Revised R1 sports prototype launched by Praga

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Czech auto maker Praga Cars has launched the latest generation Praga R1, the successor to its popular carbon tubbed prototype-style racing car.

Jan Martinek, engineering director, Praga Cars, explained, “While the silhouette of the R1 remains very similar at first glance, make no mistake, practically every part of the car has been updated or refined to offer drivers the best possible feel for the car, and the tools at their fingertips to get the maximum from the performance the R1 offers. Alongside improvements to the driver experience, we have revised the suspension and ECU to improve driveability and have increased downforce by 15% while reducing drag by 5%. This is a significant step, and we look forward to seeing the results when we start the 2021 season.”

While the car retains many external similarities to its predecessor, Praga notes that every body panel is new and the monocoque now features Zylon anti-intrusion panels for increased driver safety. A new floor and splitter have been developed to optimize the underfloor airflow to the similarly revised diffuser. A wider, reprofiled rear wing completes the new aero package, claimed to produce 15% more downforce while reducing drag by 5%.

The R1 continues to be powered by a turbocharged 2-liter engine supplied by Renault Alpine. However, upgrades to the engine management software have been made to improve throttle response and produce a smoother power curve across a wider window. The company hopes that these improvements, coupled with a reduction in drag, will make the R1 more competitive against higher-powered GTs on long straights.

Other significant upgrades make the R1 better suited to endurance racing, including a 50% larger 92-liter fuel tank (up 32 lites), which now contains two main pumps and four scavenging pumps. Furthermore, the new R1 has revised headlights for night or wet racing, while multiple in-car controls have also been added to allow the driver to monitor fuel level and fuel and coolant pressures from the cockpit.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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