What’s a race team without a racecar? After the race season was cut short by the crash at Donington in the Slick Series, the NMA management team started looking for new options to allow students to still participate with Team NMA. Halfway through the season, that’s easier said than done. With the Lotus Evora totalled and the legendary Mosler facing months’ more work, we were out of options with our own cars. Thankfully, motorsport allows you to build great relationships and generally, when you’re in need, someone will pop out of the woodwork with a solution. We’d like to offer a massive thank you to Jay Shepherd, Managing Director of T7 Motorsport and owner of the new NMA racecar, the NP01-EVO, for doing just that.
About Jay Shepherd & T7 Motorsport
Jay Shephard has been round the track a few times in his career and he knows the world of motorsport inside out. Having come through the ranks as a driver, from amateur to part of a Britcar winning team, Jay now heads up his own motorsport business based in Derbyshire, close to Donington racetrack.
T7 Motorsport specialises in racecar preparation and driver coaching. From full builds to chassis and bodywork, their mechanical team have worked on everything from grassroots to the British Endurance Championship.
In 2021, Jay and business partner Ed Worthington decided they wanted to get back to the track themselves instead of watching everyone else have all the fun. They decided to look for a an affordable, closed cockpit racecar, with a difference.
About the NP01-EVO
The NP01-EVO is a prototype, originally brought to the market by the National Auto Sport Association in the United States. This lightweight racecar was ideal for NASA’s entry-level motorsport model where people could drive their own performance cars or hire or buy a track car and race in a number of different series and track days held across the US.
When they first developed the car (alongside builder Élan Motorsports), NASA wanted to create the world’s most affordable high-performance racecar. Their motto became ‘Make it fun, make it fast, make it safe.’ The NP01-EVO already has its own racing series in the United States – the NASA Prototype, with plans for UK series unfortunately being put on hold due to issues with parts following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The NP01-EVO was built with endurance racing in mind. The fully tubed frame and composite body means that the car weighs in at only 1500lbs without a driver. The engine is the Mazda 2.0 litre MZR and the spec sheets boast a top speed of 155mph+ and 210bhp.
Open the tabs below to see the full spec.
- Composite body with replaceable sections to reduce repair costs
- Opening prototype-style doors with latches
- Full front splitter
- Rear diffuser
- Adjustable full-width rear wing
- Head, tail and rain lights, windshield wiper
- Polycarbonate windshield and side windows
- 1018 steel-tube frame, tig welded with integral roll cage structure
- Side intrusion protection bars
- Force-attenuation nose box structure
- Fully adjustable suspension with MCS double-adjustable shocks
- 235-620-R17 Hoosier Slick Tires
- 17-inch x 9-inch OZ wheels
- StopTech forged aluminum four-piston brake calipers
- Huge two-piece rotors with aluminum hats
- 12-gallon Pyrotect fuel cell
- Fire suppression system
- Sealed Mazda 2.0-liter MZR engine with dry sump
- Six-speed sequential Sadev SL-75 transaxle
- Paddle-shift system available as an upgrade
- ACT 8-pound steel flywheel and race clutch disc
- AEM Infinity sealed ECU
- AiM MXL2 dash (upgrade to MXSs/MXG available)
- Approx. 1,500 lbs. w/o driver
- 102” wheelbase
- 169” overall length
- 43.9” max height
- 75.4” max width
- 155+ mph max speed
The First Test
Without a dedicated series in the UK, the NP01-EVO is eligible for both the Zeo Prototype series and the Sports Prototype Cup, run by NMA Business School tutor, James Bailey. By the time the car was stickered up and race ready, the next round of the Zeo Prototype series at Brands Hatch seemed the logical first test for our new racecar and student-staffed race team.
Team NMA’s first outing with the NP01 EVO was eventful, with a disappointing qualifying setting the driver up for a tough first race. The team finished in P3 in race 1 and P4 in race 2. Not bad for a first outing.
The next, and final round of the Zeo Prototype series is at Donington on 24th-25th September. Why not head down to see us race? There are tons of other races at this BRSCC Club Car Championship weekend – the Mazda MX-5 Supercup, BMW 1 Series Supercup, the Fun Cup Endurance Championship and the British Superkart Championship. A brilliant weekend for grassroots enthusiasts!