Front running British Touring Car Championship outfit Team AON have been out testing an LPG engine as the team evaluates the change to LPG over petrol for the 2010 campaign.
Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole were both present at the test, which happened at the Guarix circuit in Spain. Chilton was at the wheel of the Arena Motorsport run Focus ST, which had the test Liquid Petroleum Gas engine in it, while Onslow-Cole, who is expected to rejoin the team for the 2010 season, tested the petrol engine, concentrating on the rear end modifications.
The team have already confirmed they are seriously evaluating a switch to the LPG fuel, with their engine development partner, Mountune Racing. Team Principle Mike Earle said about the possible switch: “Obviously we're always looking for anything which could provide us with a competitive edge. Also in these economically difficult times we have to consider any commercial benefits as well.
“In both of these areas LPG may be an option for us, but its early days in our evaluation process. An engine has been running on the dyno, but this is the first time we've tried it in the car. After running it for two days the results have been encouraging, but not conclusive.”
The LPG Powered car will be run alongside the petrol car again in the UK in 2 weeks time.
For Tom Onslow-Cole, the 22 year old from New Malden in Surrey, the Spanish test signalled his first time back in the Focus since the Brands Hatch finale back in October, and was surprised at the amount of developments that the car had compared to Brands Hatch. Tom explained the changes on the car: “The car was good at the end of last season, but now it's incredible. I can't believe how much work the team has done over the winter. All the development has not only made the Focus quicker, the way it handles now is a race driver's dream and that makes it great fun.”
The 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship kicks off at Thruxton, Hampshire on the 3rd and 4th April.