Going Green; Chili Pepper Racing Brings Diesel Power to SPEED World Challenge
Ooltewah, Tenn. (Feb. 28, 2007) - As the motorsports industry becomes increasingly concerned with cleaner fuel sources, one SPEED World Challenge team has put its money where its mouth is to lead the charge for a production-based diesel race car.
Jim Osborn of Ooltewah, Tenn., and Chili Pepper racing will campaign a Volkswagen Jetta TDI in the 2007 SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship, marking what is believed to be the first production-based diesel car to race in a professional U.S.-based road racing series.
"Chili Pepper Racing has had a strong presence in the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series since 2002," SCCA Pro Racing President Bob Wildberger said. "This year we have an opportunity to research and utilize diesel as a Performance Alternative Fuel with Chili Pepper Racing.
"In the past, diesel has been considered a heavy duty fuel used in industrial applications and over the road in heavy trucks, but diesel fuel is finding its way into motorsports. We feel it is important to support the development of racing with diesel and other alternative fuels. The technology that is being developed with Chili Pepper Racing's production-based turbo diesel touring cars will give our series valuable information. This will mark the first professional road racing series to approve and race production-based diesel race cars in the USA."
Osborn's diesel entry in the 2007 SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship is poised to set the auto industry abuzz, showing consumers the advancements in diesel technology and the real-life benefits of motorsports research and development. The remainder of the SCCA SPEED Touring Car Championship vehicles run on Sunoco unleaded fuel.
"Words can't describe how excited we are about this project," Osborn said. "Alternative fuels have been getting a lot of media attention lately and to bring a diesel car to SPEED World Challenge is a great stage to showcase how far diesel has come and encourage its use."
The No. 24 Chili Pepper Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI hits the track at the SPEED World Challenge season opener at Sebring, March 14-16. Follow the team's progress at www.chilipepperracing.org or www.world-challenge.com