Dome (Constructor)

Zaheer May 27, 2011 0


A Japanese-based racing car constructor, Dome Co., Ltd. is involved in an open wheel as well as sports car racing.

History

It all began in 1965 when Minoru Hayashi created his very first racing car which was a rebuilt Honda S600 coupe. This car belonged to Tojiro Ukiya who died on a test run in 1965. This car was given the name Dome Karasu (means crow in Japanese) because of its shape. Dome karasu was built in a relatively short time with extremely limited budget. The focused was given to weight reduction and FRP materials were used in aerodynamics. Hayashi had no previous experience in building a racecar, but still the car won its debut race at the Suzuka Clubman Race. A year after the building of Dome Karasu, Hayashi went on to make the Macransa, a modified version of Honda S800 with a view to compete in Japanese Grand Prix. A Formula Junior racing car, ‘Kusabi’ was appeared three years after the Macransa. The ‘Panic’ appeared in 1971.

Dome was founded by Hayashi at Takaragaike, Kyoto in 1975 with an aim to produce cars with economic production runs utilizing racing machines to manufacture the technology. In 1978, the company came up with its first concept car, Dome Zero equipped with a Nissan L28 engine. The car was designed for road use and made its world debut at the 1978 Geneva Motor Show. Dome manufactured the production version of Zero named Dome P2 later and displayed it at both Chicago Auto Show and Los Angeles Auto Expo. Unluckily, the car couldn’t be able to get the approval from Japanese government and failed to go in production.

However, Dome went on to manufacture cars for the Toyota’s motorsport department Tom’s Co., Ltd. to participate in the All Japan Super Silhouette Championship. In the following years Dome turned to Group C cars to compete in All Japan Sports Prototype Championship as well as in the World Sportscar Championship.

Other than that, Minoru Hayashi also worked with his cousin Masakazu Hayashi to build formula car. They both produced cars for Japan’s Formula Junior 1600 for about 10 years and prepared the first Formula 3 car Hayashi 803. Later in 1981, they prepared Hayashi 320 getting its design by Masao Ono known for designing 1976 Kojima F1 car. Hayashi 320 won the title of All Japan Formula 3 Championship driven by Osamu Nakako. Another title won by modified Hayashi 320 for the Formula Atlantic category driven by American bob Earl was Macau Grand Prix. The next was the 321 followed by Hayashi 322 in 1984.

Hayashi 322 won the title of Japanese F3 Championship driven by Shuji Hyodo. A year later, Hayashi 330 appeared that won only single race. Hayashi quit racing because of the decline in the aluminum wheel business.

However, Dome made a comeback in 1988 with an establishment of design studio, Jiotto Design with a view to design cars with its own wind tunnel to manufacture Jiotto Caspita supercar.

Current Projects

Dome Cars Ltd. formed in the United Kingdom and the Dome Tunnel in Maihara, Shiga Prefecture in 1999. The aim was to produce F1 cars t and also to compete in Japanese GT Championship. With a view to develop and manufacture carbon composite, DOME CARBON MAGIC established in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture in 2001. Dome is also involved in manufacturing Honda NSX.

By 2007, Dome upgraded S101 Le Mans prototype chassis. It was in 2008 when Dome released a closed-cockpit prototype named S102 for the Le Mans Prototype 1 Class.

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