Steane Klose | Jun 6, 2007

While we do not necessarily believe that Ethanol is the answer to the automotive world’s dependence on oil it is certainly nice to know that there is a renewable alternative to petrol that doesn’t involve ho-hum performance or the low-hum of electric engines.

Aston Martin’s DBRS9 racer has just won the latest round of the British GT Championship at Snetterton and it achieved this while running on bio-ethanol. The DBRS9 was driven by Paul Drayson (apparently he is a Lord…we thought they were extinct) and Jonny Cocker and is run by Barwell Motorsport.

Lord Drayson said: “This is not a one off, the car has been competitive all season, taking two pole positions and it now leads the championship. It goes to prove that running a car on bio-fuel doesn’t mean any compromise in performance. I hope we can get this message across to motorists everywhere.”

The Aston Martin DBRS9 was developed by the Aston Martin Racing team which is run of course by Prodrive, who seem to have their fingers in more interesting automotive pies than any other group these days.

Based on the Aston Martin DB9 road car the DBRS9 is modified for racing and is similar in concept to a Porsche 997 Cup car in that it is sold to race as opposed to being a road car that doesn’t mind the track from time to time. Modifications include a sequential racing gearbox and composite bodywork to reduce weight.

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The DBRS9 of Lord Drayson uses the standard DB9’s 6.0-litre V12 with a modified fuel system and recalibrated ECU to allow it to run on a bio-ethanol diet, which it obviously does rather well.

It is great to see motorsport considering alternative 'greener' fuels. Both Audi and Peugeot are running diesel powered cars in this years LeMans, F1 is investigating a switch from petrol to diesel power and Aston Martin are winning races with a few ears of corn and some banana skins. Which begs the question in Australia…what’s going on at V8 Supercar headquarters?

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