GGLC Sponsors Grand Am Team
www.gglotus.org  ggmail@gglotus.org 

Rapier Racing has merged with Hyper Sport Engineering. A second Esprit has been prepared and will be campaigned. Hyper-sport is based in the Atlanta area and plans to run the remainder of the Grand-Am season.

Brad Nyberg, Atlanta, GA and Rick Skelton, Atlanta, GA are the two Hyper Sport Engineering drivers. Kirt Wightman continues as the Team Manager/Crew Chief.

Follow their campaign here. See and read about their trials and tribulations as they happen.

The team is sponsored by Garrett Research and Lotus Cars USA with associate sponsorship from Hoosier, Eibach, BBS and others.


  Become a Associate Sponsor!  
  2004 Grand Am Schedule  
  Racer in Construction  
  Ready to go to SEMA  
  On the Garrett Stand at SEMA  
  Daytona Testing  
  Rd#1 Daytona 250 Results  
  Rapier Racing HQ  
  Rd#2 Homestead Results  
  Glen 250 Results  
  Click here for information about the Grand American Cup  
  2004 Grand Am Schedule
Jan 3-5 Daytona - Testing Daytona Testing Results
Jan 29 - Feb 1 Daytona - 250 miles 22nd in class
Mar 26-28 Homestead - Miami Speedway - 250 miles Results
Apr 8-10 Phoenix Int'l Raceway - Twin 200s Not Entered
May 21-23 Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant - 250 miles Not Entered
June 18-20 Watkins Glen Int'l - 250 miles 26th in Class
August 6-8 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - 250 miles  
Sept 10-12 Homestead - Miami Speedway - 250 miles  
October 1-3 Virginia Int'l Raceway - 250 miles  
October 8-10 Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, AL - 250 miles  
October 29-31 California Speedway - Fontana CA - 250 miles  




  Hyper-Sport at Watkins Glen

Atlanta, GA. – June 21, 2004 – Hyper Sport Engineering took their #5 silver Lotus Esprit to the Sahlen’s Sports Car Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in beautiful upstate New York last weekend. The 2.45 mile road course hosted several races over the weekend for the Rolex Grand Am Series including the three hour Grand Am Cup race on Saturday afternoon and the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen on Sunday. The Hyper Sport SGS Grand Am Cup car had an exciting weekend of racing.

The team had not been racing since the 2003 ALMS season, so all the members of the team were anxious to get back on track. The Lotus Esprit had been competing in the Grand Am Cup Series under the Rapier Racing name until this race. Hyper Sport took the Lotus to Roebling Road in Savannah, Georgia the week prior to perform some testing functions and prepare the car and drivers for the upcoming event. As the event drew closer, the team set off to have a successful weekend in New York.

The two named drivers for Saturday’s event included Brad Nyberg and Rick Skelton, both team owners since the inception of Hyper Sport back in 2002. Friday’s practice sessions allowed Skelton and Nyberg the opportunity to test the results of set-up changes developed from the previous week in Savannah. The car performed extremely well throughout the weekend in the summertime grueling heat on Friday and then very cool temperatures on Saturday. Nyberg qualified the car in 16th position of 32 entries. “I was really glad to be back on the track and what better place than beautiful Watkins Glen. This was my first time on the track and in a new car therefore, I had a challenging weekend. The testing really helped get the car and team prepared for the race and I’m just happy we’re out racing,” commented Nyberg.

Nyberg started the race and Skelton got in about half-way to the 3 hour mark. Skelton added, “The car was really powerful and impressive. Unfortunately, I had a clutch fail 20 minutes before the checkered flag. We we’re done, but I was thrilled to be racing.” The clutch failure caused the race to end short of 3 hours for the Hyper Sport team.

Broadcast of the Grand Am Cup race from Watkins Glen will be aired on SPEED Channel, Sunday, June 27th at 2:00p.m. For additional information about Hyper Sport please go to www.hyper-sport.net

Leaving the Paddock


Flashing by


At Speed!



  Zack Zarcadoolas

For immediate release: April 14, 2004

Rapier racing is saddened to announce the untimely passing away of co-founder and driver Zack Zarcadoolas.

Zack died of a heart attack in the early hours of the morning of the 13 April 2004 at his home in Douglasville, Georgia.

