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Oklahoma State University

OSU CNG race car completes 24 hours at Hallett

Wed, June 29, 2011

John Cook with the U.S. Postal Service was among the volunteer drivers of the OSU race car during a record-breaking 24-hour event.Oklahoma State University racing enthusiasts have set a record by running their natural gas-fueled formula race car 328 laps in a 24-hour period at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Oklahoma. Hallett is a 1.8 mile, 10 turn road racing course between Tulsa and Stillwater.

"This has never been done before, period. This sets the world record for longest distance traveled, more than 590 miles, by a Formula SAE racing car of any type, by an FSAE car fueled by CNG, or a CNG race car of any kind. It has been a great success for our team, for OSU, and for Oklahoma," said Jim Beckstrom, adviser for OKstate Racing, the OSU student race car team.

The car itself, believed to be the first CNG-fueled collegiate race car in the U.S., was recently converted to run on natural gas with funding and assistance from Tulsa Gas Technologies. TGT provided the fuel and fuel system for the car's 24-hour run at Hallett.

“While the car experienced several mechanical failures that we had to address to keep it running, none of them were related to the engine or fuel system, which was still running strong on compressed natural gas at the end,” said Beckstrom, who noted the team weathered two drive chain breaks among the mechanical difficulties with repairs accounting for six hours of downtime. 

“The very last lap of the 24 hour period was the third fastest average lap overall at almost 65 miles per hour, which is a real testament to the quality and versatility of natural gas as a high performance, high quality transportation fuel,” he added.

Volunteer drivers for the 24-hour event included students and employees from OSU, the U.S. Postal Service, Tulsa Gas Technologies, and Dewberry.

As he was leaving the track after the event, Beckstrom promised, “The team is ready to do it again. We now look forward to smashing our own world records.”

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgkAGFZ26NI