The SP-what-now, you ask? The SP/300.R. It's the newest product from Caterham, and one of the few it has ever done that has nothing to do with the Lotus Seven. It's a track car in the mold of an LMP racer. It debuted at the beginning of the year with a 300-horsepower turbocharged Ford Duratec, and you can place an order for yours any day now.
Intriguingly, the factory opted not to go with Caterham USA, the company that imports and distributes all manner of Sevens across these United States, but gave the SP/300.R contract to Dyson Racing. If that name sounds familiar, it should. The racing team just tied up both the driver and team titles in the American Le Mans Series, a feather in the team's cap that has, since 1974, competed in everything from Grand-Am and Trans-Am to Champ Cars and Indy.
The America-bound examples of the SP/300.R will be shopped partially completed to Dyson's facility in Poughkeepsie, New York, where they'll undergo final assembly before delivery. So why Dyson over Caterham USA? The SP/300.R is built around a Lola chassis, and few have the kind of experience with Lola that Dyson Racing does.
Leading American sportscar team, Dyson Racing, will act as US distributor for the new Caterham-Lola SP/300.R sports prototype when the first of the brand new race and trackday cars lands in the States early next year.
Caterham Cars appointed the newly-crowned American Le Mans Series (ALMS) LMP1 champion team as its official US distributor. The two companies share a mutual partnership with Lola Cars. Dyson Racing's relationship with Lola Cars dates back over two decades.
Dyson Racing is one of the most successful and longest-running privateer race teams in America, having competed in IMSA GTO and GTP, SCCA Trans-Am, GRAND-AM, CART and Indy Lights championships since its inception in 1974.
Dyson, which sealed the 2011 ALMS LMP1 Drivers and Team championships on September 17, will receive its demonstration car early in 2012, with customer cars being delivered Stateside from Spring onwards.
Team Vice President and Sporting Director, Chris Dyson, said: "Dyson Racing is pleased to partner with Caterham as the exclusive importer of the SP/300.R for the United States. Trackday driving is a rapidly-growing phenomenon in America and this car will be ideal for the many enthusiasts who enjoy this aspect of the sport.
"There's no car company more dedicated to producing cars that are pure fun to drive than Caterham and we expect that owners of high-end road cars who have been running them on the track will find they have more fun driving the SP/300.R while spending less money."
For the U.S. market, the SP/300.R represents a three-way partnership between Caterham Cars, Lola Cars and Dyson Racing. Principal design and manufacturing of the car is done by Caterham with engineering input from Lola. U.S. cars will be manufactured to specifications appropriate to that market, with final assembly taking place at Dyson Racing's facility in Poughkeepsie, NY, north of New York City.
"Dyson Racing's relationship with Lola goes back more than 25 years," Dyson noted. "While our partnership with Caterham is a new one, we are confident that this triumvirate will provide our clients in America with a great car and unparalleled service."
Caterham Cars' International Business Development Manager, David Ridley, said: "We are delighted to be working with a partner as established and successful in the global motorsport arena as Dyson Racing. Their expertise in the US market is exactly what we need to make the SP/300.R as much of a success in America as it has been in Europe so far."
The 300bhp supercharged Caterham-Lola SP/300.R was launched at the Autosport International show at Birmingham's NEC in January this year and customer orders to date have been strong.
Dyson continued: "The SP/300.R is an amazing car. It mirrors the technology and the appearance of the Lola Le Mans prototypes that our team campaigns in the American Le Mans Series, but has been carefully designed to be affordable.
"Over the past four decades, we've mastered the ins and outs of importing cars and spares from overseas; perfected the process of making certain a car is ready for the track before it leaves our facility; and learned how efficiently to support a car trackside. We understand that our clients will need differing levels of support and Dyson Racing is well-prepared to provide whatever they require."
For more information about the Caterham SP/300.R please visit http://www.caterham-spr.com/. US-based customers should contact Dyson Racing – visit www.dysonracing.com or contact Steve Potter on firstname.lastname@example.org.