RA-302 - 2012
The RA302 of 1968 is something of an oddity, introduced with a magnesium skinned monocoque and an air cooled v8 engine it was certainly innovative and there had been plenty of outside the box thinking going on - the driving position was very far forward and left the drivers legs very exposed to serious damage though with hindsight that would have been a relatively minor bruise compared to the very public death of Jo Schlesser in a RA302 fireball at Rouen - after testing the car John Surtees wisely chose not to run the new 302 however Honda France chose to run the car with Schlesser and after 2 laps the car speared off the track and rolled, swiftly igniting the full tanks of fuel and trapping the driver in an appaling public cremation.
The car was never properly developed and Honda left the world of F1 racing soon after - one car can be seen in the Honda museum.
We were approached by a customer with the idea of producing a replica of the 302 - having discussed the inherent dangers of the "feet forward" driving position it was decided to produce a car that represented the aesthetic of the 302 using the F1-67 chassis as base, the F1-67/302 wheelbase is slightly shorter and we will be water cooling the engine, modifications to the front of the chassis will be made to accommodate the lower nose profile.
We are fortunate to have the original (as damaged by John Surtees) RA302 nosecone to reference and the following pictures show the progress of the project, aluminium will be used for the entire body, once completed the car will be built up at our own workshop and we are hoping to be testing around the middle of 2012.