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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”