Greenspeed Research is no stranger to going fast in the desert, though. The organization started as a student club at Boise State and built a vegetable-oil-fueled Chevrolet S-10 that claimed a landspeed record in its class. Now, the group uses motorsports to push for greater use of renewable energy and promote STEM careers.
The team believes the Convergence TT has a major advantage over the traditional gasoline-fueled trucks it's racing against – fuel economy. Greenspeed is predicting 7-9 miles per gallon, and while that doesn't sound like much, the gasoline-fueled trucks get around 2.5 mpg. "So that means, when they're pitting twice, and take 5, 10, 8 minutes to pit, we've driven by them," driver Paul Robinson said to KMVT in Idaho.
The images above show renderings of what the Convergence looks like, and actual assembly gets underway on September 15. The team is chronicling the entire build process on social media for fans to follow. You can watch a report about the undertaking below.
The Convergence Trophy Truck by Greenspeed Research (GsR) will be the first biodiesel powered desert race vehicle. The Convergence TT is bringing together high performance engineering and renewable energy sources like none before it. According to GsR, this vehicle is poised to take the off-road race scene by storm due to the superior characteristics of its unique fuel. The vehicle is spec'd for 'SCORE-International' and 'Best In The Desert' sanctioned race events. The Convergence TT is the only vehicle of its kind that will not sacrifice fuel economy for extreme power.
Like GsR's World Land Speed record holding race truck, Convergence TT is being built to showcase and bring game changing, renewable energy technology to the forefront of public discussion and prove STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is a crucial component in making a better world. GsR Co-founder Dave Schenker states "Motorsports are an exciting arena and an excellent platform for demonstrating the core aspects of STEM, the importance and possibilities of clean biodiesel, and the positive global impact these things have."
To take full advantage of this race vehicle, GsR welcomes Paul Robinson to the team as Driver 1 of the Convergence TT. Paul has seen over 100 off-road start lines, including the famed Mint 400 and the Vegas to Reno. He brings many years of driving experience as a seasoned professional to not just the driver seat, but the project in general. Paul says he is excited to be driving the truck and for the opportunity to show off the benefits of biodiesel in endurance racing and says "the gasoline trophy truck drivers brag about getting 2.5 to 3 miles per gallon. We will be getting three times that! So that means, when they're pitting twice, and taking 5 minutes to pit, we've driven by them. Biodiesel is a game changer in the world of off road, FOR SURE."
The Convergence TT will not only push past the competition due to its fuel economy, it is built to out-handle the competition as well. GsR Co-founder Patrick Johnston, who has spent the last 12 months leading the design of this vehicle, says "my engineering focus of the Convergence TT was finding the balance between perfect handling and suspension travel. Our vehicle has ideal steering characteristics like zero bump steer at any steering position, while keeping massive suspension travel. I don't think anyone else can make that claim in the off-road race world."
With raw material and parts still arriving at the shop on an almost daily basis, the time has come to move from preparation to production. On September 15, 2015, GsR invites you to get involved and follow the fast paced build as the team works with a handful of Boise State University students to build the world's first bio-diesel powered trophy truck, with the goal of reaching the finish line at the famous SCORE-International Baja 1000 desert race. The build will be documented in "real-time" on the Greenspeed Research Facebook and Instagram pages, and will follow up with in-depth articles featuring the design and fabrication "challenges and triumphs" on gsrfab.com. Content to include details on the design approach in an open-source manner (but they will have to keep some things secret...) with a very specific level of detail. User submitted content is encouraged as well, with the intent of showcasing the skilled fabrication and design work of others.
To learn more about GsR and the Convergence TT, please visit greenspeedresearch.org or check out the GsR Facebook and Instagram pages.
About Greenspeed Research
Greenspeed Research (GsR) is an Idaho non-profit (501(c)(3) status) with a mission to create learning opportunities for the STEM disciplines and renewable energy sources. With the roots of a student club at Boise State University, and founders who are card-carrying graduates of the Boise State Venture College, the organization is now focused on breaking the barriers to STEM and disproving the myths and misconceptions of renewable energy sources.