LAZER-- THE FUTURE
The information below is provided for historic purposes only. Any inquiries and questions about the Lazer project at this time should be directed to its current owner:
LAZER-- THE HISTORY
Jerry Knapp of Elite Autosports, Inc., of Cokato, MN, designed the original LAZER L-85 in 1984. Jerry spent many years as a car designer, fabricator, and racer in both Formula Vee and Super Vee.
The L-85 was first raced at the Runoffs in 1984 to a 4th place finish by Jerry's son Steve (1998 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year). It was after the Runoffs that the first production L-85's were built. Steve and Jerry campaigned the LAZER throughout the Central and Midwest Divisions in 1985 winning several races, capturing several poles, and setting several lap records in the process. The year ended at Atlanta with Steve on the pole by .680 seconds. Unfortunately Steve spun in some oil on lap 7 and finished 12th, but he did set a new race lap record. That record stood until 1993, when it was broken by Bill Wallschlaeger…….. in a Lazer.
In early 1987, Jerry Knapp died of complications resulting from Leukemia. The L-85 project was offered for sale at that time. After a series of discussions with Elite Autosports, the project was purchased in October, 1987, by Campbell Motorsport, Inc., who continued to manufacture and distribute the car.
After some changes and redesign by Campbell Motorsport, and the L-85 became the LAZER MK II, the second generation LAZER. Although the original L-85 was an excellent car, there was more potential available. Some of the original parts were modified to make the car more efficient to build and service. Our design goal was to maintain the exciting aerodynamic looks of the original car while making it an easier car to drive, build, and service.
Starting with our first test session, the MK II lived up to its expectations. The MK II ran at the front of the pack on all courses at both the regional and the national levels. It is a car capable of winning on any track in any division.
The MK II was a very good racecar, but we have always been looking for ways to make it better. One of the areas that we have always wanted to address was the internal cockpit room. Our goal was to rearrange and redesign some of the components to increase the interior cockpit area. We wanted to do this without affecting the excellent shape of the bodywork. By changing some construction methods, we were able to increase foot room forward of the front roll bar. This change allowed a revised shift linkage, which is easier to shift, install and service. This also allowed us to redesign the fuel cell and seating area. The redesigned fuel cell allowsthe fire system to be mounted and completely enclosed by the fuel cell cover. This has removed the fire system from it "normal" position just forward of the front roll bar, making it much easier to enter and exit the car. The tall roll bar option was added later where the roll bar extends above the bodywork like the many of the current FC cars.
The change from the MK II to the MK 2.5 was evolutionary rather then revolutionary. Some of the main components of the car remain unchanged since the redesign from the L-85 to the MK II, however we have been refining each component and the small details of the car. We have been working on increasing driver comfort and safety . The LAZER has always been a leader in FV in the use of composite materials for driver side protection. The LAZER bodywork currently uses 4 layers of Kevlar in the cockpit area, TWICE the Kevlar required per the GCR requirements. The roll bar area has undergone further review and additional bracing and gussets have been added. The roll bars use tubing with 25% additional wall thickness over GCR requirements.
The physical appearance of the LAZER has remained unchanged. It would be difficult to improve on the looks and function of Jerry's original design but we are always reviewing alternate designs for the various components. We feel we have significantly improved the mechanical components to make the LAZER MK 2.5 a winning race car on any course.
LAZER MK 2.5 -- HIGHLIGHTS & FEATURES
• FV that looks like a racecar!
• Original design byJerry Knapp a veteran FV racer and automotive designer
• Narrow, aerodynamic body work - but surprisingly roomy, about the same cockpit size as a DB-1 Formula Ford
• Excellent head cooling
• Excellent oil cooling
• Full length belly pan
• Over the top exhaust system
• Low ride height and center of gravity
• Fast and easy engine and gearbox changes
• Upright seating position for better driver comfort
• Cockpit room for tall drivers
• 90% tig welded components
• Forward - facing pitman arm with steering box mounted upside down
• Dual Master cylinders with adjustable bias
• Hydraulic clutch
• Fabricated pedal assembly
• Aluminum steering rods and rear suspension drivers
• Single shock, over the transmission, o-roll rear suspension
• Billet aluminum oil filter/ oil cooler mounting block- eliminates all oil filter plumbi
All rights reserved- Campbell Motorsport, Inc
Robbie Authur, summer 2016, in the first Lazer MKII (aka Gloria) built by Campbell Motorsport