The Royal Automobile Club has awarded its prestigious Simms medal to Alex Summers, creator of the ground breaking hillclimb single seater that aims to help female drivers compete at the very top of the sport. His AFS P4t single seater is the result of seven years’ research, development, hard work, design excellence, blood, sweat and tears and is a tour de force in Hillclimb car design and construction.
The AFS P4t was designed in its entirety by Alex Summers and his family over the last seven years. The motivation behind the P4t was to design and build a car with ergonomics optimised for female drivers, specifically those under 5ft 5”, allowing for a much lower seating position without the need for extra foam or padding. This significant change in design philosophy gives female drivers a commanding view of the Hillclimb course, which eradicates the disadvantage of sitting up too high and close to the steering wheel, and therefore too far away from the pedals.
The Summers family wanted to create a car that would accomplish all of this, and yet remain useable and competitive for drivers above this height, alongside having distinctive styling and cutting-edge aerodynamics.
The astonishingly low and sleek P4t was built from scratch around a DJ Racecars 2.5 litre Cosworth engine. The project was a true labour of love and took an enormous commitment of time, emotion and respect for valuable components. The P4t weighs 457kg, and is powered by the ex-DTM Cosworth (now TME) KF V6, producing 470bhp. The body is a hybrid of tubular steel and semi stressed CFRP. The bodywork was designed and manufactured in its entirety by the Summers family.
The P4t made its debut in March this year at the Loton Park test day and by the end of the season Alex had joined a very select group of gifted engineers and drivers to score points in the British Hillclimb Championship (BHC), in a car of their own design and build. In only its first season the car scored four British Sprint Championship run-off wins and eleven BHC points from only four run-offs.
The family plan to develop the car further, beginning with significant aerodynamic upgrades for the front wing and floor, and with an interest in potentially replacing the current engine with an ex-IndyCar Cosworth XD V8.
The BHC organising team would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Alex and the whole Summers family for this fantastic achievement. We look forward to seeing the car in competitive action in the BHC during the 2024 season.