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  DBA4 03S Zytek

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:2002 - 2003
Numbers built:24:00:00
Designed by:Reynard
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 02, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionDesigned as a replacement for the disappointing 2KQ chassis, the Reynard 02S was much more a revolution than an evolution. Unfortunately the 02S proved to be too late to save the British manufacturer from its February 2002 bankruptcy. Some of the assets, including the designs and rights of the 02S were acquired by a company called International Racing Management (IRM). They completed the first chassis and badged it YGK, after the Japanese group they were commisioned by to do so. YGK pulled out and the single chassis was sold to Danish driver John Nielsen's RN Motorsport team.

Before continuing the competition history of the last Reynard, let's first take a look at some of the technical aspects. Reynard focussed on designing a car that would theoretically both suit the LMP 900 (900 kg minimum, wide tires and large engine) and LMP 675 (675 kg minimum, slimmer tires, smaller engine) classes. The most striking exterior feature was the very low waistline between the front and rear wheelarches. Under the lightweight body a traditional carbon fibre monocoque chassis is found, suspended by double wishbones all around.

The John Nielsen ex-YGK Reynard was now known as the DBA, named after his sponsor, Den Bla Avis, and made its debut at the end of the 2003 season. Running under the LMP 675 class regulations, the DBA was powered by a 3.4 litre V8 and weighed in at just over 760 kg. Its debut lasted for just 133 laps, when a mechanical failure put the new car out of the race. The DBA's performance was satisfying and convinced Nielsen to enter it for the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Some modifcations were carried through and the car was renamed once again and entered as the DBA4 03S.

In addition to the Le Mans race, RN Motorsport entered their DBA4 03S in a number of the FIA Sports Car Championship races. In the opening round at Estoril, John Nielsen and his team-mate Hayanari Shimoda finished second behind the winning Courage C60. Success came in the fourth round at Oschersleben in which Shimoda and his new team-mate Andy Wallace beat the championhsip winning Dome S101. At Le Mans 2003, the RN Motorsport DBA4 03S achieved second in class but was also a lowly 23rd overall.

New life was pumped into the old Reynard once more when engineering company Zytek picked up the manufacturing rights of the chassis. At the end of 2003, a second chassis was constructed and extensively tested by Andy Wallace and David Brabham. With no connection to Den Bla Avis, the new car was simply called 'Zytek' at its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans test day in April 2004. Livered in all black the V8 engined Zytek looked almost identical to the DBA4 03S used in the 2003 season.

Together with the new Zytek(s), the old DBA4 chassis put up a real challenge in 2004, frequently outpacing the competition. John Nielsen had sold the car to Creation Autosportif, who had previously run two Listers in the FIA GT championship. Two pole positions were scored in the LMES (Le Mans Endurance Series) and one in the North American ALMS. Bad luck prevented the promising pace being turned into a victory, but the team did manage to finish on the podium in the European Season finale at the Spa Francorchamps track.

For 2005 the Zytek V8 is replaced by a similar Judd engine, which should bring more consistency to the performance of the DBA4 chassis. Ironically John Nielsen is back, driving one of the new Zytek 04ss.

In its final Zytek engine guise, the DBA4 03S is seen here at the 2004 Spa 1000 km, where it finished third behind two Audis.

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  Article Image gallery (6) Specifications