Competitors in the BRSCC F3 Cardinus Championship are set to welcome a newcomer to the starting grid in the 2009 season finale at Brands Hatch on 17 October - a car made partly from carrots and that runs on chocolate and stale wine.

Just how the 22 regular drivers will react to their new rival remains to be seen, but the team behind the 'WorldFirst' initiative are deadly serious about their new endeavour, and to that end the car will be capable of reaching a top speed of almost 130mph and accelerating from 0-60mph in a scant 2.5 seconds.

The Warwick University conceived machine has been designed to be completely green, with recycled rubbish used for the carbon fibre bodywork - from aviation industry scrap and plastic soft drinks bottles to a steering wheel composed of juiced carrot waste - and a 230bhp, recycled aluminium diesel engine that uses only biofuel, constituted by chocolate waste and fermented wine dregs amongst other things.

The vegetable-based steering wheel came about following a trip to Scotland to a company that produces fishing rods from glued-together carrot fibres, and WorldFirst project leader Dr Kerry Kirwan hopes the car can instil in observers the message that motor racing and environmental awareness need not be entirely exclusive of one another.

"We'll be disappointed if it doesn't do well," Dr Kirwan is quoted as having said by the Press Association. "We believe this is the greenest car in its class. It's the first car of its kind built from waste material, recycled material and natural materials, but it has the same performance levels and looks just like a Formula 3 racing car.

"We hope to reach out to future scientists and engineers and give them something they can get excited about and relate to."

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