Caterham delivers first SP/300.R race car

Article by Christian A., on April 25, 2012

Dyson Racing, the incumbent American Le Mans Series (ALMS) LMP1 champion team, will be the first to receive Caterham's SP/300.R this week. The SP/300.R is the Caterham Cars' new track and race day automobile. The team is one of the longest-running and most successful race teams in America. It has competed in IMSA GTO and GTP, GRAND-AM, SCCA Trans-Am, CART and Indy Lights championships since it was established in 1974. 

The US variant of the Caterham and Lola-designed automobile will be built to specifications suitable to the American market, with final assembly made at the Poughkeepsie facility of Dyson Racing in New York after receiving its first vehicle. This automobile will be fully-built by Caterham at its Dartford factory. The SP/300.R of Dyson Racing has been dispatched on April 23, 2012, and will be deployed as the company's demonstrator automobile.

More units are due to arrive in the country just a few weeks later. The team has been closely involved in creation of the SP/300.R. It has sent Guy Smith, who is a former Le Mans 24 Hours winner, as well as Technical Director Peter Weston to the test sessions of Caterham during the development phase. Chris Dyson, Team Vice President and Sporting Director, commented that they can't wait to get hold of the SP/300.R. He related that similarly in the United Kingdom, track day driving becomes more popular faster.

He also said that the new automobile is "ideal" for those looking for a cost-effective and reliable vehicle "with very serious but accessible performance." David Ridley, International Business Development Manager at Caterham Cars, shared that collaborating with a "very successful outfit like Dyson Racing" has been a "pleasure." He added that they are confident that Dyson Racing's customers will love the low running costs as well as the performance of the SP/300.R. He noted that the expertise of Dyson in the US market is "second-to-none" and that even before a fully-built automobile was introduced in the country, demand has been strong.

That Caterham has been making both road cars and race cars that are considered as some of the fastest in the world, including having the best accelerative features, is not a surprise. This success is mainly due to almost four decades of making customized powertrain solutions. Thus for the SP/300.R, the company made sure to give it everything they have, resulting in a powertrain that would be able to showcase high levels of performance that fully utilize the abilities of its chassis.

In coming out with the SP/300.R, the company took the time to specifically look for, and later test, products that were made by market leaders as well as those with expertise in the field. Since the company was able to get the best combination of the most suitable and the best products there is, the result is a model that exhibits unparalleled levels when it comes to reliability and performance.

For example, there is a fully-matched system composed of adjustable pedals going all the way to the lightweight multi-piston calipers made of aluminum. All of these were not only supplied but were even developed by the top race brakes manufacturers in the world. One distinct feature in this new model is the NACA ducted intake aperture which is placed in the middle, specifically in a position that allows the aerodynamics to be optimized.

With this, the pressure of the ambient air is guaranteed to be constant no matter what the condition may be. Thus the supercharger is able to maximize its performance. The body itself is placed atop the aluminum lightweight 13-inch wheels. This one-piece ATS wheels have the Formula 3 specifications that come with the single nut center-lock fixing.

This single nut measures 9 inches in the front and weighs 3.8 kilograms while the rear measures 10.5 inches and weighs 4.0 kilograms. Fitted to the wheels are the customized radial slick tires that have been developed and made by none other than Cooper.

Utilizing the same technology as that in Formula 3, it also comes in three sizes like its Formula counterpart measuring 180/550 for the front and 250/570 on the rear. Making the SP/300.R even more distinct over its rivals are the unique lights in the rear which mirrors the LMP cars of Lola. With the use of LED, illumination is constant thus ensuring that visibility is excellent.

Topics: caterham, race car

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