Winning Range Rover Rally Car uses Engine Oil made from Plants

This Range Rover may not look like the greenest car on the planet – and it probably isn’t – however it is green in one very unique way – it uses engine oil made from plants.

There is no other vehicle competing in motorsport that uses bio-engine oil – and very few other vehicles at all in fact – with the exception of the tractors at The Eden Project. And to prove that this eco-friendly oil works, the 3.9 litre Range Rover Classic won its class this year.

The vehicle is run by Laurie Boyle, a lecturer in motorsports at Myerscough College, navigated by Alison Hurst, and supported by Myerscough staff, students and motorsport club members. Green-Car-Guide took a trip around a stage in the car at its most recent event, the Sweet Lamb round of the Matador Tyres MSA British Off Road Championship in Mid-Wales. By the end of the day the off-road stage looked as though a division of the British Army’s tanks had been exercising on it, and it was impressive to see how the ex-Police Range Rover coped with the huge ruts and bumps, and ultimately it won the Production Class.

Myerscough is testing the Fuchs Silkolene range of lubricants and oils in motorsport competition on the College’s fleet of racing and rally cars. Fuchs Silkolene supplies a range of lubricants for use with Myerscough’s Formula Fords, Mk 1 and Mk 2 Escorts and for the British Off-road Championships.

The Fuchs ‘PLANTO’ engine oil is manufactured by Fuchs Lubricants, seen as the world leader in biodegradable lubricant technology. Fuchs has been working developing the environmentally-friendly PLANTO range since the late 1970’s.

The range of PLANTO lubricants is based on either natural harvestable raw materials, such as rapeseed and sunflower oil or synthetic ester alternatives, also derived from crops. Fuchs says that the technical performance of their PLANTO products can actually be better than those of conventional mineral oil based lubricants, offering users numerous benefits such longer life at elevated temperatures, enhanced wear protection and reduced power consumption on equipment.

The Eden Project worked with Fuchs Lubricants (UK) on a project that used only PLANTO crop based lubricants for the construction equipment used for its new Education Resource Centre and it was during this project that significant benefits in wear reduction were identified when using renewable crop based resources.

The Range Rover has recently been on display at Manchester Science Museum for a fortnight before moving to the Royal Society for Chemistry Exhibition at Burnley Football Club, part of their Fuelling the Future Exhibition week www.rsc.org/chemistryweek. It’s planned to run the car on E85 ethanol in the future.

Myerscough College offers a range of courses in Motorsports from entry to degree level and is excellently equipped with 7 motorsport workshops and a fleet of racing cars with the latest motor vehicle technology. For more information visit www.myerscough.ac.uk