I traveled to the 2015 Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International Raceway with Factory Five crew members Jim Schenck and Kyle Barros to provide support to an exciting team from West Philly High School. Instructor Simon Hauger and his kids at West Philly High School built a Factory Five 818 powered by a turbo-diesel engine running on doughnut oil!
This team has competed in two previous Green Grand Prix’s and was also a finalist in the Progressive Insurance X-Prize competition with a Factory Five GTM.
This year’s format includes rally style lap times that reward drive consistency, and a strict measurement of fuel to determine mileage. The West Philly Team entered their car in the non-hybrid class. The team earned 2nd place in the Non-Hybrid Class and “Best in Class” for consistency in the lap/time metric. The Factory Five 818 powered by a modified Volkswagen TDI engine producing 180 HP and 290 lb.-ft. of torque (!) delivered a jaw-dropping 110 MPG at an average speed of 45 MPH on the track! Simon predicts this car would deliver between 70-75 MPG in street use! At 1,800 lbs. and with 180 HP (and more importantly 290 lb.-ft. of torque!), the car is still very, very fast.
We will have more details on the car and the exciting day on the track. Here are some photos from the event. Note: The Factory Five 818 shown here has the first prototype hard top. The modified 818C will debut at our summer Open House in June.
Simon Hauger (second from left) and his students from West Philly High School who built the car.
Simon and his kids brought the car from their school shop in Philadelphia.
Factory Five President Dave Smith spent the first track session with Simon working to determine the most efficient line around the track and rally time points.
Simon successfully completed 30 of 31 laps within the required time period.
Factory Five Racing molding manager Kyle Barros (right) and Director of R&D Jim Schenck (left) were on hand to see how the new hard top would perform.
Factory Five President Dave Smith, Director of R&D Jim Schenck, and Molding Manager Kyle Barros.
Simon Hauger did extensive street driving with the car before heading to Watkins Glen.
After two hours of driving, the team measures out how much bio-diesel fuel was consumed.
Here’s a cool fact: Simon drove for two hours at an average speed of 45 MPH and consumed less than 1 gallon of diesel fuel!
Simon calculates the final miles per gallon number – 110 MPG!
Simon was interviewed by a local TV station about his car and team’s effort.
The kids provided pit support and spectators all in one.
Congratulations to the entire West Philly High School team and special thanks to Ann Cohen for photography work and support!