BIOFUEL CARS GAIN TWO SECOND PLACE PODIUMS, EIGHT TOP TEN FINISHES, DRIVER TURKINGTON THIRD IN CHAMPIONSHIP, O'NEILL'S BIOFUEL ASTRA LEADS RACE
The season's work of EEMS, Energy Efficient Motorsport, to encourage biofuel in racing was rewarded at the Silverstone finals of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with a string of results for cars running on E85 bio-ethanol blend in front of a bumper crowd of 33,000 people and Paul O'Neill's E85 Astra leading the final race for a lap and a half live on ITV.
Two second places for Team RAC's Colin Turkington, after some fantastic driving to fight back from 19th on the grid in race three, made him third in the Driver's Championship and just one point short of second place. Team mate Rob Collard improved his position to finish the Drivers' Championship in ninth place overall, despite losing race places in incidents, with 10th, 5th and 7th race positions.
In the Independents Trophy, Colin and Rob finished second and fourth respectively in their MG ZS cars. The cars have run well on E85 bio-ethanol blend since the Knockhill rounds in early September, a move fully supported by their sponsor RAC.
With BTCC returnee Paul O'Neill's 14th, 8th and 9th place finishes in the EEMS-supported Thurlby Tech-Speed Astra, and Jason Hughes' 15th, 9th and 11th places in his MG ZS, the final tally for the day was two second places and eight top ten biofuel finishes, a biofuel car leading the race and a second fastest qualifying lap, missing pole by just two thousandths of a second, for Turkington. The pace and reliability of the E85 fuel is now well proven. Over half of the biofuel finishes have been in the top ten, with two second and two third places.
Team RAC finished second in the Independents Team Trophy, with Tech-Speed in seventh position despite missing 6 races (Donington and Knockhill). Jason Hughes Kartworld team finished in 6th place. Tech-Speed has run E85 all season.
Dick Bennetts, Team RAC's principal said, 'We've got two podiums today and Colin had a storming drive in the final race. The car has been very reliable once again although it's been a shame we've been on the receiving end of some aggressive driving -- Rob was running well in both the second and third races before being punted off the circuit. We've once again shown the potential for bio-fuel and I have to say a huge thank you to RAC for their support this season. I'm very much looking forward to next season.'
Shaun Meadows, marketing director of RAC said, 'We're over the moon with the team's performance this year and particularly proud of the podiums we've achieved since the switch to biofuel.'
Marvin Humphries of Tech-Speed was also delighted with the day's results: 'We missed practice with a problem which we finally traced to a hairline crack allowing air into the plenum chamber where fuel and air is mixed, so that the engine would not run. Paul's done a really good job and we've had some fun this weekend. His touring car experience showed in the close racing, especially he held the car when James Thompson nearly tapped him into a spin. The EEMS guests have been on pits visits to see what we've been doing all season as ambassadors for biofuel racing.'