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Meet the Hyper X1 Racer, Australia’s new answer to the Ariel Atom

By Chris Thompson, 22 May 2019 News

The Hyper X1 Racer is Australia’s new answer to the Ariel Atom

Locally designed and built track weapon looks rather promising

Australians are a creative bunch, and history proves this country has the potential to build great things, even with a small team or few resources.

So, when we found out about the Hyper X1 Racer, we were pleased but not incredibly surprised that a couple of Australian engineers were able to put together something that looks so wild.

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Father and son duo Jon and Dean Crooke are behind the ‘Hyper Racer’ name, having already created the smaller Pro Racer and Terra Racer models, turned their collective experience as drivers and engineers of differing specialties to creating a car to fill what Jon calls a ‘class gap’ in motorsport.

The ‘Core’ chassis of the three models built by the ‘Hyper’ team are the same, a lightweight space frame built to accommodate a motorcycle engine and one human being, but it’s the X1 that’s the ‘big boy’ of the trio.

Hyper X1 Racer testing Winton

A Suzuki GSXR1000 engine and a dry weight of 350kg has resulted in more than 420kW per tonne, a power-to-weight ratio that rivals… well, pretty much nothing, since it beats the likes of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS and Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – 350kW and 371kW per tonne respectively.

To make the Core chassis so light, Hyper Racer had to keep the material use to a minimum without compromising safety. To do that, the Crookes designed a frame that was reinforced to minimise damage from any impacts with a ‘compressible safety cell structure’ inside.

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From Hyper Racer’s own description of its system: “the chrome moly chassis features curved main rails for added lateral impact strength and a unique cross brace in the middle of the chassis for immense crush resistance and torsional strength.

“And in the same way that crash helmet design protects the head, the Hyper Racers seat cell is lined with a ridged compressible foam seat insert.

Hyper X1 Racer frame

“As added protection the seat cell and head restraint incorporate compressible crush pods at all strategic mounting points.”

Independent wishbone suspension with mono-shock Ohlins coilovers and adjustable swaybars make up the front and rear suspension, while 245mm cross-drilled discs are found all around with four-pot calipers. Brake bias is even adjustable from the driver’s seat.

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The body, the small amount there is, is made from carbon fibre and Kevlar.

Hyper X1 Racer rear

Finally, for that extra racecar bonus point, the six gears are shifted with a sequential lever and a hand-operated clutch.

The Hyper X1 Racer underwent its first proper track test at Winton Raceway on Friday, May 17, and the onboard footage posted by the team suggests the X1 is going to be incredibly potent.

If the video below doesn't play, check out the Hyper Racer Facebook page to see the action.

Dean Crooke, the driver on the day and son of the duo (bringing to the table the skills of a race car design engineer and fabricator), was providing feedback to the rest of his team on the day, which suggests this car still has some tweaking left before the Crookes are completely happy with it.

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After that, they’re taking orders. But there’s an application form you’d need to fill out so the father and son duo can ensure they’re not going to spend a lot of effort building a car for someone who won’t, or can’t, use it.

There’s no price listed, but the philosophy of filling the ‘class gap’ means the Hyper Racer models are “at the affordable end of motor racing.”