Making an impressive showing at last week’s Autosport International was the display by SinCARS UK on the ProFormance Metals stand (2650).
In a remarkably short time, Sin has progressed from a gleam in the eye of company founder and director Rosen Daskalov to fully fledged and about-to-be-homolgated GT4 racecar.
Just three years ago Rosen visited the Show in search of a car to race for himself. “I looked at a whole range of cars, including Radical, Porsche and BMW, but I’m a kart driver at heart, and after testing several, I just couldn’t find a car that ‘felt’ like a kart. So, I thought to myself, why not build one of my own?”
Bulgarian-born Daskalov did the rounds of various UK-based companies looking for likely partners, and struck gold with Philip Matts at ProFormance Metals. “I needed contacts here in the UK,” explains Rosen. “I met Phil and knew this was a man I could work with.” Over the course of the next ten months, the company worked to develop an all-new car that would meet Rosen’s strict criteria. Based around a space-frame chassis, which was homologated at an early stage in the process, the car took shape. “I spoke to a lot of people, both here [at the NEC] and at Goodwood, and looked at many other top cars before working on the design for the body style. That evolved over the course of several more months, and then we were able to reveal the final car for the first time at the Austosport Show in January 2013.”
For a car with such a remarkably short gestation period – around ten months – the SIN 01 (as then designated) certainly looked the part. The first car had been built in Germany, and the detailing and quality of the finish appeared to be of the highest standard. The reaction from those who saw the car, and the reviews that followed, were highly favourable, but the proof of whether it worked or not would come on track.
Rosen’s vision at that stage was to create a car that was essentially a road car that someone could take racing. The original white prototype was entered into the GT Cup, and made its debut at Silverstone in August 2013, Rosen himself at the wheel. It wasn’t exactly a fairytale beginning, but a best of ninth (out of 25 starters) in Race 3 was sufficiently encouraging to ensure that both car and driver would be back for the remaining two rounds of the season.
Sin returned to the NEC in January 2014, this time with the first road-legal version of the R1. Powered by a 500bhp Chevrolet V8 engine and weighing just a tad over 1,200kg, the car now boasted a fully-trimmed yet functional, unfussy interior, and came priced at a level that represented keen competition for the likes of Porsche and Jaguar.
This time a full season in GT Cup followed, with Daskalov consistently finishing around the top ten. Meanwhile, the road car made an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, where it certainly attracted a lot of attention.
“We’d tested and developed the car constantly,” explains Rosen. “We changed a few things, and with input from Tracksport Europe, we eventually came up with a completely redesigned chassis. In September we took the brand new car to Donington for the penultimate round of the GT Cup. Without effective traction control, and no paddle-shift gearchange, in the rain, and under extremely difficult conditions, we were only 4 seconds behind the factory McLarens – and that margin was all down to the lack of traction control and paddle shift.” The new car also raced in the final round at Oulton Park, ahead of the unveiling in November of the 2015-spec road and race Sin R1. “It is, in effect, a complete redesign, and means we now have one car for road use, and another for racing,” says Rosen. “There have been lots of changes in the road car too. It has been extensively track tested and several magazines have reviewed the car. All the comments so far have been very favourable.”
The cars are now being built in Hinckley, using some components sourced and manufactured in Bulgaria. “Everybody who sees the car, and drives it, seems to like it. We now have a lengthy waiting list for the road car and to meet that demand our target is to build at least ten units a month, with a mix of road and race-ready examples leaving the factory.”
The intention is to continue establishing the marque through competition in GT Cup, but as announced at Autosport International, Daskalov is also planning to see the Sin R1 contest the GT4 European Series. “The new car has been built to meet GT4 regulations, and the organisers [SRO] appear to like our project and their reaction has been very encouraging.” As part of that programme, Daskalov is creating a new team, based around a group of Bulgarian drivers. “We’re still in the process of choosing our line-up and hope to be in a position to reveal names in the next few weeks,” he says. “The team will be based at our subsidiary in Germany, near Munich, but will have an all-British team of mechanics.”
The current race car is eligible to race in the GTB class of the GT Cup, which Daskalov points out is “close to GT3 specification. We will be looking to build a full GT3-spec car at some stage, but that’s a project for the future …”
Price for the 6.2 litre road car is £60,000 plus VAT, with additional trim and finish options, while 7 litre race car prices vary between £65,000 and £70,000 plus, depending upon specification.
Further details from www.sincars.co.uk
Where indicated, photos courtesy of SinCARS UK Limited. Others by Peter May, Dailysportscar.