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British Racing Greens, Carrots and Potatoes

They say that the race track is the place where new technologies are given a trial by fire before being applied to ordinary, everyday cars like you and I drive to pick up the kids from school or to buy groceries. From an environmentally friendly perspective, this is good news, thanks to the hot new number from World First Racing that is leading the world of Formula 3 racing – in green performance if not in overall speed and handling.  This British racing company is certainly putting a new twist onto the traditional concept of “British Racing Green”. The University of Warwick is behind this project, and if all goes well, I’d like to see some of this car’s features incorporated into the cars reviewed by Private Fleet one day.

The idea was to make a race-capable car from recycled and/or renewable resources as much as possible, inside and out. WorldFirst’s car, with the carrots on the side instead of chequered flags, features the following:

  • The front wing end plate is made from a potato starch core and a flax fibre shell, as are the wing mirrors.
  • The side pod is made from glass fibre (which can be sourced from recycled materials) and resin from recycled bottles.
  • The lubricants inside the engine are all based on vegetable oils rather than on mineral oil.
  • The seat is made from a flax fibre shell over soy bean oil foam and recycled polyester.
  • The steering wheel is made from a polymer created from carrots and other root vegetables. This is designed to be light and tough, and
  • Sexiest of all, the engine runs on biodiesel that is refined not just from the usual vegetable oil but from chocolate oil.
  • The radiators have a catalyst that converts ozone (which is great in the upper atmosphere where it does a wonderful job of stopping us getting sunburned but is downright vile lower down where you can breathe it) into oxygen (which you should breathe regularly if you want to stay alive).

The car is still undergoing testing, but hasn’t quite hit the race track in a formal race, although it has been put through its paces at the track – see the video of it in action.

The car doesn’t just use vegetable and recycled odds and ends. For example, it uses cast iron for the brakes, as this gives maximum stopping power but from a recyclable source, rather than from carbon, which is harder to recycle (but not impossible – other parts of the racing car use recycled carbon). At the moment, though, they’re working on brake pads made from cashew nut shells.

Find out more about the World First car and keep track of how it’s going at the official website,