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2010.12.23

ライトフォーミュラ

Pc2032381

 放送作家のO山さんに誘われて、静岡県の富士スピードウェイで、ライトフォーミュラのテストに参加してきた。

 ライトフォーミュラは、江戸川区篠崎にある「レーシングガレージENOMOTO」の榎本信次さんが手がける、小さなフォーミュラカーだ。軽自動車用の660CCツインカムNAエンジンを搭載し、ギアは5速マニュアル。タイヤは市販のラジアルタイヤを使用している。

 市販品を使ったシンプルな車だが、その挙動はまさにレーシングカーだ。660CCといっても、車重は340kgと軽自動車の半分以下。富士のホームストレートを全開で走れば、最高速度は時速150kmに達する。ほぼ遊びのないステアリングのダイレクトな操作感覚も、フォーミュラカーそのものだ。

Pc203163
↑ライトフォーミュラのコックピット。6点シートベルトに、F1と同じ着脱式のステアリング、左に5速のシフトレバーが見える。計器は、エンジンの回転数を示すタコメーターのみで、速度計はない。ペダルはもちろんアクセル、ブレーキ、クラッチの3本だ。

 レーシングガレージENOMOTOの榎本信次さんは、お金がかかるというイメージのあるモータースポーツを手軽に体験してほしいと、ライトフォーミュラを製作した。市販品を使って高い耐久性を実現し、ワンボックスや軽トラックで運べるレーシングカー。乗用車と変わらない簡単なメンテナンスですぐ走れ、レーシングカーの挙動を誰でも体験できる。1.6リッターエンジンを使うFJ1600の安全基準に準拠しており、安全性も高い。

 このライトフォーミュラを使って、榎本さんは2004年から「のりもの塾」を主催している。

 「のりもの塾」は、ドライビングの基礎と実践を1日で学習できる体験講座だ。午前中は座学で基礎を学び、その後富士スピードウェイの駐車場を使って、ライトフォーミュラでのドライビングを1日たっぷり体験する。駐車場とはいっても、日本を代表するサーキットの駐車場。その広さはかなりのものだ。

Pc2032111
小さな車だが、「ドライビングの楽しさ」を純粋に楽しめる

Pc203196
↑"おぐたん"こと小倉茂徳さん(右)が激走。2号車のほうがグリップが良かった。同じ設計の車の挙動が、1台ごとにこれほど違うとは驚き。

 この日は、来年に向けたテストの日。2台のマシンで別のタイヤを履き、それぞれの挙動を確認した。僕も乗せてもらうはずだったが、先端巨大症の後遺症か僕の頭に合うヘルメットがなく、本格的なドライブは断念。ちょっとだけ乗せてもらったが、同じ設計の車でもタイヤやギアの状態によって挙動が全く異なるのが興味深かった。今度は、マイヘルメットを用意して、1日たっぷり体験してみたい。


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