► New Praga Cup launches in UK
► One-make series for formidable R1
► Single-seat sportscar with big downforce
A new racing series will take to the UK’s tracks in 2022, created especially for the uniquely fast and fascinating Praga R1.
Who is Praga?
‘The oldest car company nobody’s heard of,’ is how this below-the-radar Czech marque has been described.
It’s been a major manufacturer of all manner of vehicles since 1907, from trucks to motorcycles to aircraft to karts (it’s one of Europe’s primary racing kart manufacturers) and cars, too.
The R1 was originally conceived by Praga’s engineers as a showcase for what the company can do, and also to satisfy their own desires to create a tiny-in-size, mighty-in-downforce racing sportscar.
What is the Praga R1?
A single-seat, central-driving-position closed sportscar with serious downforce from its intricate carbonfibre bodywork. Although it’s powered by 365bhp four-cylinder engine supplied by Renault Sport, the aerodynamic grip means it’s capable of cornering at 3g and laptimes far quicker than GT3 racing cars.
The blank-sheet approach that resulted in the R1 also meant it was without eligibility to run within the technical regs of any major racing series in the UK.
The BritCar series gave the R1 a racing home in the UK in 2021, by creating a class especially for the Praga R1 to compete within its endurance championship, and nine R1s raced throughout the season. At the Oulton Park round, they qualified in the first nine places on the grid.
Celebrity drivers have included sim racing star Jimmy Broadbent, ex-Stig Ben Collins and ex-SAS operator Jay Morton.
For 2022, Praga will run its own one-make Praga Cup racing series specifically for the R1, organised by the BritCar operators.
Praga Cup 2022: the details
There’ll be six rounds in the UK, at circuits including Silverstone and Oulton Park, and one overseas round in continental Europe.
The aim is for 16 to 20 R1s to form up the grid for the Praga Cup’s inaugural season.
Praga had planned to launch its one-make series in 2023 but the cars’ success in BritCar this year has spurred the company to launch the championship a year earlier than planned.
First prize? A brand-new Praga R1, ready to race for the 2023 Praga Cup…