In the late 60's and early 70's Zack won Championships in both Formula Car and Production Based Vehicles racing in SCCA and FIA series. For 20 years Zack left racing and after leaving a division of B.F. Goodrich as Marketing Director formed his own company. Returning to racing he won the 1996 Sprint Challenge Championship in a Lotus Esprit X180R, driven a Porsche in Grand-Am Cup in 2000, and raced all types of sports cars over the years, including prototypes. He was an active participant in vintage and historic racing - always at the helm of a Lotus. Zack was an instructor with both Panoz and Porsche driving schools.

Zack was the president of Lotus Limited Southeast (LLSE) for many years as well as being the President for the national Lotus club 'Lotus Limited'. He organized the national Lotus Owners Gathering (LOG) in 1996 and 1998. Many Lotus Limited Club members memory of Zack was his driving skill in the hot laps he often gave to club members.

Arnie Johnson CEO of Lotus Cars USA counted Zack as a good friend, "if you were in trouble and had only one phone call, you could not do worse than call Zack." Arnie always found him to be particularly loyal to the Lotus marquee. In particular giving his time to help the Lotus name, "he had assisted LCU with many projects and had never taken a nickel," said Arnie Johnson.

Zack, Charles Rayhall, and long time friend Kirt Wightman founded rapier racing in 2003. The goal of the Team was to showcase the final edition of the timelessly beautiful Lotus Esprit V8 and bring Lotus back to the consciousness of North American motorsport fans. The team was on a steep learning curve, but Zack felt that the hardest work was behind the team, and looked forward to the rest of the season.

Zack will be remembered as a great driver, a great all-around guy, and a Lotus man to the core. He will be sorely missed by his team, his friends and anyone who had the pleasure of his company.

Zack is survived by his wife, Cynthia, his son and his mother. Our thoughts are with them, and that in time their grief will be replaced by warm memories of their life together.

As per Zacks wishes, there be no memorial service, however, condolences for the family should be sent to Rapier Racing LLC, 6209 Oak Ridge Commerce Way, SW Austell, GA 30168.

  Round #2 at Homestead
Round #2 - Homestead - Miami 250

The changes made to the car have given the team more speed. The practise results were encouraging as the team was only 4-6 seconds off the pace set by the class leading Porsche 996s.

In qualifying Zack put the car 23rd in class, picking up nearly 2 seconds to pull within 4.5 sec of the pole Audi S4.

In the race the team ran into some new problems and fell back after improving their lap times. All of the great effort came to an end on Lap 38. The Esprit was pulled behind the pit wall and finished 43rd overall and 24th in class GS.

Seems a leaky head gasket pressurized the cooling system, which blew a hose. The team learned a lot about the car and problems caused by the added reliable horsepower from the chargecooler. They plan to forego the Phoenix event and concentrate on fixing the problem areas and doing some testing.

Photos by Karl-Franz Marquez and stock Grand American photographer.

Homestead Practice


Buried in the Pack at the Start!


Battle Scars!


At speed


Some great pit work!


Team Manager, Kirt



  A Visit to the Rapier Racing HQ
The GGLC Webmaster visits Rapier Racing headquarters

As the team prepared for Round #2 at Homestead Florida the GGLC webmaster paid the team a visit in their brand new headquarters just a few minutes north of downtown Atlanta.

Some big changes were made to the car with hopes of getting back some the lost horsepower and get improved reliability.

Having received approval to install an intercooler, the Rapier Racing Esprit is now fitted with a chargecooler. The photos below show the chargecooler mounted just rear of the engine and the heat exchanger in the "boot". Air for the heat exchanger is exhausted at the base of the windscreen. The team has had the car on the dyno is pleased with the results.

The team is ready for Homestead, but knows that they need more speed. Future changes to the suspension to optimize the set-up are planned. Optimistic, the team is looking forward to Homestead and showing better speed.

Chargecooler behind the engine

Heat Exchanger
Heat exchanger in nose

The cockpit
Inside the Cockpit

Front of the Rapier Racing Esprit

Ready for an alignment
Ready for an alignment

Pit Equipment
Pit Equipment



  Round 1 - Daytona 250
Rapier Racing finishes 22nd in class GS in Daytona 250!

In its first race the Rapier Racing Esprit driven by Charles Rayhal and Zack Zarcadoolas, sponsored by Garrett, Lotus Cars USA and the GGLC, ran for approximately 2 hours and was credited with finishing 22nd in class and 44th overall.

