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Thread: 2021 Caterham CSR "CatKong"

  1. #1
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    Default 2021 Caterham CSR "CatKong"

    2021 Caterham CSR - "CatKong"

    My 2010 Caterham CSR has been an outstanding car – I love it to bits.
    http://www.usa7s.net/vb/showthread.p...CSR-Superlight

    But over time, many cars it runs with on HPDE events have been getting more powerful. Think about it, at the beginning of the decade Corvettes were 400-500hp, Mustangs were about 350 and Porker 911s were 350-450hp depending on model choice. In these big heavy cars, this hp level equalized out to the 270-odd hp my 2010 CSR had. I was able to keep up in lap time terms despite these cars boogieing off down the straight I could catch them in the braking zone and subsequent corners.

    10 years on the equation has changed. Hp in those cars is 700-800 or higher hp. My Caterham CSR can no longer keep up despite having a highly talented driver.

    In 2017 knowing the UK had tanked their currency for years, reducing Caterham prices substantially, I went to Bruce Beachman of Beachman Racing fame and asked, what would it take to build the most awesome Caterham? After being somewhat taken aback by my unusual request, he got into the spirit of things once he realized my expectations on timing and needing patience were realistic and flexible. This was not going to be your usual quick build.

    We debated – 620R? CSR with 620R drivetrain? Regular deDion with a Godzilla engine? CSR with Godzilla? There were compromises but we both agreed from our past experiences that the CSR was unbeatable on a track against any other Caterham with the same drivetrain. To paraphrase Bruce, the other chassis’ could potentially match the CSR time but it would be a more fraught task for a very good driver. Eventually, we landed on placing an order for a Caterham CSR with the intent of coming up with a special drivetrain later.

    The Caterham CSR fell off the product list at Caterham for a bunch of reasons – Arch-made chassis are not cheap plus it is complex which costs more to put together. Probably some other reasons but let’s not go there. However, Caterham never stopped making the CSR – it was still being sold in Switzerland and Australia for local market homologation reasons. So a CSR order could be placed for a roller chassis – waiting time 2 years – longer than the (at the time) 1 year wait list for the deDion chassis Caterham. Deposit down.

    Fast forward in time. I had been noodling and proceeded to surprise Bruce with some upgraded thinking about ‘shooting for the moon.’ All credit due, he has been quite patient with my surprises. I think he was vaguely ok with being adventurous but was somewhat concerned about my ambition to visit the moon in a Caterham. It required both us to align expectations and recognize that miracles may take a week extra and the impossible just needs that additional month. Unexpected delays were always going to be a feature of this project.

    Bruce did name the car “CatKong.” However, at his 2019 workshop Christmas party, where I attended, one of his wisecracking customers suggested that “Big Pussy” would be a more appropriate name given that’s what it would turn the driver into. Vinyl lettering in Caterham Firecracker Yellow has been produced with the “CatKong” name.

    The specs. The order from Caterham was:

    • CSR chassis
    • Color: Body is in Aston Martin Almond Green (2014-17) (Code: AST1140/Ditzler PPG 400525). Nose band is in Caterham Firecracker Yellow.
    • Standard wheels: Caterham 15 inch CSR wheels mounted with Avon ZZS tires.
    • Standard dash (not the curvy one – I had plans here)
    • Carbon fiber front and rear wings
    • Carbon fiber aeroscreen
    • Plumbed in fire suppression system
    • Track day roll bar
    • Painted 7 grille
    • Carbon fiber indicator pods
    • Lowered floors
    • Standard S-type leather seats
    • Uprated brake master cylinder
    • Aero filler fuel cap – black
    • Battery disconnect switch
    • High intensity LED lights with daylight running lights integrated
    • No driveline – comes as a roller from the Caterham Dartford factory.
    Last edited by Croc; 10-11-2020 at 04:01 AM.
    Mike
    2021 Caterham CSR "CatKong"
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration finished - track set up time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A (suspension restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (suspension set up)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (radiator replacement)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (dyno time)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic


  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Once it was in Seattle in late 2019 the magic could begin. The next stage of specification was:

    2.5L Duratec. High quality build. JE pistons. Carillo rods. ARP studs. Compression 12.5:1 Initial dyno at 327hp @7400rpm. Redline will be 8000+rpm. Gear change will be at 7200rpm based on expected torque curve. 100 Octane fuel. 6000 mile refresh interval. A further dyno tune will be needed with its final ECU map once all has been installed in the car – I expect there is another 10hp in the engine once final map is done. 380hp was an option but the trade off was refresh life plus I know from experience there is a law of diminishing returns in a Caterham in terms of putting power down plus getting around a corner with no aero.

