Praga R1 – a race car that is easy to own and run, and dramatic to watch


Praga R1 car; @Praga Cars

Praga Cars has officially launched the new Praga R1, the successor to its championship-winning lightweight all-carbon prototype-style racing car.

The Praga R1 matures into a truly fantastic car.

 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. As Jan Martinek, Engineering Director, Praga Cars said his team had revised the suspension and ECU to improve drivability and have increased downforce by 15% while reducing drag by 5%.

The latest evolution of the Praga R1 car features an all-new carbon fibre monocoque, splitter, floor, diffuser and rear wing alongside revised engine management software, improved electronics, adjustable pedals, larger fuel tank, revised suspension and in-car driver controls and new headlights optimised for night racing. The new R1 will succeed the car that secured overall victory in last season’s Britcar Endurance Championship with seven wins from nine races.

Mark Harrison, Managing Director, Praga Cars UK, says that the new Praga R1 is perfect for team owners, novice drivers looking to experience downforce, experienced racers looking to step into LMP-style racing and, importantly, sponsors.

Praga R1 car; @Praga Cars

While the car retains its signature silhouette, every body of the Praga R1 panel is new.

The carbon monocoque also features zylon panels for increased driver safety. A new floor and splitter are introduced to optimise the underfloor airflow to a revised diffuser. The wider, reprofiled rear wing completes the new aero package, which produces 15% more downforce while reducing drag by 5%.

The R1 continues to be powered by the turbocharged 2-litre R-A Praga T Engine, a proven race engine from Renault Alpine, offering drivers 365 bhp in a car that still weighs just 643kg, producing lateral forces in corners of up to 3G.

Upgrades to the engine management software improve throttle response and produce a smoother power curve with a much wider window. Torque is available for longer and, combined with the reduction in drag, it will make the R1 even more competitive against higher-powered GTs on long straights as the car approaches its maximum speed. Coupled with the modifications to the suspension, the new R1 is focused on optimising driver feel.

The R1 is engineered for ease of set-up and maintenance and can be operated by a single mechanic. Large, but light carbon body panels are easily removed to allow access to mechanics and consumables. The lightweight philosophy reduces tyre wear and mechanical stress, further reducing running costs during the season.

Other significant upgrades optimise the new R1 for endurance racing, including a 50% larger 92l fuel tank (up 32 litres), which now contains 2 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.

Praga R1 car; @Praga Cars