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The Praga R1

Martin Short and his Rollcentre Racing outfit have been pioneers for as long as DSC has existed, their self built TVR Cerbera NGT car was the first car in the world to take on and win against the previously all conquering Porsches in the emerging GT2 class.

There was a successful but short lived effort to bring the Noble marque into GT racing too before the Mosler adventure began, and then there were the halcyon years at Le Mans in Dallaras, and a Pescarolo in LMP1 and the Radical in LMP2.

And now there’s a new adventure for the man from St Ives.

Martin has been looking into the potential for the small, Slovakian Praga marque for some time after being hugely impressed by an early car that was comprehensively destroying even GT1 machinery in the Dutch Supercar Challenge.

What really caught Shorty’s eye though was the next stage of development for Praga, and it was set to be a giant leap forward

"The Praga R1 is quite possibly the most exciting new racing car for many years. Praga have taken convention and thrown it completely aside, ignoring the current trend for more and more weight, restrictive regulations for GT classes, and significantly expense, and providing a Prototype experience and safety at unseen-before low budgets. Having been involved with Praga for the last 18 months, I have witnessed the development of the R1 from the drawing board, to being involved with it at the test track, both in and out of the cockpit. 

"It has single seater performance, but with enhanced safety with the carbon cockpit. It has a sensible power unit, from the Renault 2 litre single seater series at 210 bhp,  mated to a Hewland gearbox and incorporating a paddle-shift. It has a good balance of downforce against drag, and is simple and inexpensive to maintain, yet the lap times are comparable with Porsche Cup or Radical SR3. It can carry a passenger, yet has as standard a 60 litre fuel tank. All this in a 600 kilo package gives blistering performance at excellent reliability and economy.
"The R1 will race in the Superlight Class as part of the Supercar Challenge powered by Dunlop package, against Radicals and other light weight Proto- type race cars. The race rental scheme is very attractive, with two drivers able to take part in 2 x 50 minute races, plus testing and qualifying for around £4000 per person + vat.

"I have carried out many miles of testing in the R1, and its quite exhilarating to drive, very responsive, great balance and a challenge to see how late you really can brake. A pack of these barreling into Eau Rouge flat is going to be a great sight. We will be supporting Praga from our offices here in the UK and welcome any enquiries about this exciting car.

The Praga R1 will be on display at the Autosport Racing Car Show on the Supercar Challenge stand (6500) hosted by Series organiser Dick van Elk. Rollcentre staff will be on hand to assist with any questions."

Technical Specifications

·Single-seater race car carbon fibre monocoque (two seater optional)
·Weight (dry) 592 Kg
·Dimensions (HxLxW) 965 x 4144 x 1800 mm
·Wheelbase 2527 mm
·Wheels and tyres front Praga, centre locking 15 x 8, with 200/580R15 Dunlop racing tyre 
·Wheels and tyres rear Praga, centre locking 16 x 10.5, with 265/605R16 Dunlop racing tyre
Body and Interior
· Light weight and compact construction, longitudinal mid engine layout
· Front, rear and carbon fibre honeycombed crashbox complying with FIA Production Sports Car Crash Test
· Quick-release lightweight fibreglass body panels reinforced with carbon and Kevlar
· Low-drag fine adjustable bi-plane rear wing (carbon fibre optional)
· Carbon fibre driver and passenger doors
· Custom made lightweight polycarbonate windows with anti-scratch protection
· 60 litre foam-filled FIA approved ATL fuel tank located behind the seat (ATL dual quick fill valve – optional)
· Adjustable pedals and 2-way adjustable quick release Cosworth steering wheel with display and rotary switches
· Custom made Praga carbon Kevlar racing seat with side head rest
· FIA approved SCHROTH 6 point seat-belts for use with HANS
· Built-in PELTOR / YAESU radio communication system (optional)
· Fully adjustable front and rear suspensions
. KONI 2-way adjustable, mono-tube, easy to adjust
. unequal length upper and lower wishbones
. CNC aluminum machined adjustable uprights 
. forged steel centre lock hubs
. adjustable anti-roll bars
. custom made progressive racing coil springs
· Mechanically / Electrically-activated fire extinguisher system in engine bay (optional)
· Rear lights including rain light and turn lights, (front lights optional)
· Renault Sport Formula 2010 2.0 engine
· Unique Praga compact bellhousing with dampers
· AP Racing brakes with 4-piston calipers
· Lightweight steel flywheel / competition twin plate ZF Sachs Racing clutch
· Custom made HEWLAND JFR - six-speed sequential semi-automatic transaxle gearbox, interchangeable gear sets
· Pneumatic KMP paddleshift system with flat shifts and auto blip
· ECU Cosworth / Pectel SQ6 with close loop lambda system, pit limiter speed control,traction control and full sequential shifting
· Configuration F4R 832 
· Cylinder/ Valves 4/ 16
· Location  Mid, longitudinally mounted
· Bore/ Stroke  82.7 x 93 mm
· Displacement 1998 cm3
· Engine Life 10 000 Km before rebuild
· Engine Control System Cosworth / Pectel
· Engine Loom Military specification wiring loom  
· Power 210bhp @ 7250 RPM
· Torque 220Nm @ 4500 RPM