ECO-FRIENDLY F3 CAR TO HIT THE TRACK
Chocolate-fuelled 'Flying Carrot' racer to compete at Brands Hatch
The F3 car, known officially as the WorldFirst but affectionately as the Flying Carrot, has been permitted to enter an F3 race at the Formula Ford Festival, despite not exactly confirming to the sport's technical regulations.
The engine is a heavily modified BMW turbodiesel tweaked to run on biofuel, while the body uses vegetable fibres (cellulose nanofibres in science-speak) and carbon fibre recycled from the aerospace industry.
The cockpit, wheels and tyres conform to normal F3 specifications, although the steering wheel is made from carrots (no, we can't believe we've just written that either). Of course, in accordance with the time-honoured rules of vegetable comedy, the steering wheel is not orange. "We don't know why it turned out purple," says Kerry Kirwan, a senior researcher on the project. "Perhaps there was some beetroot in it."
Flying Carrot cost £500,000 to develop and has been built by the Warwick Manufacturing Group at Warwick university with the financial and technical support of more than 50 companies, including Lola and Scott Racing.
The idea behind the project is to show that motorsport and ecological thinking can mix. "We want to show that green can be sexy," says Mr Kirwan. "You can still do exciting things, using recycled and sustainable materials."
The driving seat will be filled by 21-year-old Aaron Steele, a well-regarded young racing prospect, and Kirwan is bullish about the Flying Carrot's chances. "We haven't entered to come last," he says.
The Flying Carrot can reach 60mph in 2.0sec (quicker than a regular F3 car) and manages 35mpg at race speeds. Nobody on the WorldFirst project will comment on the chances of seeing the Flying Carrot in a night race though...