The performance of the world’s only currently competing hybrid rally car, the Oaktec Honda Insight, continues to improve. The car has raced in 2 of the 3 Formula 1000 rallies this season and has won Class A in both.
At the Roskirk Stages at the 3 Sisters circuit on March 10th the car finished 1st in Class A, 6th in F1000 and 35th overall from a field of 55 rally cars of all classes. The team was within one second of a fastest F1000 stage time and won the Drive of the Day award.
On the 28th May the car competed in the Millbrook National Rally, the first event for the Insight in Southern England. Even though the Honda Hybrid is less than 1000cc, it was classified together with cars up to 1400cc. The car again beat off stiff competition in class A and was very competitive against the class B cars and the 1400s. The Insight ran faultlessly to record 7th out of 17 cars in the 1400cc class and a very satisfactory 27th overall from a field numbering 54 cars including World Rally Cars and 300bhp Tarmac Specials.
The Oaktec team now lies 1st in F1000 class A, and 6th overall in the championship, but at Millbrook it beat the cars that are in first and second place in the overall standings.
The Oaktec team has carried out a series of modifications to the Insight, centered around gaining power from the hybrid system through tuning the MIMA control unit, losing weight and developing the suspension. The Honda Insight is now significantly quicker than at the close of 2006.
Despite being used as it was never intended, the Insight is now gaining real credibility for its speed and faultless reliability, and is gaining a reputation as a giant killer, with driver Paul Andrews being quoted as saying it’s “claiming some big scalps along the way!”
The car still retains its full ‘green credentials’ in terms of its ultra low emissions and spectacular fuel economy in normal use, but it just keeps getting faster!
The next big news is that a new hybrid car arrives soon for the team.
Another Win for Oaktec Honda hybrid – March 2009 report from Roskirk Stages