Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WorldFirst ecoF3: A Chocolate-Powered Sustainable Race Car

Following the recent turmoil in Formula 1 arising from the high costs of running competitive motor racing teams, and doubts in sponsors’ minds over the commercial value of their involvement, the viability of motor racing is being critically questioned.

Therefore, the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (WIMRC), part of Warwick University, has unveiled a Formula 3 race car built using sustainable materials. The new WorldFirst racecar is a clever piece of lateral thinking.

It is the first Formula 3 racing car designed and made from sustainable and renewable materials, putting the world first by effectively managing the planet's resources. Its body is made of potatoes, the steering wheel is carrots, and the fuel is derived from chocolate.

Originally set up in October 2001, the WIMRC draws on the resources of several departments and applies design, technology and management research to challenging problems in the Vehicle and Healthcare sectors with a focus on sustainable development in two themes: Intelligent and Eco-Friendly Vehicles and Next Generation Healthcare.

The racer isn't legal to race in the F3-series as chocolate-based fuels aren't on the approved list of energy sources, but that's not the point. The WorldFirst team is trying to prove green-racing doesn't have to mean boring-racing.

They've used recycled materials in combination with fibers and extracts of fruits, vegetables and plants to create composites, materials and lubricants along the same vein as carbon fiber, plastics, and oil. It's based on the standard Lola chassis and despite the eco-friendliness, the car will still hit 145 MPH and corner like the real deal.

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