|The E85 Aston Martin.|
An E85-fueled Aston Martin DBRS9 6.0-liter, V12 sportscar finished first in round five of the Avon Tyres British GT3 Championship to become the first bio-fueled car to win a major motorsport event in the UK. It was the first win of the season for the E85 car and the UK-based Barwell Motorsport team.
Driven by Jonathan Cocker and Paul Drayson, who as Lord Drayson is the UK government’s Minister for Defense Procurement, the Aston Martin running on bioethanol fuel won the two hour race by 6.5 seconds from its nearest rivals.
The Barwell Motorsport team was the first UK motorsport organization to be confirmed as a campaign partner of Motorsport Development UK’s Energy Efficient Motor Sport (EEMS) initiative. Co-incidentally EEMS was also the sponsor of the race.
This is not a one off, the car has been competitive all season, taking two pole positions and it now leads the championship. It goes to prove that running a car on bio-fuel doesn’t mean any compromise in performance. I hope we can get this message across to motorists everywhere.—Lord Drayson
Barwell Motorsport’s biofuel V12 DBRS9 Aston Martin now heads the championship tables with 34 points.
Preparing the Aston Martin for E85 required increasing fuel-injector, fuel line and fuel pump delivery capacity, due to the different properties of the bioethanol fuel as well as using a larger tank.
Aston Martin Racing unveiled the DBRS9 in 2005 as a competition car for club and national racing series, and a bridge for teams and drivers looking towards international GT racing. The DBRS9 is based on the DB9 road car, but shares many design features from the full GT1 specification DBR9.
Aston Martin Racing’s engineers have tuned the standard 12 cylinder, six liter engine to produce approximately 550bhp (an increase of 20%) and reduced the overall weight by 480kg, to increase the power to weight ratio to nearly 430 bhp/tonne. Much of this is down to the extensive use of carbon composite materials for all the body panels (except the roof) and on the interior trim, as well as polycarbonate side and rear windows.
EEMS has been working to promote measures which put energy efficiency at the heart of modern motorsport, such as alternative fuels, powertrain and hybrid technologies. EEMS also supported the first biofueled car to finish the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2003, the British Nasamax Judd LMP1.