Team RAC aiming to make history with first bio-fuel podium

Article date: 18 September 2006

  • Round 9 - Brands Hatch - Preview

Team RAC return to the Kent circuit this weekend confident thatthey can make history by becoming the first team to achieve apodium finish for a bio-ethanol fuelled race car. WSR(Sunbury-on-Thames) made the switch to bio-fuel for the first timeat Knockhill, just over two weeks ago, following support fromsponsors RAC and EEMS (the Motorsport Development UK's initiativeEnergy Efficient Motorsport).

With this the second visit to Brands Hatch Indy Circuit since Apriland the 2006 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship seasonopener, Team RAC will be looking to convert pace to podiums at thisseason's penultimate rounds. At just 1.22 miles in length it is theshortest lap on the BTCC calendar providing bumper-to-bumper actionand great spectator viewing.

Colin Turkington (Portadown, NI) took to the podium twice back inApril at a circuit where traditionally the MG ZS has performedwell. Showing great pace at Knockhill, Colin is hoping that thetrack conditions at Brands Hatch remain dry, unlike the Scottishexcursion. He said: "The Team RAC MG has great pace which I believeto be faster than the Honda. Whilst we didn't get results atKnockhill we certainly showed pace and I'll be on it thisweekend."

Colin (188 points) currently remains second overall in the Drivers'Championship to Matt Neal (241 points) and mathematically is stillin the running for the Championship title. However, Colin remainsrealistic of his chances. He added: "I had some bad luck atKnockhill which was a major turning point in the Championship.Realistically it needs Matt Neal to have some of that bad luck toenable me to be in with a shout. By no means have I given up thefight and I certainly won't make it easy for him."

Rob Collard (Eversley, Hampshire) has also performed well at theKent circuit previously with a race win in 2005 and a podium finishearlier in the 2006 season, although this result was laterwithdrawn following a racing incident enquiry. Aiming for a topthree finish this weekend Rob said: "Brands Hatch is one of themore local circuits for me and one at which I have raced the mostmiles. Therefore, I'm pretty excited about returning to thecircuit. I'd like to turn back the clock to 2005 when I had a racewin on the GP Circuit. If I can repeat that performance on the IndyCircuit then it would be a milestone for me and forbio-fuel."

Looking to make history this weekend Team RAC principal DickBennetts said: "At Knockhill we made the switch to bio-fuel and wewere really pleased with the pace of the car as it appears to havelittle effect on the engine performance. It was bitterlydisappointing not to back this up with podium finishes but we haveanother opportunity to make history at Brands Hatch. I'm confidentthat we can makes amends and be back on the podium which is wherewe belong."

The penultimate rounds at Brands Hatch will be transmitted on ITVon Sunday 24 September starting at 3pm. The programme will includehighlights from race one and two with race three being shown livein its entirety. Satellite viewers can watch all three races liveon Motors TV commencing at 11.10am. Further information onprogramme replays can be found at


To arrange an interview with a member of Team RAC,please contact Sarah Owen on 07793 633153.

Note to editors:
At Brands Hatch RobCollard's Team RAC car will be sponsored by RAC MotoringProducts.

About EEMS
See facts about bio-ethanol on theEEMS website EnergyEfficient Motorsport (EEMS) is one of five programmes sponsored byMotorsport Development UK to sustain and develop the UK'sworld-leading motorsport sector. Programme funding comes directlyfrom the DTI and four regional development agencies. See more seeks to encourage the development of alternative fuels andpowertrain technologies and put energy efficiency at the heart ofmodern motorsport without comprising the sporting spectacle. Thereis a widely held belief that energy efficiency and green technologyare not compatible with exciting motorsport. This is simply not thecase in fact the UK motorsport industry stands to benefit byadopting EEMS concepts and taking a leading global role.

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About RAC
With around seven million members, RAC is one ofthe UK's most progressive motoring organizations, providingservices for both private and business motorists. Whether it'sroadside assistance, windscreen repair and replacement, learning todrive, vehicle inspections and checks, legal and financial servicesor up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able tomeet motorists' needs. RAC incorporates BSM, RAC Auto Windscreens,RAC Direct Insurance and HPI.

Aviva bought RAC last year. The acquisition brings together RAC'spowerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leadingposition in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance (part ofAviva). Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer, insuring one inseven motor vehicles and with a market share of around 14%.

About Aviva
Aviva is the world's sixth-largestinsurance group and the biggest in the UK. It is one of the leadingproviders of life and pensions products in Europe and hassubstantial businesses elsewhere around the world. Its mainactivities are long-term savings, fund management and generalinsurance. It has premium income and investment sales of £33billion and £291 billion of assets under management. The group has60,000 employees serving 30 million customers worldwide.

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