Team Aon entered the 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship running a pair of Ford Focus ST's powered by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Propane or LPG is a clean-burning fossil fuel that can be used to power internal combustion engines. LPG fueled vehicles produce fewer toxic and smog-forming air pollutants. LPG is usually less expensive than gasoline too, and the question of whether it can be competitive in a racing environment has been answered by Team Aon.
LPG fueled vehicles not only produce fewer toxic and smog-forming air pollutants, they are furiously competitive on a racetrack, as Team Aon continues to prove each race weekend.
The decision to run the alternative fuel follows an extensive evaluation program in conjunction with the team's engine development partner, Mountune Racing and the leading LPG supplier in the United Kingdom, Calor. Chris Taylor, Autogas Development Manager at Calor says he is excited by this unique opportunity, which uses brand new LPG technology.
"The launch of the first competitive LPG car specially developed to suit a motorsport environment is testament to the hard work that has gone into improving performance for autogas vehicles," commented Taylor.
"We've been delighted at its performance in testing so far. In a climate where motorsports is under intense scrutiny for its contribution to carbon emissions, it's never been a better time to show how LPG, as a greener alternative fuel can help to power the sport with a reduced environmental footprint. And the best thing is that similar technology can be applied to the majority of petrol vehicles - on and off the track."
For 2010 Team Aon will retain drivers Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole. Both drivers performed well in the team's first year with the Ford Focus series last season.
Team Aon secured its fourth pole in as many race weekends for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship last weekend at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire, with Tom Chilton completing the fastest lap around the 2.1 mile track in 1:24.629.
Chilton led the way in first Free Practice, with a best time of 1:25.685, which he improved upon for qualifying, despite going off early on in the 30-minute session. Having returned to the pits, the team turned the car around quickly enough for Chilton to get back on track and set pole position.
"Maximum points for trying hard today I think. I locked up but got out of it just in time. This is the closest qualifying of the year so far and I'm on pole; some of it is down to luck definitely, but I'm still chuffed to be back at the top," said Chilton.
With both Chilton and Onslow-Cole having secured victories this season, the team now sits in third place in the Teams Championship with 119 points; just 34 points from the lead. The 2.25 mile Croft track is known for its demanding mix of tight corners and long straights, which should suit the LPG powered Ford Focus well.
"Croft is a great track and the atmosphere there tends to be very special with strong crowds coming to support the series," said Team Principal Mike Earle. "Neither of our drivers have scored a victory at this circuit before and that is certainly something we're looking to change. Both of them are looking forward to the weekend and to continue this season's success rate." K&N supplies Team Aon with their Apollo Air Induction System, which consists of an outside shell with an air filter housed inside.
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