The world’s greenest race car has been banned from racing—for being too fast. God forbid. Like the great race cars of history, kneecapped for being too dominant, the Oaktec Honda Insight joins the Porsche 917 and Brabham BT46 as one of the quick yet misunderstood motorsport legends.
Developed for Formula 1000 rallying, the hybrid Insight race car was tuned to get 100mpg when pushed slowly, and 82mpg at a quicker pace. Formula 1000 emphasizes mileage as well as speed, and the Insight was regularly beating the next-best car, a diesel, by over 17mpg. Overall, it has dominated the current 2011 series with two wins and a second place in just the first three rounds. This, competitors whined, was an unfair advantage.
“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,” said Paul Andrews, Oaktec boss. “But I fully understand the perspective of the organisers and their wish not to spoil the sport for the other drivers. It’s a shame it had to happen mid-season but it’s the risk you face in going against the grain and trying something radical. If it fails, no one notices; if it’s successful, you have an unfair advantage.”
The team is now looking to race in a class above, where the competition hopefully won’t be so quick to cry foul.