Rally rivals go green with envy at eco-car

Rally driver and engineer Paul andrews with the Honda Insight hybrid which has been banned from Formula 1000 after becoming too successful. Picture Garth Hamer
Rally driver and engineer Paul andrews with the Honda Insight hybrid which has been banned from Formula 1000 after becoming too successful. Picture Garth Hamer

A COCKERHAM engineer has proved green technology certainly isn’t boring after his hybrid eco-car was banned from a rally championship for going too fast.

Paul Andrews, engineer and driver of the petrol-electric Honda Insight hybrid, which competes in the Formula 1000 rally championship, has been asked to withdraw, following concerns from rivals that the car has an unfair advantage.

The car, which can return 98 miles per gallon at a speed of 47mph, has been developed by Paul’s Cockerham-based technology company Oaktec over a six-year period.

It uses a tuned electric hybrid system to give it more power and better fuel efficiency using the low-emission Honda car as a base.

The green technology has been so successful that the car has blown away a field of conventional rally cars to gain a 19-point championship lead after just three rallies.

Formula 1000 organisers phoned the Oaktec team to request they stand down from the series. It will now look to race in a higher class.

See the Lancaster Guardian (30-06-11) for full story.