good grades, go to a prestigious college, and live a stable life with a respectable career. But I had different goals...

My humble beginning of racing started after I attended my first high performance driving school at a local autocross event. I felt very natural behind the wheel and progressed very quickly. Soon after, I convinced my parents to buy me a Rotax go-kart and started competing in the local regional series. After two years, with some success, I started to outgrow local autocross and karting. So, I started looking for more. With some research, I discovered the Skip Barber Racing School: I completed their threeday racing school and their two-day advanced racing school. Having done fairly well in the race cars, we decided to give it a shot and jumped into the Skip Barber Regional series in their two-

litre formula cars. With two back-to-back seasons and a few poles and podium finishes, it seemed that I might just have what it takes. An instructor, Jonathan Bomarito, recommended me to a team that he had developed his craft with. Graduating from Skip Barber, I signed with the topnotch team of PR1 Motorsports in order to have them assist me in developing my driving and racecraft skills – little did I know how much of an impact this team would be to my career. PR1 has professional race-winning development programs in Zetec Formula 2000, Grand-Am GT, American Le Mans LMPC, and Formula Atlantic. My first step with the team was to start at the F2000 level. We began the campaign with

sufficient testing before I had my first taste of professional racing in a handful of races during the 2009 season. Here, clinched the “Rookie of the Year” title. Next, we decided to race the compete Pacific F2000 schedule in 2010 and race for the title. We enjoyed great success in the 12-race 2010 season, just missing the title, coming 2nd in points, with two wins, five podiums, four poles, five fastest race laps, and the F2000 track record at Laguna Seca. I also competed in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill that year, under the guidance of Bobby Oregel, PR1 team owner, in a Mazda MX-5 Cup car. We got a class victory by 45 laps. Recently, I had a three-day test during the “Roar Before the 24” in our Dinan BMW M6 GT car at Daytona International Speedway. The excitement of driving at such a legendary venue, along with taming this beast of a

car was slightly overwhelming, and I struggled somewhat during the first day of testing. It was absolutely enthralling to be driving at speeds of over 180mph on the high banks, surrounded by the likes of Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Jimmy Johnson, and many other heroes of mine. But I knew I had to perform for the team and for Bobby; they’ve put so much faith in me over the years. Coming from my previous formula car background, driving the BMW felt like piloting a yacht. Over the next two days, I started to get more accustomed to my new surroundings. An additional challenge was pit stops. Although it looks easy, it takes a certain finesse to make the perfect pit stop; a second lost in the pits is a second lost to our competitors on-track. But, by the end of the final day, I was running a good race-ready pace and had all the kinks

worked out, including good pit technique. Finally, I had earned my shot at Daytona, the ‘Holy Grail’ that I had been striving for all my life. The road has been tough and gruelling, with many fun ups and some low downs, all making for memories I’ll cherish for life. I have to thank everyone that’s helped me along the way: My parents, my manager Dan Gulickson, my publicist (& Road’s first lady) Ashley Van Dyke, Bobby Oregel and the whole PR1 Team. I’d also like to thank all of our private financial backers, Corsa Car Care, and our Partnership with C.J. Wilson’s Children’s Charity. We are all looking forward to a great race and a great year to follow. Follow me at and on Facebook at www. And read all about my Daytona 24Hr race here in Road real soon.

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made for winners! F

or many years, the KW automotive GmbH is the epitome for premium products in car tuning and automobile refinement. KW offers its customers the largest suspension programme world-wide. The entire assortment – from springs over sports suspensions to coilover suspensions “inox line” in three damping versions – such a variety of products is unsurpassed on the market. Moreover, KW automotive GmbH develops racing solutions for national and international motor sports. The racing programme KW competition is successfully used by numerous racing teams on many race tracks around the world.

KW is one of the world’s leading suppliers of performance oriented suspension systems. KW’s wide range accommodates nearly every vehicle platform.

lines: KW Spring Sets, KW Sport Suspension Kits and KW Sport Shock Absorbers has been extended for 2011. KW Street Comfort has been developed for the performance orientated commuters who require an increase in the level of comfort of their performance suspension system. KW Clubsport is the solution for the track day enthusiasts who require a more aggressive suspension setup In 2006, a state-of-the art 7-post drive dynamics test stand (one of 15 globally) has been put into operation at the KW automotive GmbH headquarters in Fichtenberg, simulating different race track conditions.

KW Automotive UK Ltd Tel : 0870 990 7536 Email : Web: KW HLS (Hydraulic Lift tem) avoids road clearance difficulties. Technical demanding sport drivers who are interested in huge lowering with high comfort level are using KW Coilovers. The product range KW Suspensions with its three

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Road Magazine starts 2011 all track & race featuring ­ The brand new Caterham-Lola SP/300.R and Ariel Atom Mugen, and Stateside, a pre-repor...


Road Magazine starts 2011 all track & race featuring ­ The brand new Caterham-Lola SP/300.R and Ariel Atom Mugen, and Stateside, a pre-repor...