April 18, 2009

Zytek 04S

A little history

Though founded as early as 1981, British company Zytek isn’t well known from the public. Still, their involvement in the automotive industry over the years includes collaboration with such great names as Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar, BMW, Chevrolet, Lotus, Rover, Honda, Smart, Jordan and Panoz, along with engines manufacturers Judd and Hart! A specialist of electric propulsion and inboard electronics, Zytek came to motor racing, thanks to the experience gained in working with Judd, by providing engines for the F3000 series, starting in 1996. Further involvement was, for the most part, a matter of chance. Zytek bought some assets of Reynard, which had been liquidated. Included in Zytek’s new properties was a single endurance racing prototype, the 02S. The chassis soon became the Zytek 04S, fitted with Zytek’s own engine, based on an aborted project for Panoz.

After entering a few races during the 2004 season, Zytek decided to expand their program for 2005. The team won two events of the Le Mans series, at Spa and the Nürburgring, allowing it to finish second in the championship for its very first complete season.

The initial 04S was replaced by the 06S for the 2006 season, then the 07S during the next year.

About the model

Model: Zytek 04S
Year: 2005
Event: 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours, driven by Sam Hignett, John Stack and Haruki Kurosawa (not classified, insufficient distance)
Maker: Ebbro
Scale: 1/43
Distributed by: Ebbro
Acquired: brand new, in January 2007, in Hong Kong, S.A.R.

Why Ebbro, which almost entirely devotes its effort to Japanese cars chose to reproduce the British Zytek is beyond my comprehension, but it did well. Though it doesn't have an opening engine bay as Ebbro's Dome has, this model is excellent. My rating: 14/20.



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