Sector: CNG

Ecomotori off to good start

Alternative fuels are slowly finding their way into mainstream motorsport, but they do have their own series, like the FIA Alternative Energy World Cup or the Italian Alternative Energy Championship. As a part of the latter the Eco Snow Trophy was held recently and a methane-powered Abarth 500 took the victory.
Abarth 500 CNG by Ecomotori Racing Team© Ecomotori Racing TeamIf Abarth officially returned to rallies (as a factory team), would they also choose a CNG-powered car?

The event was held on January 30, 2015, on the snowy slopes of the Primiero Valley in North Italy. The victorious car, essentially a spiced-up Fiat 500, was entered by Ecomotori Racing Team and featured a CNG system being a combination of components produced and provided by Cavagna Group and Bigas. The former company delivered compressed methane tanks with fittings and all applicable accessories, the latter one – the ECU and the hardware fitted inside the engine bay, including the pressure regulator and injectors.

Even though the team won rather easily, victory wasn't all that obvious from the very beginning. Driving under pressure from five rivaling teams, Ecomotori's Ventura/Guerrini driver/co-driver duo managed to secure the second spot overall after day one, climbing to leadership the day after. Once the Abarth was in the lead, it wouldn't give it away and so the team won their first rally of the 2015 season. Nice, don't you think?

Actually, it may even be a bit too nice – if you win your first attempt, your motivation may drop in later rounds. It has happened in all kinds of sports before, but hopefully it won't happen to Ecomotori and at the end of the season they'll manage to leave hybrids and EV's behind to win the championship. Unless an LPG-powered contender comes along – then we'll be truly torn apart, not knowing whom to support more. Meanwhile, we wish ourselves and all fans of gaseous fuels there would be more rally cars running on LPG and CNG in various events, including WRC ones.


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Robert Markowski
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