The trend in the past few years to create a winning C Sports Racing car in Sports Car Club of America Club Racing competition has typically followed two paths – rebody a Formula Atlantic car, or use a high-revving motorcycle engine in a lightweight chassis. Yet Dudley Fleck has managed to buck that trend and be competitive in a more traditional CSR powered by an automotive engine, in this case a Mazda MZR 2.0-liter.
His Elan DP02/Mazda finished fifth at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs after qualifying third in 2013, but the car has won a National Championship before that with its former owner and Fleck finished second in 2010. It’s a former IMSA Lites car that has been thoroughly reworked for SCCA Club Racing.
“Matt Miller bought it for SCCA racing, and one of the fist things he did was go to the Mazda 2.0-liter engine and did some bodywork changes that kind of put his own personal touch on the thing. It wasn’t legal for IMSA Lites anymore, but it did fit into the C Sports Racing category in SCCA,” Fleck explains. “So he developed it and ended up winning the National Championship with this car in 2009. He went into Formula Atlantic, so I took the car over and finished second at the National Championships in 2010 and won the June Sprints with it, the Majors race in Ohio this year and had a couple of second-place finishes at Circuit of the Americas. So it’s been quite a fast car even through there are other cars out there that are a little more efficient aerodynamically. But the Mazda keeps putting out good power and keeps us out front.”
Fleck’s Elan is the only non-Formula Atlantic, non-motorycle-engined car to win a National Championship in the past decade. As to what keeps the car competitive, it comes down to development.
“I think it’s just good solid engineering that happened with the original car and motor. It was always good, and now we’ve had time to work with it over the last four years and find the little things that make it go faster. A lot of little things are usually the key to making a car go faster, not one big thing. The one constant has been the Mazda 2-liter that Steve Knapp at Elite Engines has been working with for the past couple of years and finding good power with,” Fleck says.
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa driver has raced just about everything from karts to stock cars, and several formula car and sports racing classes within SCCA. His two kids and a beer distributorship keep him busy away from the track, but he does love racing and his CSR particularly.
“It’s one of the fastest, if not the fastest, classes in SCCA Club Racing right now,” he says. “It’s kind of our prototype class. It’s a home for tinkerers and people that want to mess around with aerodynamics and different combinations. The wannabe engineers in the crowd, this is kind of where they gravitate toward.”