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CNG Race Car

Value Added: Not only is CNG a cleaner burning fuel, it’s also a very efficient fuel, which is why a group of OSU researchers decided to put it to the test on the race track.
CNG Race Car

CNG Racing Car

Show Dates

Show 1204: Value Added - CNG Race Car

Air date: January 22, 2012

 

Transcript

Rob: Well, not only is CNG a cleaner burning fuel, it’s also a very efficient fuel, which is why a group of OSU researchers decided to put it to the test on the race track. Joining me now is our Andy Barth.

Andy: That’s right, Rob. Students at OSU are making history while creating a household name for CNG. A group of engineering students build the race cars and compete with them across the country. And this year they went all natural.

Andy: In the early morning hours at Hallet Raceway, the journey to a world record is about to be set. And it all traces back to a group of students and their adviser.

Jim Beckstrom: Now, last year we raced ethanol. This year we’re racing CNG.

Andy: Jim Beckstrom is the student adviser and says the world record they’re after is running a CNG race car for 24 hours straight.

Jim Beckstrom: CNG is actually not a known racing fuel right now, and we’re actually trying to change that. We think that the racing industry and the racing program in general is a great opportunity to develop CNG.

Andy: And while it runs cleaner, it doesn’t give up any power on the track.

Jim Beckstrom: You hear the car out here. It’s screaming, OK? We’re getting great performance from the fuel in this car so it’s a good performance fuel, it’s low cost, it’s clean, and it’s great for Oklahoma.

Andy: And Beckstrom says they owe a lot to the State Department of CareerTech.

Jim Beckstrom: CareerTech has been wonderful for us. CareerTech in Drumright has been supporting us and allowing us to test our cars down there at their facility, which has been a godsend.

Andy: And one of the test drivers is OSU student Chris Foote. And he says driving this car can be calming.

Chris Foote: In a weird way, kind of peaceful. But the car feels great. Everything’s predictable so you just kind of relax and have fun out there.

Andy: But setting a world record is no walk in the park.

Chris Foote: It’s a huge challenge to do 24 hours. I’m a big fan of a lot of motorsports and I know that teams with millions of dollars and lots of people can’t do it. So we’ll have accomplished something pretty amazing, if we get through this.

Andy: That they did, and they were able to cross the finish line 24 hours later.

Rob: And even for engineers, I guess it’s no small feat to be able to not only build the race car but keep it running for 24 hours.

Andy: That’s right, Rob. And in those 24 hours they had their fair share of difficulties. In the middle of the track, they threw a drive chain, and to start things off they had to drive in the middle of a major downpour, but they still pushed through.

Rob: All right. Thank you so much, Andy. Neat story.