    Clearly the fuel pump is upgraded from standard. Inline fuel pressure gauge to assist any problem diagnosis in the future. Upgraded fuel lines and regulator.

    For intake the Cosworth roller barrels are used as per standard CSR260. A ram air intake in carbon fiber from Reverie.

    Oil cooler instead of the regular modine to manage the fearsome oil temps on track the CSR260 is known for.

    Sadev 6 speed sequential. Ratios (to be confirmed) 1st 2.071. 2nd 1.6. 3rd 1.3. 4th 1.095. 5th 0.95. 6th 0.828. Final drive will be 3.62:1 Theoretical max is over 175mph at redline in 6th gear. Being realistic, with enough runway, 150-160mph is the likely max once aero is factored in.

    Diff is a SPC/Tracsport with the aforementioned 3.62:1 ratio.

    Given the power being put through this rear end, the diff bracing has been considered and beefed it up.

    The road car rear uprights are removed and replaced with the CSR race uprights. This removes the ability to have a handbrake but who needs that – I just light the tires up to rotate the car in its own length. Parking? Ummm….

    The delivery from Caterham included an upgraded brake master cylinder but Bruce also upgraded the rear brakes to the CSR race spec plus fitted a proportioning valve. Front brakes remain standard.

    The standard Caterham MBE ECU is removed and an MBE 9A9 ECU installed. This is a full motorsport spec ECU. Capable of OBDII. It integrates engine with dash and gearbox for full electronic coordination.

    This is useful as we are using the AIM MXS digital dash with logging capability. Will include gear indicator, customizable displays, shift lights. Will even integrate with an AIM SmartyCam.

    To do the digital dash, I have bought a new blank carbon dash and worked with Bruce to design a nice clean layout. Switchgear will be 620R style with metal toggles and those U-shape elements that sit alongside the toggle.

    Using the upgraded ECU and digital dash allows us to install launch control, traction control and an inline throttle blipper for downshifts. Traction control will likely come in handy.

    The car will also have ABS ability on its brakes.

    To change gears the standard Caterham lever disappears. Paddle shifters via Meteor Motorsports/SBD are installed. These integrate smoothly with the Sadev and interact with the ECU/digital dash.

    Because suspension is such a big part of the CSR’s success, Meteor Motorsport supplied the Tractive 3-way active damper/suspension kit. Touchscreen controller for the cockpit with 4 presets for suspension set up. This allows you to set up for dry (hard), wet (soft), tires going off front or back. It then actively manages the suspension around those presets based on yaw/acceleration. Having driven a car with it fitted at Donington in 2019, I was surprised how good it was – takes you time to stop trying to drive around the car and begin trust it. The suspension’s external reservoirs are mounted nearby. Bruce fabricated some custom removable access panels for the boot area. All of this is based on Meteor Motorsport race spec spring settings of 300lb front and 225lb rear.

    For grip in the wet or road, I will use the standard road CSR 15 inch wheels with Avon ZZS tires. For dry, I have 13 inch Wesmo BBS wheels with CSR offset – shiny chrome outer ring and gold inners. Hoosiers will be the preferred dry tire for track fun.

    For seats I went to Tillett on the Isle of Sheppey in the UK. Steve Tillet worked with me to try on all of his seats until I found one that fitted my ample proportions and did not recline me so far that I felt like an orangutang. So 2 x B7XL-47 seats in carbon fiber were ordered. The aluminum inward facing seat brackets were sourced from Tillet and mounted to the Caterham seat runners for adjustability.

    To improve seat comfort, I ordered a set of seat pads from Oxford Trimming in the UK – they do the leather seating and center console cover work for Caterham. Diamond quilted leather with a black stitch. The black nicely hides any accidents I may have.

