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DATE News (chronologically)
07/10/08
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ECO Racing to compete in 3 races in 2008  
Echo Racing Radical
The environmentally inspired British racing team ECO Racing is to race its production-engined biodiesel sports prototype race car in three of the most challenging events on the American Le Mans Series calendar: Road America, Road Atlanta and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Between the Road America and Atlanta events, the team will also race in the final round of the European Le Mans Series, the 1,000km classic at Silverstone on September 13-14.

The four-hour races at Road America and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the six-hour test of Silverstone and the grueling 1,000 miles/10 hours of Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta constitute a unique 24-hour challenge that will stretch ECO Racing's LMP1 race car and production V10 engine to the limits of endurance.

The drivers of the ECO Racing Radical LMP1 sports prototype will be announced in the next few weeks.

The team has been created by pioneering race engineer Ian Dawson and is dedicated to developing, using and showcasing environmentally efficient technologies through elite international motorsport.

In 2004 Dawson raced the first biodiesel sports car at Le Mans, two full years ahead of the debut of Audi's diesel racer and three years ahead of fellow diesel-powered rival Peugeot.

Since that time, Dawson has continued to develop the production road car-based V10 engine, creating a partnership with D1 Oils to use the Jatropha-based biodiesel fuel. All test bed and on-track testing has been undertaken using Jatropha biodiesel. The Jatropha curcas tree is a drought resistant inedible oilseed plant that makes use of otherwise unusable land and has no impact upon the food chain.

Ian Dawson says, "We have chosen four very challenging events that will stretch the team and the car to its limits. After our difficulties at Sebring, the team and our partners Radical and AER have worked very hard to create the best possible baseline for us to begin our journey into 2009."

Having already had a shakedown test the car will undergo performance and durability testing in the UK before being shipped to the US for the Generac 500 presented by Time Warner Cable at Road America on August 9.

Notes ECO Racing is a company led by veteran Le Mans engineer Ian Dawson, award-winning businessman Simon Wright and experienced Finnish driver, Harri Toivonen who have been inspired by the opportunity to extend the use of ECO technology beyond fuel and into many other aspects of the program.

The Team has been working tirelessly toward building ECO Racing and achieving its goal of being competitive in the world's most demanding racing environments using as many eco based products and solutions as possible, both on and off the track. For example the Team will recycle its race tires through "fragging", turning them into bark chippings and is working toward the use of Hemp fiber for non-critical bodywork panels.

ECO Racing has two V10 biodiesel powered Radical LMP1 sports cars. The turbo-charged V10 engine uses production-based components, modified to adapt to the stresses of endurance competition.

The Jatropha curcas tree is a drought resistant inedible oilseed plant used to produce biodiesel. Jatropha has many advantages over other biofuel crops as it requires less water than most plants, is hardy and does not need to be grown on good quality agricultural land.

The four-hour Generac 500 race at Road America is followed by the 1,000-mile/10 hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on October 4 and the four-hour Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on October 18, all part of the 2008 American Le Mans Series. Earlier this year, the American Le Mans Series reaffirmed its position as motorsports' global leader in alternative fuels by announcing its partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International to incorporate "Green Racing" principles into its 2008 racing season. The American Le Mans Series will be the first motorsports series to meet those criteria.

Petit Le Mans also features the debut of the Green Challenge™. The Green Challenge™ has been developed by the American Le Mans Series and sanctioning body IMSA in association with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Using a formula involving more than 30 pieces of data and measurements, the criteria measures race car performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact using a formula that ranks each car by the amount of energy used, greenhouse gasses emitted and petroleum displaced.

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