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The Mercury Cars Guide : May 30th 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au ‘Toy story’ becomes reality Australia’s newest car-maker hasno plans to challenge Ford,GMHolden or Toyota. It is not even looking to get its first modelcertified for road use. PaulGoverreports T HERE is plenty of passion behind the new Hyper Pro Racer, and the head of the company believes it will be a winner with a range of people looking to put some enjoyment into their week- ends and driving. He is Jon Crooke, a one-time Austral- ian Formula Two and Peter Brock co- driver, who turned to computer simula- tors after racing and has now moved on to something bigger and more real. ‘‘The idea for the Hyper Racer hap- pened 10 years ago, or maybe even way back when I was racing,’’ Crooke says. ‘‘I realised the money was going to runoutandImademyfirstmovein 1998 or 1999, but the right people didn’t come into play and it got shelved. ‘‘Then my son came along and was showing genius in manufacturing meth- ods and suggested we fire it up and get it going. We finally decided this year to do it.’’ The father-and-son combination got their experience through Superkart racing, though Crooke also had a plan to import the British-made Ariel Atom sports car at one stage. But that was before he got snowed under by an avalanche of government regulations. This time he believes he has the right approach and plans to pitch the Hyper BARGAIN: Jon Crooke wants the Hyper Pro Racer to be cheap to buy, cheap to run, and cheap to maintain. Pro Racer as a motoring toy, complete with one-make races and—if things go well — stand-alone race meetings. That approach has also governed the projected price for a car. ‘‘We hope to do the whole thing for $25,000,’’ Crooke says. ‘‘That’s the target and it’s in line with a top-quality Japanese or European Superbike. ‘‘We are aiming at the guys who have that money to spend on a hobby or a toy. ‘‘This will not be a class for guys waiting to get into Formula One. It’s for people with a job and wife and kids, and someone who wants to be able to look after their own toy once they finish work.’’ The Pro Racer has a tube-frame Corser fights from behind with injuries chassis with a 450ccYamahaengine and five-speed sequential gearbox. It is fitted with suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and a safety cell for the driver with a six-point harness. Thefirst car is already built and being prepared for shakedown tests before the creation of production-line parts and bodywork. ‘‘We’ll probably do a day of testing at Calder because it’s close to the factory,’’ Crooke says. ‘‘And then we’ll go to Winton, and Steve Kramer is coming to do the shocks for us. Then we’ll do test days and customer days.’’ He plans a first batch of 10 cars, and the best news is that six have been pre- sold. ‘‘There is obviously a fair bit of interest,’’ Crooke says. ‘‘I even got an email thisweekfromsomeonein theUK who had heard about it through Super- karting.’’ The performance potential of the Pro Racer includes a top speed of 235km/h and a sprint time of better than five seconds to 100km/h, with braking to match. Laptimes are expected to be similar to a Formula Ford racer. But Crooke has a simple focus on everything he does with the car. ‘‘We want it to be cheap to buy, cheap to run, and cheap to maintain,’’ he says. For more information on the vehicle, go to hyperracer.com/proracer CARSguide —19 major qualifying crash to finish 12th in the Formula Renault race at the Monaco GP at the weekend. Martin, who drives for Queenslander crashes out Q TeamAustralia in theA1GP series, had set the sixth fastest time in qualifying until the crash. The 24-year-old Black- water driver finished eighth in the last A1GP season and if he is retained for next season he will race in front of a home crowd at the Gold Coast SuperGP, formerly the Indy, in October. Marmont succumbs round of the Australian Mo- tocross Championship Pro Opens class at Mackay at theweekendas series leader Jay Marmont suffered from the flu. ‘‘It hasn’t been an easy V week,’’ said Marmont who won the third round at Toowoomba the previous weekend. ‘‘My daughter came down quite ill and I was off the bike with a bout of the flu. ‘‘Given the circumstances I ampretty happy with that result and despite feeling a weak within myself I have come out in good shape.’’ The Wollongong Yamaha rider now has a 21-point lead over Brisbane’s An- drew McFarlane, with Boyd moving up to third. The fifth round will be held at the Murray Bridge Sporting Car and Motor- cycle Club near Adelaide on Sunday June 14. Pysched up for battle WE’RE off to Tassie this JAMIE WHINCUP weekend with a lot of team confidence. We’ve won at Symmons Plains the past two years and hadanawesometeamresult last year so we’re high on confi- dence. However, what we can’t for- get is that while we’ve had good pace this year, we haven’t been the fastest in qualifying the past two years. We’ve been very fortunate in those years that our main rivals haven’t had their best weekend so we will still battle if the opposition is on their game this weekend. Tassie is one of those unique HIGH-SPEED CRASHES: Troy Corser goes for it. T ROY Corser is out to translate his BMW superbike’s potential into po- dium finishes in the seventh round of the world cham- pionship this weekend. A series of high-speed crashes has interrupted the Australian’s development of the S1000 RR and he’s been unable to qualify wellenough to fight at the sharpendof the field. That’s an unusual situa- tion for the man who is acknowledged as a master at turning in a quick qualifying lap. Corser expects the pain — physical and psychological — to continue at the US track. ‘‘At Miller, we will have the usual problem of racing at a circuit from which we haveno previous data for our bike,’’ he said. usual problem of racing at a circuit from which we have no previous data for our bike ‘ ‘‘It’s our usual disadvan- tage and we have to try and get a good set-up for the race, a good set-up for Superpole, and qualify better.’’ Corser is also nursing an injured hand that forced him to miss the last round of the series in South Africa . ‘‘It’s going to take a bit of time for the hand to heal fully, but at least Miller is not such a demanding track,’’ he said. While Corser struggles to put the BMW up the front, series leader Nori Haga and American Ben Spies will be the obvious contenders for the race wins. ’ Haga inherited the lead role in the Ducati team from Troy Bayliss at the start of this season and has main- tained the Australian’s dom- ination aboard the Italian machines. Spies has been on pole position for all six races this season and the Yamaha- mounted racer has extra in- centive in front of his home crowed. Defending world super- DENTED CONFIDENCE: Troy Corser is in pain. At Miller, we will have the sport champion Andrew Pitt has had a slow start to the seasonandneedsawinto put him back in contention. Fel- low Australian Mark Aitchi- son scored his first podium supersport finish in South Africa, while Anthony West and Garry McCoy are also proven performers. Fox Sports will televise the action from 3.30am on Mon- day. The national superbikes head to Queensland this weekend with Honda’s Glenn Allerton and Suzuki rider Josh Waters tied for the lead. Allerton will start nominal favourite as the defending champion, but Waters is im- proving with every ride. To date the series has been a two-team race, with Aller- ton’s teammate Wayne Max- well in third place and Suzu- ki’s Shawn Giles fourth. tracks with long straights and only four corners. It’s almost like an oval circuit. A lot of people don’t under- stand oval racing and don’t appreciate how difficult NAS- CAR racing is. It looks from the outside like it’s easy and boring, but the thing is that for the driver and teams the fewer corners there are the more technical each corner becomes. So at Symmons Plains you only have four corners to make up time on your opposition. That means qualifying times will be very, very close. I know V8 Supercars driving standards observer Tomas Me- zera has predicted that the racing will be cleaner than at Winton despite the soft tyre rule being employed again, but I disagree. On this circuit it’s easy to hold the opposition out because there are so few corners and that will mean the guys on soft tyres will take chances and make suicide missions up the Jamie Whincup ICTORIAN Cheyne Boyd won the fourth UEENSLAND racer John Martin suffered a inside. I think the soft tyre rule will make the racing more excit- ing, but it will also create more carnage. I’ll be going flat out to win but I’ll also be careful to keep the car straight. Don’t ask me what we’re doing about this flexible splitter mount. I heard Jim Beam Racing and Team IntaRacing are planning to use it and Wilson Security Racing is waiting to see whatwe do, but I still don’t know what we are doing. All I can say is that we won with it and we won without it. We’ve proved our point. I don’t think it’s an issue, it’s an old story and I’d prefer not to make any more comment about it. WhatI would like tocomment on is the Gold Coast SuperGP, formerly known as Indy. This week we passed the milestone of 150 days to go and I’m already excited. For me last year’s race was one of the highlights of my career as it’smy home race and that makes it extra special. I have no doubt the Gold Coast event will be big if not bigger than last year.
May 23rd 2009
June 6th 2009