    Also from Oxford was a custom leather center console pad to replace the original. Deletes the gear lever opening and handbrake opening. Diamond quilted black leather with a contrasting mid-green stitching.
    Mike
    2021 Caterham CSR "CatKong"
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration finished - track set up time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A (suspension restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (suspension set up)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (radiator replacement)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (dyno time)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic


  3. #3
    Join Date
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    A raft of other mods being done include:


    • LED rear fog and reverse lights from Car Builder Solutions to replace the caravan trailer lights
    • A proper Caterham nose badge – not the fridge magnet looking one
    • Rear stop lights replaced with Just Add Lightness LED light clusters
    • Passenger footwell fire extinguisher – Element E50 with carbon fiber mount
    • Upgraded horn – Hella Supertones. Excellent for getting pesky Porsches out of my way. Works superbly on my current CSR.
    • Inertial cut off switch removed. Given the switch requires me to be upside down with engine running and unconscious for it to operate, I think we can delete it safely as I am more likely to be deeply embedded in a tree.
    • Carbon fiber bow tubes
    • Carbon fiber nose whiskers
    • Custom oil catch tank in carbon wrap instead of the Caterham supplied cheap plastic washer bottle
    • Map pockets (stores phone or logbook while driving)
    • Carbon fiber “chin” for nose cone – improves aero by reducing front end lift
    • Engine hour meter
    • Carbon fiber rear wing protectors
    • 12V and USB sockets for the cockpit
    • 6-point FIA belts
    • Diff breather and catch tank (my current CSR blows a lot when it gets hot)
    • High mounted rear brake light
    • Odyssey PC680 battery with the manufacturer mounting tray.


    Ultimately, I will have it all covered in 3M clear bra to stop stone chips.


    The build proceeds although Covid-19 has slowed things down. The current problem is getting a Caterham wiring harness to talk with the upgraded ECU. Having the UK shut down with their infection issues has made this challenging. Likely requires engineering a connection solution from scratch – not an easy task I am the first to admit.

    I have not been back to the workshop since December 2019 so sorry no updated photos at this time. Will be out there again next month and will stop by to get them then.
    Mike
    2021 Caterham CSR "CatKong"
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration finished - track set up time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A (suspension restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (suspension set up)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (radiator replacement)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (dyno time)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    112

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    Wow Mike. Wow. Automotive Art in its finest form. Your build is like my restorations. I want to do it my way, damn the cost. Can’t wait to actually see it.
    Lotus Europa, Frame Off Restoration
    Lotus Elan S4, Almost a Sprint
    Lotus Elan S2, Original from factory
    Lotus Élan S1, GTS/26R Fast Road
    Lotus Racing Kart, Track Terror
    Lotus Exige S, Wicked Road & Track
    Lotus Exige S, Track Weapon
    Lotus Elise, Track Pack
    Lotus Elise, Currently being modified

  5. #5
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    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenville, SC
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    I can't wait to see the finished product. Might even have to make a special trip to NJMP while I'm "visiting family" on LBI .


    Bill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Owings Mills, MD
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    So I guess Bruce isn't towing it cross country for next weekend??

    Wow- ultimate spec Mike. You've sweated the details. Love the color.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
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    I am speechless! (that won't last tho).
    Kitcat:AKA, Sir Spinsalot
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car
    '19 Honda Type R, sold
    '19 Miata Clubsport

  8. #8
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    Jul 2009
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    Arkansas and . . .
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    Fascinating, Mike!
    Stalker V8, chassis #85

    Stalker Chassis #85 Build Gallery
    Stalker Chassis #85 Owner Thread

    Get up in the morning and give the day your very best. You don’t get it back.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Seattle area
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    Mike - Great recap. It's been fun watching the progress since pieces first began arriving at Bruce's. Will truly be the CatKong of CSRs. Looking forward to more updates.
    2012 CSR 260, registered as a 1966 Super 7

    Still in the massive grin stage. Damn bugs!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
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    Insanity, madness, ludicrousness. It feels like during the build you checked off the top box including the secret boxes that turn it up to 11 not shown to "regular" customers.

    We know it will take the power/speed title, pretty sure you're also taking the invoice crown from the certain orange Cat.
    Last edited by Vovchandr; 10-11-2020 at 12:43 PM.
    2001 Caterham Superlight R

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