What happens if a racing team comes up with a car that has a clear advantage over the competition? They would clean up in awards and championships, right? Well, not exactly. The OakTec team’s Honda Insight hybrid rally car from Lancaster, England, has discovered that having a distinct advantage over their Formula 1000 rally championship competition doesn’t result in so much glory as it does in being asked to find a bigger sandbox to play in.
The request for the 100-mpg Insight to compete in higher classes was put in recently by race organizers, who were concerned that the tuned hybrid Insight was so much faster than the competition that it had gained a 19-point lead in three rallies. OakTec boss Paul Andrews said of the move, “It was a bit of a shock when I got the call as after six years of hard work we finally had our chance for a bit of glory. But I fully understand the perspective of the organizers and their wish not to spoil the sport for the other drivers. Formula 1000 is a great championship and they were really supportive by allowing us to compete with these new hybrid technologies in their rallies and we always agreed that if we had a clear advantage we would step aside…. I think our project has made people realize that there is a real future for genuinely green technologies in motorsport and other leisure activities.”