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"Mardi Gras Motorsport will make history on Sunday 11th April at Thruxton when John George becomes the first driver to race an LPG-powered car in the BTCC. The team's ETCC spec Honda Civic Type-R has been converted to race on liquid petroleum gas by Holland based engine conversion specialist Prins Autogassystemen.

The car ran for the first time at Donington Park at the BTCC media day, and there is still some work to be done: "We're still running on both fuels at the moment", explained George. "I just took it out on the track for the first time and did a lap running on LPG and a lap on petrol."

"Unfortunately we didn't get much of a chance to run the car as a petrol version before having it converted so we have nothing to compare it against. We will do traces on both fuels though and try to work out how we're doing. But we will run on LPG or not at all, as we have had a lot of support from the company that did the conversion.""

An Lpg powered touring car do you think this will ultimatly prove an advantage or a disadvantage to the overall racecar? and would lpg car be more unreliable? is this the first ever lpg racecar?
 

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There was a VW Golf that ran on LPG gas in the VW Cup last year I believe and that did well, was very little if no disadvantage to the other oil powered cars.
It's good to see some brave enough, to start something like this, and with conversions becoming more and more popular, this could help boost possible new gas users.
Saves the team money too, for a while at least as the government have froze tax increase on gas.


Jimbo


oo the sponsor on the side - 'Jag' is a phone shop in Cornwall by the way. They have one of the most annoying radio commercials in the world!
 

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For competition purposes, I see a couple of obvious problems with LPG.

The tank needs to be considerably tougher than a tank to contain unpressurized liquid fuels. Therefore the tank weighs more.

A litre of LPG contains less energy than a litre of petrol which, in turn, contains less energy than a litre of diesel oil. Therefore the car needs a greater tank capacity for a given mileage.

If there were a class exclusive to LPG powered vehicles, then these disadvantages would be common to all entrants, leaving them to compete at an equal level.

As well as LPG powered classes, I would like to see diesel powered classes.
Does anyone know anything of competitive diesel racing? (Ooutside of Rail Racer and the early rail-cars!)
 

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Jan Groosmuller
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QUOTE (Mecoprop @ 5 Apr 2004, 10:35)As well as LPG powered classes, I would like to see diesel powered classes.
Does anyone know anything of competitive diesel racing? (Ooutside of Rail Racer and the early rail-cars!)
Over here in the Netherlands there is a Diesel series, all Seat Ibiza tdi... and real close racing
 

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QUOTE (Mecoprop @ 5 Apr 2004, 10:35)A litre of LPG contains less energy than a litre of petrol which, in turn, contains less energy than a litre of diesel oil. Therefore the car needs a greater tank capacity for a given mileage.

As well as LPG powered classes, I would like to see diesel powered classes.
Does anyone know anything of competitive diesel racing? (Ooutside of Rail Racer and the early rail-cars!)
I agree meco. I don't think unreliability would be an issue - if there's less energy from LPG then surely the engine itself would be less stressed.

Why not get a still going in the back yard and run the engines on moonshine?


Seriously now though. I would like to know, apart from the dubious legalities, are there any other problems with using alcohol as a fuel and any environmental impact?

Competitive diesel racing? There's a diesel VW Golf rally car isn't there? Dare I mention truck racing as well?



Mark.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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Diff, alcohol (methanol in particular) has been used for years in racing. CART uses it. It was legal in my F4 class. It does have drawbacks. Fires are tough to see because it burns with an invisible flame - all you can see is the heat haze. It is also tough on many gaskets, sealants, and rubber - engines which contain susceptible components must be purged after running.

Methanol burns cleaner than gasoline and produces fewer pollutants.
 

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I'm a marshal, we're trained about methanol in fire training. Fergy is right, it does burn colourless, so there is no flame. We are told to throw sand at the fire, which help shows it up. It isn't used in many cars, but those that do display a orange circle or square on the side of the car.
Trends seem to be reducing engine sizes in many racecars now, I mean in the BTCC they all run on 2000cc.
LPG racing would be a good idea, we do have some diesel racing in the UK, but it's minimal and a little unspectacular.

James
 

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I too am aware of Methanol - thanks for the safety reminder guys! However, I was thinking along 130 proof grain alcohol type substance - would that work?

The motor club I used to belong to (Longton & District Motor Club) many years ago had in its ranks the "flying Vicar". I forget the name of this motorsport loving man of God, but he had a little "wings & slicks" hillclimb car named RBS4. This little monster was painted black all over (always a good start in my book!) but it had an orange square on it
The engine was a 750cc (4 cylinder I think), SUPERCHARGED
methanol burner


At one meeting, upon presenting the car for scrutineering, the vicar was asked if he could tidy up all that scruffy looking insulation and duct tape around the engine and maybe remove some of it. He replied that he'd rather not remove the tape because methanol burns with a clear flame, the tape doesn't!!

Mark.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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QUOTE The engine was a 750cc (4 cylinder I think), SUPERCHARGED methanol burner

F4!


QUOTE he'd rather not remove the tape because methanol burns with a clear flame, the tape doesn't!!

Wouldn't have helped me.... the seat in my F4 WAS the fuel tank!


PS - don't fill the tank with that grain alcohol... or drink it!
 
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