As part of the Tertiary Hybrid Open Rally Challenge (TORC), hybrid and alternative-fueled rally race cars have been built and will be raced by teams of engineering students at Universities in New Zealand. They will be featured at the New Zealand Rally Championship and as a separate support class in the WRC Propecia Rally of New Zealand in 2008.
The aim of these vehicles, as it is with most forms of racing, is to build a knowledge-base capable of furthering the use of these technologies in every-day transportation roles. Racing pushes forth the development of technology as each team attempts to make their cars faster, safer and more durable. It has worked wonders for the internal-combustion engine! Let's hope that this and the Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation will do the same with hybrids, as well as with alternative fuels.
Additional commentary from Kevin Dwyer, CEO of the competition, is included after the break for those interested.
[Source Scoop Independent News]
"MotorSport New Zealand has supported TORC and developed supplementary technical regulations to cover the cars, which will run in the two wheel drive Kiwi 2 class. The Sustainable Business Network has also swung in behind the organisation.
"The engineering teams must use an existing two wheel drive shell but must design and develop hybrid electric power trains. In all other respects the cars will be conventional rally cars with a full range of safety equipment.
"It's a very practical way to get young engineers to think about future alternatives and to do so in a competitive environment," he said. "It will also help the public appreciate that it is still possible to enjoy motorsport in an eco-friendly way." - Kevin Dwyer