Acknowledging there is considerable interest in eco-transportation, organizers in Australia have set up classes for diesel and hybrid vehicles in the WPS 12-Hour endurance race. The event will be held next April 6-8 in conjunction with the popular Bathurst International Motor Festival. Ten categories were announced, including Eco Diesel/Hybrid over 3.5-liters and Eco Diesel/Hybrid 3.5-liter and under. Eligible cars in the big class include the Alfa 159 JTD, Volvo C30 D5 A23, Lexus GS 450 Hybrid and the Audi A4 TDI 3.0 Quattro. Eligible vehicles in the smaller class include the Alfa 147 JTD, BMW 120d, Fiat Punto Sport, Holden Astra CDTi, Honda Civic 4D Hybrid, VW Polo Match Tdi, Mercedes-Benz B180 Cdi, Citroen C4 1.6 HDI, Peugeot 307 HDi, Toyota Prius, Audi A3 TDI Sportback, VW Golf TDi and Audi A4 4D Tdi. These vehicles will run along with the twin-turbo BMW 335i, Nissan 350Z and other high-performance cars. Organizers say the final list is "representative of the mass road going market." Lexus earlier this year entered a GS 450 Hybrid in a Japanese 24-hour endurance race and finished fourth in its class and 17th overall out of 33 entrants. The key, of course, is to take advantage of the extended fuel economy and reduced pit stops in a long race. Now if we can just get Toyota to enter the Prius in NASCAR instead of the Camry.

[Source: Auto Racing Daily]


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