2002-2005 Zytek 04S (Reynard 02S/DBA4 03S)

Images courtesy and copyright Bob Chapman @ Autosport Image, Patrick Michl, Dirk de Jager, and Michael J. Fuller
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller
Thanks to Ian Smith for clarifying the DBA's story
Petit Le Mans 2002The Reynard 02S was intended to right the wrongs of the deficient 2KQ.  From the start the 2KQ was hobbled by inefficient aerodynamics, a flexing chassis, and an under-developed, yet unique, quick-change transmission.  Reynard was going to have to go a long way to appease potential customers that they had gotten this car right.  In that frame they set out to design the ultimate LMP675 chassis, making a revolutionary step above and beyond the 2KQ.  The 02S was designed to be fully competitive when run as a LMP675 or an LMP900 (it meets the ACO crash standards for both categories).  The intention was to continuously develop the car throughout the 2+ year anticipated life span of the chassis in order to give the customers the most for their money.  Quite frankly, the list was very long of those burned by the 2KQ. 

Then Reynard went bankrupt.  International Racing Management (IRM) came to the rescue and bought up all the intellectual rights to the Reynard 02S.  Recall that IRM had initially commissioned Piper to design a chassis for the Japanese group YGK.  But when the IRM/Piper relationship started to go south, IRM, through the help of John Nielsen and RN Motorsports, sought the 02S from the bankrupt Reynard.   IRM picked up where Reynard left off in the build of the first 02S with the idea of badging the now former Reynard sportscar as a YGK.  YGK showed little interest and the single chassis built was sold to Nielsen's RN Motorsports. 

Though the first chassis initially debuted as a DBA, why?  Carsten Rae was John Nielsen's partner in RN Motorsports.  Rae owns the Danish news paper Den Bla Avis, DBA.  As Ian Smith of RN Motorsports points out, "It suited our future customers for the car to be called something other than YGK/IRM.  We had carried out a fair bit of development work by this time and the ACO allowed us to re-homologate with a new name.  So the car became the DBA4 03S -P675". 

IRM continued to own the manufacturing rights to the chassis and Zytek then entered the picture by offered their manufacturing capabilities to IRM in order to continue series manufacture of the chassis.  To further confuse the lineage, starting in 2004 and beyond, all newly manufactured chassis were built as Zyteks. 

In 2005 Team Creation Autosportif continued to field their DBA 03S, while Team Jota and Zytek Motorsports ran Zytek 04S'.  For 2006, Team Creation diverged off the family tree and re-homologated their car as a "Creation" CA06/H in light of the new regulations fully "hybridizing" the car to LMP1 specification.  And while the Zytek 06S still maintained the Reynard bloodline, it too had become an entirely new car inasmuch as due to the changing regulations. 

With the Zytek morphing into the Gibson in the intervening years, and 15 years post-debut, the Reynard 02S certainly must be the contender for chassis with the longest life-span.  And while there are no doubts the Gibson is a iteration, and then some, on from the Reynard, I have little doubts that there most certainly are Reynard part numbers still somewhere on that chassis; if only for something inconsequential like a random bracket.  Here's to hoping at least, for nostalgia's sake.
The original concept rendering.Reynard 02S CFD imageAero development.

Click on each image below...
2002-2005 Zytek 04S (Reynard 02S/DBA4 03S) Specifications
Designers: Chief Designer: Will Phillips
Chief Aerodynamicist: Ben Wood
Aero & Body Design: John Buckley
Senior Mechanical Designer: Mick Fuller
Design Engineer: Charles Macdonald
Layout: Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Monocoque: Carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque
Engine: Zytek ZG348 3.4 liter, 90 degree V8, normally aspirated, 4 overhead camshafts, two per bank
Engine management: Zytek EMS 4.5
Displacement: 3400 cc
Horsepower: 540 hp
Torque: 325 lb-ft. @ 8000 rpm
Gearbox: Ricardo six-speed sequential, pneumatic paddle operated gear shifter
Clutch: AP 5.5" 3-plate carbon
Steering: Rack and pinion 1.10 turns lock-to-lock
Suspension: Fabricated steel double wishbones
Dampers: Dynamic Suspension
Brakes: AP Racing front and rear, (f&r): 355 mm carbon discs
Wheels: OZ forged (unique design), Front: 11.0 x 18 inches, Rear: 13.0 x 18 inches
Length: 4645 mm
Width: 2000 mm
Height: 1020 mm
Wheelbase: 2815 mm
Front Overhang: 885 mm
Rear Overhang: 945 mm
Front Track: 1678 mm
Rear Track: 1678 mm
Weight: 766 kgs. (Petit Le Mans 2002)
763 kgs. (Le Mans 2003)
708 kgs. (Le Mans 2004)
742 kgs. (2005 Le Mans average)
Tank capacity: 90 liters
Zytek 04S (Reynard 02S/DBA4 03S) in Action
ęCopyright 2007, Michael J. Fuller