“Sliding the Hyper PRO Racer out of Southern Loop at the Phillip Island GP Circuit, the revs peak at 10,200, as I pull another gear. With over 180 kph on board, the 100 meter board flashes by on the left and at a heart stopping 50 meters, I'm hard on the brakes for the hairpin. 100 kph vanishes in a heart beat. Man, this thing's impressive. Up and out of Siberia, I rocket through Hay Shed corner and hold my breath for one of the greatest corners in motor racing - LUKEY HEIGHTS. Almost flat at warp speed, I’m drifting and airborne as I crest the rise. Let me tell you, it doesn't get any better than this.”
The Hyper PRO Racer features a state of the art, race bred, Yamaha WR450 cc environmentally friendly 4-stroke engine, 5 speed sequential gear box, 4 wheel cross-vented disc brakes with billet milled 4-pot aluminum brake calipers, Ohlins aluminum bodied race shocks, optimum weight distribution and feather weight design. All this adds up to lap times that compete with the big boys.
The natural enemy of speed is weight. And weight, or the lack thereof, is the Hyper PRO Racers secret. To get ‘light’, we made a smaller vehicle, we eliminated unnecessary components and we made the major component - the chassis - serve multiple functions.
Traditionally the chassis on a racing car serves as a structure for mounting the major components - driver, engine and suspension. Onto the chassis is then attach a plethora of ancillary components such as bodywork, seat, dashboard, fuel tank etc, all held on by multiple gussets, braces and brackets. But once you attach all these parts and the associated brackets and fasteners, you add weight, complexity and more opportunities for mechanical failure.
If you accept that you are just going to attach a part to a chassis via a bracket, then you can skip the design phase completely. Engineering tolerances don’t need to be perfect. You have wiggle room, both literally and figuratively. But if you are going to eliminate these brackets and mount the components directly to the chassis, then the design phase is crucial and it’s critical to manufacture the chassis with absolute precision.
The devil is in the detail
They say the devil is in the detail, and so it is with the Hyper PRO Racer. Hundreds of hours were spent packaging the major components - driver, engine, wheels - into the smallest possible chassis package.
Then each ancillary component was studied to determine whether it was required and then, if it was, how it related to the rest of the vehicle design. It was obvious that if the position and mounting of the ancillary components were designed in conjunction with the chassis, then weight could be saved in the elimination of unnecessary brackets, gussets, etc. To create the Hyper PRO Racer, the design and engineering team have devised ways to eliminate most of these add on mounting or attachment devices.
Solving a design and engineering problem like this required more than an incremental change. It required a breakthrough. The result is a simple and compact tubular chassis and safety cell. The result is also a work of 'tubular art'.
All the major and ancillary components on the Hyper PRO Racer are mounted directly to the main chassis tubes, eliminating mounting brackets. The bodywork has been rationalized and minimized and mounts directly to the chassis tubes, and as it is non-structural, it is made feather light. The safety cell also does double duty as bodywork. In the weight culling process, some major components such as a front wing and a differential were deemed, for a number of reasons, unnecessary and were eliminated from the design package. Six inch diameter rims and tyres were chosen to reduce weight, aerodynamic drag and importantly, running costs.
So how ‘light’ can you make a real race car, with full-on safety features and big boys performance ?
All up weight without driver, ready to race.
185kg. The lightest racing car in the world.