Praga R1 2023 season review – Praga celebrates growing influence on track in 2023
As production starts for the road-legal Bohema hypercar, Praga celebrates its growing influence on the track in 2023 with the R1 competing internationally across nine countries, taking race wins and silverware at 13 championships and series.
Starting the year with an incredible eight consecutive race wins, Praga R1 driver Danny van Dongen made his mark at the PBOC Motorsports Club’s WinterFest at Sebring in January, the FARA Miami 500 in February, and FARA Spring Challenge at Homestead Miami in April, where he also set four fastest laps in four consecutive races.
At the FARA Spring Challenge Enduro two-hour race, also in Miami in April, it was R1 driver Aaron Weiss who took first place in his second race in the Praga of the season.
Back at Sebring, R1 customer and driver Peter Buczynsky just missed out on podiums at the two-day NASA FL 2023 Spring Sebring race meeting in April, before joining fellow R1 owners for the Atlanta Motorsports Park Summer Championship Series, where Praga Racing USA has been growing the number of R1 cars on the grid throughout the year.
R1 dealer Shane Anderson and Praga customers Elliot Alexander, Peter Buczynsky, Jeff Price and Jack Rambo have become regulars at the monthly sprint race weekends at the Georgia track, where they continue to improve lap times while picking up silverware, totalling four race wins and six second place finishes for the R1 this year.
In the UK, the Praga R1 joined prototype grids at Silverstone, Snetterton, Brands Hatch and Donington. R1 drivers Al Boulton, Chris Bridle, Ed Bridle, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Nino LaRosa, Gordie Mutch, Ruben Stanislaus, Will Stowell and newcomer Lilo Fyrileiv, all competed with the Praga Racing UK team, while Shane Kelly and Jess Hawkins entered the ZEO Prototype Series with the University of Wolverhampton Racing owned R1.
Highlights included Shane Kelly finishing top of the Praga driver standings in the ZEO Prototypes Series, and setting the fastest lap at Silverstone in March, while Rodolfo Gonzalez set the fastest lap at Donington Park in June.
During the summer, Praga Racing UK also ventured to European races in Belgium, The Netherlands and Norway, competing in the Dutch Supercar Challenge at Spa-Francorchamps and Assen, before a debut entry into the Gatebil Extreme Time Attack at Rudskogen with rookie R1 driver, Lilo Fyrileiv.
Meanwhile, sim-racer of YouTube fame and winner of the 2022 Praga Cup UK, Jimmy Broadbent, competed his R1 known as ‘Goldie’ at three Time Attack weekends in the UK. Rounds One and Two at Cadwell Park saw Jimmy finish in first place with the fastest lap in class at both race weekends. Jimmy returned for Round Seven of Time Attack at Brands Hatch, where he repeated the same results of first place with the fastest lap in class. He finished the 2023 championship in second place in the Pro Extreme Class and first place in the Prototype Class.
The Czech Republic
On home turf, Praga Racing Cz opted for endurance races, with Czech driver Tomáš Vojtěch taking on the ARC Endurance 6-hour race at Autodrom Most, and the 8-hour race at Brno Circuit. Finishing P2 and P3 in class respectively, Vojtěch also set the fastest lap of the race at Most.
In sprint racing, R1 drivers Roman Vaca and Tomáš Vojtěch headed to the Slovakiaring for the Carbonia Cup Panattoni Racing Day. On a grid of over 30 cars, Vojtěch took a P1 and P3 from the two races, including setting the fastest lap.
Down under, Praga Racing ANZ returned to the Australian Prototype Series for a second year, where the team started the season with driver Ricky Capo, before British driver, Miles Lacey, stepped in mid-season.
Following Capo’s P2 and P3 podium finishes at the opening round at Phillip Island, Lacey made his Australian racing debut at The Bend, Adelaide. After a last-minute flight around the world just in time to race, Miles bagged a P2 finish on an inspirational debut in the third and final race of the weekend. He concluded the season back at The Bend when he just missed out on the podium.
The first half of 2023 saw the conclusion of the 2022/23 Gulf ProCar Championship for the team at Dragon Racing and Praga Racing UAE. Praga R1 owner/driver Ian Roberts entered three out of six championship rounds and dominated on track, taking four race wins, all at Dubai Autodrome. He returned to the circuit in March for the two 50-minute Gulf ProCar Enduro races, where he set the fastest lap in both races, and ended the season with a P6 and a P2 finish.
The 2023/24 Gulf ProCar Championship, which started in October 2023, saw Ian Roberts begin the new season with two P3 finishes at Yas Marina.
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Communications Manager, Praga Cars UK