Grease Car To Compete at the New England Forest Rally
The New England Forest Rally includes a new rally competitor who is out to prove that racers can be pioneers in the field of alternative energy sources.
Greasecar’s (www.greasecar.com) Justin Cravin, of Holyoke, Massachusetts will compete in a VW that he has converted into a “Grease Car”, fueled by cooking oil typically used to prepare French Fries.
“The engine produces more torque at lower RPMs and can get the car out of spots a normal (gasoline) engine can’t get out of,” explains Justin. “Using a diesel engine fueled by cooking oil will also burn cleaner, thus emitting less pollutants, get better mileage than with gasoline, and will save money!”
Justin does not stop at just choosing a cleaner burning fuel source. To complete the environmental circle he chose to work with a Pennsylvania supplier who collects restaurant grease from up and down the East Coast to manufacture the vegetable oil into a useable fuel source. Instead of paying to dispose of unwanted oil, restaurants can turn their waste into a usable fuel source for others.
Vegetable oil based fuel is thicker than normally processed diesel at ambient temperatures, and Justin has built a dual system in his rally car to feed vegetable oil through his fuel injectors. When the engine is cold, conventional diesel fuel from a small reservoir is used to start the engine. After the engine is warm, heat from the engine coolant is used to thin the cooking oil to the viscosity of normal diesel fuel, which makes it possible for it to flow through the car’s diesel fuel system.
“The rally car will be fine… it’s the driving that is the unknown variable,” says Justin, “we are going to be learning a lot during the rally and hope we can be competitive against a strong Group 5 class.”
“We are delighted that Justin and Greasecar have chosen Rally America events to assist in testing new fuel technologies,” reports Mike Hurst, Rally America Technical Director. “Rallying should be a test bed for innovation and new technologies, especially in the fields of alternate energy and efficiency. Historically, innovation and technological advancement was the reason for racing to exist, but many forms of racing have lost sight of this in favor of becoming mainstream entertainment.”
Greasecar should be competitive considering that they have already built and campaigned a diesel buggy in the SCORE Baja series with podium finishes in the SCORE Baja 250 and 500 events. The team will be running one more Baja race this year before tackling the famous Tecate Score Baja 1000 in November.