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Aon considers LPG switch

Team Aon could move to LPG power for the 2010 BTCC season if test in Spain proves to be a success
Team Aon has confirmed that it is evaluating the possibility of switching to LPG power for the 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The Arena-run outfit will test its Ford Focus at the Guadix circuit in Spain early next month with the latest specification Ford Duratec petrol engine, but will also try out LPG ahead of a possible switch for the year ahead.

“We've considered an alternative fuel source and are currently evaluating a switch to LPG to see if there are possibilities for us,” team boss Mike Earle said. “Given the increasing awareness of environmental issues, which motorsport in general needs to address, and the commercial opportunities that may exist, it makes sense for us to investigate the possibilities. It's certainly something we would be interested in.”

The team suffered a range of engine related issues early on in 2009 before a switch of engine builder saw a notable upturn in performance as the year wore on.

With the team continuing to work hard on developing the car, Earle added that he was confident of fighting for victories when the 2010 campaign gets underway.

“We're making improvements all the time to all areas of the car,” he said. “Although we were competitive by the end of last season, Tom Chilton took pole position and very nearly got our first win at Brands Hatch, that was against cars carrying ballast which we didn't have to. So we know there is more needed. The development continued at the end of the season and the new parts we were able to test before Christmas gave us some gains and there's definitely more to come.

“Our aim is to start this season where we finished the last one – competing for race wins and if we can achieve that consistently, then the championship becomes a possibility.”


Tagged as: Ford Focus , Tom Chilton , Team Aon , LPG

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worlds gone mad` - Unregistered

January 15, 2010 5:58 PM

why would they consider this, the car was really making progress at the end of 09, a change now is most likely to have a negative effect. Surely they would be better to fettle the existing car into a consistent front runner and develop the LPG in the background. or am i totally mad!?

Paul Buckland

January 15, 2010 5:25 PM

I didn't think they had re-fuelling pit stops in BTCC, do they ? My only thought is that the fuel tank would need to be a pressurised type, so would be a lot heavier than a conventional tank, and there is the crash worthiness to consider too. They may be able to run a slightly lighter car to make up for the weight difference, but it depends where they can site the heavy fuel tank, and it could affect the centre of gravity. Still, worth looking into I suppose.



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