Ethanol Fuelled Courage LC75s For Paul Belmondo Racing
Plans for the 2007 season for Paul Belmondo Racing are coming together
rapidly – and confirmed with the announcement today by the
The French team will become the first European customer
for the Courage LC75 (after the delivery of what is currently a
single car order (with the possibility of a second chassis to come)
for the ALMS Acura engine programme.
The other big news is that the Belmondo cars will
be fuelled with E85 bio ethanol, with the oldest of the team’s
three Courage C65 chassis (No 6) due to be converted as a test car
There is still plenty up in the air for the programme
however. A decision is imminent on engine choice, which is between
a normally aspirated V8 (presumed to be Mechachrome) and a turbocharged
4 (presumed to be AER). Decisions are also due imminently from both
Gulf and Ford on continued backing for the effort, with Paul Belmondo
confident that both will remain on board.
The bio-ethanol / Courage LC75 programme is currently
envisaged as a three year project, an entirely in-house affair with
no involvement from Nasamax, the only other team which have so far
had Le Mans experience with bio-ethanol.
On the issue of whether the decision was motivated
by politics, philosophy, or personal or commercial motivation, Belmondo
was very specific.
“The main motivation is commercial but there
is a strong element of personal conviction too. Motorsport is changing
and this place is a perfect place to prove this technology for both
speed and endurance.”