A Successful Weekend For Élan Power

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 Track records were broken by an Élan-powered Formula Atlantic at the Keystone Speedfest at Pittsburgh International Race Complex.

 

August 8, 2018, Braselton, Ga – Keith Grant driving the #40 Élan-powered Formula Atlantic, put on a strong performance at this past weekend’s Keystone Speedfest. Grant not only took pole for the first race, round nine of the Atlantics Championship this past weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, but also broke the track record, previously owned by Grant, with a blistering lap of 1:30.666.

This is the second year Grant has been racing with the Élan-powered Formula Atlantic in the Atlantics Championship. Last year, Grant enjoyed two poles and a fastest lap, ending the Championship in third overall but winning the SCCA National Championship.

Grant took the hard-fought victory to beat the #9 driven by Baltazar Leguizamon, in round nine of the Atlantics Championship at the track in Pittsburgh. During round ten, Leguizamon took back first position but not without a hard battle all the way to the checkered flag.

I was going down a gear, braking into turn 12 and looped it. I lost it and got back on, but one or two seconds too late. I don’t think Baltazar was holding back, I think he was struggling to stay ahead of me. We ran him down; we were quicker all weekend but made a mistake. I just needed another lap”, said Grant to the Series post race.

Also proving the performance of the Élan engines was Blake Mount, driving the K-Hill Motorsports #7. In their debut race weekend with an Élan-powered ride, Mount achieved two podiums, coming third in both races at the Keystone Speedfest.

Élan Power prepares, maintains and provides support to the teams competing with Élan-based engines. Élan Power has enjoyed many wins recently including but not limited to, back to back victories at the last two rounds of the Pirelli World Championship with the LS3-based Élan Power V8s, used by Team Panoz Racing in their #50 & #51 Panoz Avezzanos.

Top left: K-Hill Motorsports #7’s 2.3L Mazda-based Élan 4 Cylinder Formula Atlantic Spec.

Top middle: Élan Power measure the bore finish for optimal ring seal and low wear.

Top right: Élan Power adjust the follower thickness for valve clearance.

Bottom left: Keith Grant in the #40 Élan-powered Formula Atlantic. (Photo courtesy of http://www.atlanticchampionshipseries.com)

Bottom middle: Keith Grant on top of the podium following his win of Round 9. (Photo courtesy of http://www.atlanticchampionshipseries.com)

Bottom right: Ian James, Mathew Keegan and Preston Calvert, drivers of the #50 & #51 Panoz Avezzanos celebrating wins at Portland International Raceway last month.

Elan Motorsports

Elan NP01 Proves Endurance Capabilities At Daytona

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Three NP01s compete at the Daytona Concorso including Elan’s No.1 Chassis in Nasa Prototype Spec Class trim on street tires with one achieving a top-five overall result.  

June 26, 2018, Braselton, Ga. – Three Elan NP01s competed at the World Racing League’s Daytona Concorso, the weekend of June 16-17, 2018, achieving a fifth, 11th and 21st position overall. Despite on-track incidents, all three NP01s mcompleted the 14-hour endurance race starting at 9am and running through to 11pm with a 36-car field.

Drivers Tazio Ottis, Scott Wagner, Kevin Ross, Daniel Erickson, and Jesse Grose competed in Elan’s own NP01, Ottis, Page and Erikson never having driven the car before. Their first drive was their first stint in the race. Starting sixth, the race started well until an unfortunate incident around the two-hour mark meant some bodywork repair was needed behind the wall and the team slid down to 20th overall. Two separate red flags ensued for lightning strikes but as time went on, the drivers reclaimed part of the gap behind the leader.

When rain fell, the NP01 really proved its performance capabilities and Grose managed to put the car back in the lead by four seconds in two laps on the wet track. Luck was not on the team’s side though and oil on the track at turn three caused him to end up in the tire wall. Damage was severe, destroying the splitter, bodywork and the left front corner suspension. However, the team were able to repair the car in 2-hours to get back on-track to finish the race. Ottis, Wagner and Erickson then each took turns to complete the night shift and the team took the checkered flag in 21st position.

The best finishing NP01 finished 5th overall, 4th in class with a relatively trouble-free run, proving the competitiveness of the car compared to other cars in the GTO class, including an ex-World Challenge Ford Mustang, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, and Porsche Caymans. The other NP01 finished in 11th.

Quoteboard:

 Brandon White, Lead Mechanic, Elan Motorsports

“It was a tough race but it was great to hear the drivers being so complimentary of the car throughout the day, even after the accidents. Having five drivers can be tough to set the car up where everyone is happy, but all five commented how neutral the car felt and depending on how they preferred to drive, they could get the NP01 to either oversteer or understeer. They said that even following accidents with the repairs we were able to complete track-side and quickly, they felt the car was 90% of what it was before the trouble. The driver in the car at the time of the second crash told us we were done, but I was confident, knowing how well-designed the car is, we could get it back out on track. Really impressed with the performance of the car at the event and look forward to having another opportunity to prove we can be on the podium.”

Kevin Ross
“The car is surprisingly neutral. Only in the slowest/slickest corners did I feel understeer, and that was on street tires. It will definitely take me some time to get everything out of the NP01 that it has to offer, not that it is difficult to drive, but because driving it feels like I have so many more tools in the toolbox. This must be what it’s like to drive a proper race car as opposed to a repurposed sports car.

Most surprising was the reparability. We had the unfortunate circumstances of two race incidents, one quite serious, in a long endurance race. I thought we were done for the weekend and it actually appeared quite feasible to replace every corner of the car (we had to replace three of four). Thoughtful engineering, very well done.”

Daniel Erickson
“The NP-01 was a terrific handling car with surprisingly impressive power. It was very balanced, even with the street tires, and the power felt like it was more than 200. It handled extremely well through the turns and was easy to correct when driver induced under/over steer occurred. For a car so new to the marketplace it seemed to have most of the bugs worked out of it and all drivers left the event with a very positive review of the car.”