The team was forced to retire on Lap 47 with similar problems that they encountered in the early January testing. While disapointed with their finish the team was please that they had picked-up 4 seconds from the Testing results earlier in the month.

NEWS FLASH (Feb 5) - Rapier Racing received approval to install chargecoolers. This will eliminate the intake overheating that was caused their retirement in Daytona.
Race will be televised on Sat Feb 14 on Speed Channel at 4-6pm EST / 1-3pm PST.

Round 1 Results

Photos are provided by Karl-Franz Marquez.

Round 1
Prep in the Paddock

Round 1
Prep in the Paddock

Round 1
Fine tuning

Round 1
The Motivator!

Round 1
Can't be done without the crew!

Round 1
GGLC Sponsorship!

Round 1
On the banks of Daytona

Round 1
At Speed

Round 1
Pit stop

Round 1
Charles Rayhal at the wheel

Round 1
Through the infield

Round 1
Dicing with traffic

Photo by Scott Stout
Round 1
Quick Pit work

Photo by Scott Stout
Round 1
In the Paddock

Photo by Scott Stout
Round 1



  Become an Associate Sponsor!
Every Lotus Enthusiast can become a Associate Sponsor of Rapier Racing!

Associate Sponsorship is $195. Each sponsor receives:

  • Outerbanks White Polo Shirt with Rapier Racing Logo,
  • Gildan Black T-Shirt with Silver imprinting,
  • Denim Cap with Rapier Racing Logo embroidered on the front
  • Poster of the Race Car signed by the Drivers
  • Race Credential Holder with Lotus and Rapier Racing Imprinted that will gain access to the Rapier Racing Paddock area with VIP treatment at any race,
  • Sponsor Discounts on future merchandise and Race Parts
  • Send Check, Shirt Sizes and Shipping Address to:
         Rapier Racing, LLC
         6209 Oak Ridge Commerce Way, SW
         Austell, GA 30168
    Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery or see the team during the Daytona 24 Hour weekend.



      Building and Modifying
    The team acquired the Esprit V8 in early summer and immediately stripped down the car and began the process of making it race worthy. All unneccessary weight and sound deadening was removed. A roll cage was added and safety items such as fuel cells added.
    side view of cage
    Side view of roll cage

    firewall & cage
    New firewall & cage

    cage without firewall
    Cage without firewall

    master cylinder
    View of Master Cylinder

    Fuel cell
    Fitting the fuel cells

    racing seat
    Fitting the seat


    Awaiting the Engine
    Ready for the race engine!



      Ready to go to SEMA 2003
    With the car ready for testing it was loaded onto a transporter to be shown at the 2003 SEMA show in Las Vegas in the first week in November on the Garrett display. After the show the car will be returned to Atlanta for final assembly and testing will begin for the 2004 racing season on the Grand Am circuit.
    right side view
    Right side view

    front of the car
    Front view

    Left side
    Left side of car

    view from the driver's side
    View of the left front

    The view the Porsches will see!

    the cockpit
    The office!



      At SEMA on the Garrett Stand
    The #07 Esprit was a big hit at SEMA! The Garrett stand featured the #07 Esprit and showed off its engine.
    At SEMA
    #07 Esprit & Engine at SEMA

    At SEMA
    Inside the cockpit at SEMA

    At SEMA
    More from SEMA



      Testing at Daytona - Jan 3-5, 2004
    The 07 Esprit garnered a lot of attention and it cleared by the Tech folks. The team encountered a few issues that have to be overcome before the race:
  • Heat soaking of the clutch fluid.
  • High air intake temp.( cost us a good amount of HP )
  • That being said, the car showed great potential because of the rigidity Kirt built into it with the cage. The Alcon brakes, and Moton dampers are exceptional.

    The team did have to do an "allnighter" Sunday when the bolt holding the Fork broke and ate the clutch ( highly unusual ) Brian Johnson went to Lotus and pulled the parts (who thought the team would need a spare Clutch Fork ) and the team had someone drive the parts down to Daytona so they could have the car on the track Monday. The end the team was pulling 2:17's compared to the 2:05's of the fastest Audi S4.

    Daytona Testing
    #07 At Speed at Daytona

    Daytona Testing
    #07 In the pits

    Daytona Testing
    #07 At Speed at Daytona

    Daytona Testing
    #07 At Speed at Daytona

    Daytona Testing
    #07 Into the pits




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    PO Box 117303, Burlingame, California 94011