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We told you about Chili Pepper Racing entering a Volkswagen Jetta TDI in the Speed World Challenge Touring Car championship this year. The car started its first race Friday at Sebring but unfortunately dropped out after only 2 laps. Press reports say the biodiesel-powered car, driven by Jim Osborn, suffered mechanical problems. Next race is May 17-19 in Utah.

We've seen diesel-powered race cars in LeMans and Dakar but rarely in the U.S. That is, until Chili Pepper Racing hits the track in its Volkswagen Jetty TDI. The team thinks its the first production-based diesel car to race in a professional road racing series in this country. We do know of numerous drag racers running diesels, and Banks Engineering has a purpose-built truck it took the track; but no production vehicles come to mind.

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