The HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship has revealed that testing of new technology that will be used to test CO2 emissions during the 2009 season has reached an advantaged stage.
The series will introduce new regulations next season which will see it push down the emissions of competing cars to bring them in-line with the respective road going models.
As a result, the Vectra VXR that took Fabrizio Giovanardi to his second successive drivers' title headed to the headquarters of Land Rover at Solihull where it was connected to specialist data-logging equipment to measure its emissions.
"This latest test was extremely positive,” BTCC series director Alan Gow said. “We have now successfully developed a specific drive cycle for the performance envelope that a BTCC car works in. In other words, the rolling road test we'd put a BTCC car through now gives us a meaningful reading when comparing their CO2 emissions to those of showroom equivalents.
"Until this test we had not been able to use a current S2000 car because of obvious implications on engine mileage. Measuring the CO2 emission level of the BTCC title-winning race car as part of our research programme, plus of course Vauxhall's participation in endorsing the project, is highly significant."
Energy Efficient Motor Sport is working alongside the BTCC to improve efficiency – having already had an involvement through the bio-fuelled entries from a number of teams in recent years – and senior project consultant Marc de Jong said he felt it was good to see a leading series taking the lead.
"The BTCC has done a fantastic job of bringing social and political pressures to bear on modern-day motor sport and at the highest level,” he said. “It is hugely important that Britain's highest-profile championship - with an endorsement from the reigning champion team - has taken this lead.
"At EEMS we've had a growing number of enquiries from teams looking to proceed with their own energy efficient initiatives. The BTCC is always of great interest to them because of its pro-active lead. It stimulates people to think differently."