Alfa Romeo has taken top honours at this past weekend?s WPS Bathurst 12 Hour race, with the Alfa Romeo 159 JTD 2.4 storming to victory in the large diesel category, and the Alfa Romeo 147 JTD 1.9 winning the small diesel category.
Driven to victory by Kean Booker, Rocco Rinaldo and David Stone, the Alfa Romeo 159 JTD 2.4 clocked up 1300km in 208 laps of the demanding Bathurst track.
David Filipetto, Nathan Gotch and Wayne Vinckx covered nearly 1000km in 156 laps in the Alfa 147 JTD 1.9.
Fuel economy was a strong point ? as to be expected from a diesel engine ? with the Alfa Romeo 159 averaging 17.1l/100km and the Alfa Romeo 147 an amazing 13.2l/100km.
Alfa Romeo reports that David Stone drove the Alfa 159 for nearly three hours on one tank without the fuel light rearing its head, while some petrol engined entrants had stopped as often as twice for fuel in the same time period.
The Alfa Romeo 159 was a standard roadgoing model with few modifications, which gave it a chance to demonstrate the safety and strength of its chassis.
"In the middle of the race there were lots of accidents and these left a lot of debris on the track," driver Kean Booker explains.
"I was coming down Conrod straight in excess of 210 kmh when some of this debris sliced through the front tyre just I was turning into the Chase, the fastest corner on the track.
The tyre disintegrated, but thanks to the amazing chassis in the 159, not only was I able to avoid an accident, I managed to get the car back to the pits where out technicians had me back on the track in minutes.
Had it not been for this, we would have also done the one race on one set of tyres, as we changed the tyres only as a precaution after the debris problem!"
No extra oil was used during the race, and the car ran on its standard road-going brakes.
Underscoring the impressive diesel fuel economy and how well the car dealt with the task, the drivers were even using the air conditioning to 'keep their cool' while racing.
The Alfa 147 JTD also won its class in last year?s event, while in 2007 the 159 JTD took victory in its class as well.