By Kevin Duke
It’s not unusual to hear a Yamaha R1 engine screaming its cross-plane-crank howl down a racetrack, but it is odd to hear eight of them in chorus on a dirt-track course in cars. That was the combo of odd sights and sounds we witnessed at Perris Auto Speedway during an exhibition event at the Budweiser Oval Nationals sprint-car race on November 11.
Yamaha provided not only the engines but also the cars themselves, tube-framed single-seaters that resemble a mash-up of a Modified dirt-track car and a Late Model class. The R1DT is designed to be a budget-friendly, turnkey, low-maintenance option for aspiring racers.
But why would Yamaha invest time and R&D resources to build a car?
“Yamaha not only has a rich history of racing, but of innovation and diversification,” Yamaha said in a media release. “Because dirt-track racers and fans already use other Yamaha products like power equipment, motorcycles and ATVs, dirt-track racing is a natural next step for Yamaha.”
“The Yamaha R1DT concept car is an exciting new concept that has the potential to introduce dirt-track enthusiasts to Yamaha quality and performance while simultaneously attracting more motorsports enthusiasts and racers to the exciting world of dirt-track racing,” Yamaha’s R1DT project manager, Dave Park, elaborated.
Yamaha enlisted longtime collaborator Jeff Palhegyi to create the cars. Palhegyi is the mastermind behind nearly every custom bike shown by Yamaha Motor Corp. USA over more than a decade, as well as playing an integral role in developing Yamaha’s DT-07 flat-track bike.
The R1DT is his latest challenge. Fitted with the 998cc inline four-cylinder engine from Yamaha’s YZF-R1S production superbike mounted behind the driver, the car has undergone two revisions since the first version put wheels on the ground a couple of years ago. …read more
Source:: Yamaha R1DT Dirt-Track Car