Since time immemorial, we always thought that the whole point of auto racing was to determine which of the competing cars is the fastest among the lot. That simple premise has been set in stone since the olden days so we figure that it wouldn’t change anytime soon. But banning a car from competition because its "too fast" against its competitors? That doesn’t sit too well with us.
The car we’re talking about is the Oaktec Honda Insight Hybrid Rally Car, a gas-electric eco sports car that competes - or was supposed to compete - in the Formula 1000 rally championship. The only problem was that its rivals lodged a complaint for its withdrawal because the car was too fast for them.
Turns out, the problem stems from its tuned gas-electric hybrid system, which easily achieves 100 mph when driven at cruise control and its unique Bosch-sourced CVT automatic transmission. Furthermore, the system allows the car to compete while running at 82 mph, a staggering number considering that the second best car returns only 65 mph.
Full story after the jump.
The Insight Hybrid’s dominance has been on display after the first three rounds of the series with two wins and one runner-up finish. But to ask it to withdraw because its been smoking the rest of the field?
Oaktec chief Paul Andrews was a little more diplomatic after finding out that their team wasn’t welcome to race in Formula 1000 anymore despite spending years of their time in developing the car.
“It was a bit of a shock when I got the call as after six years of hard work we finally had our chance for a bit of glory," he said.
"But I fully understand the perspective of the organizers and their wish not to spoil the sport for the other drivers. Formula 1000 is a great championship and they were really supportive by allowing us to compete with these new hybrid technologies in their rallies and we always agreed that if we had a clear advantage we would step aside. It’s a shame it had to happen mid-season, but it’s the risk you face in going against the grain and trying something radical. If it fails, no one notices; if it’s successful, you have an unfair advantage. I think our project has made people realize that there is a real future for genuinely green technologies in motorsport and other leisure activities.”
Good for you for taking the high road, sir.
In any event, the Oaktec Honda Insight Rally Car can still compete, albeit in a different level. If you’re itching to watch the car in action, it’s going to be competing at the Green-Car-Guide Live! at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in Cheshire from June 15-17, 2011.