Video: Mercedes DTM-Inspired, 11,000-RPM Monster Hillclimbing!

The TracKing RC01 takes a lightweight kit car to a standard above what most would associate with this style of machine. Built to mimic the appealing curves of a DTM car while costing a tenth of an actual one, this lightweight, bike-powered, balanced design appeals to the serious racer as well as the competent amateur. This formula works so well on narrow and technical hillclimbs, and thanks to a fully TIG-welded cage, a crashbox, and proper OMP or Koenig-Sitze racing seats, it’s much safer than something so diminutive might seem.

The muscular bodywork would suggest a much heavier car, but thanks to an FFSA-approved spaceframe and a three-piece bodyshell (available in Audi, BMW, and Mercedes styles), the RC01 tips the scales at just half a ton. With so little weight, the mid-mounted Suzuki GSX-R powertrain provides more than enough shove to hustle up the mountain with some 200 horsepower and 11,000 revs to play with. It’s not a colossal amount of thrust, but when it’s strung together by a pump-action sequential gearbox and put to the pavement with hardly any wheelspin, it gets the featherweight DTM look-alike up to speed quickly.

Mounted snugly behind the driver’s compartment, the lightweight Gixxer motor helps keep the center of mass right in the middle of the car. Photo credit: TracKing

Once the RC01 is up to speed, a full floor, diffuser, wings, and Avon slicks make it astonishingly grippy in just about any corner. The driver, Lukas Boric, is up to the challenge and willing to thread the needle between guardrails while exercising all the available aerodynamic grip. Brave might be an understatement in this instance.

To improve packaging, they’ve opted for a pushrod suspension setup with either AV AR 3C2P dampers or optional Öhlins TTX30 dampers. Accompanying those dampers, race-worthy AP Racing brakes and Braid Formrace Superleggera Centerlock wheels dot each corner of the car. Clearly, the RC01 has all the needed bits to encourage a driver to push the limits of adhesion.

Like the engine, the inboard suspension relocates the majority of the mass to the middle of the machine. Photo credit: TracKing

Boric does not seem fazed by the TracKing in the slightest, and commits to several blind corners with a sort of faith that borders on suicidal; often going completely flat as the car breaks away in the middle of the corner. Fortunately, with the odd flash of opposite lock and generally delicate hands, he can keep the car underneath him. However, the obviously nervous machine requires he never take too many liberties. That darty platform does give him the ability to flick the car into certain slow-speed corners and get the direction change done in a hurry—but perhaps that’s just it unsettling naturally over the bumpy public road.

For $67,000, the RC01 seems like a bargain. That level of downforce, the agility of a formula car, and the looks of a DTM racer make it an odd but potent package that any die-hard racer would have a hard time arguing with. For those who find the powerplant too mild for their taste, TracKing offers another car with a Hayabusa engine and another 30 horsepower, but considering the frightening pace the junior version is capable of, opting for the larger motor is only for a few certifiable racers.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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