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Hybrid Race Car?

Written by Bryan Johannsen

Hybrid Race CarYou couldn't be blamed if the last thing you think of when considering the performance of the average hybrid sedan is a race car. This past Sunday (5/17/09), Corsa Motorsports debuted the Ginetta-Zytek 09HS hybrid prototype in the American Le Mans Series' P1 class at the Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park.

Corsa GZ09HS Hybrid Electric Race Car

Panoz Q9The Zytek Group is a manufacturer of hybrid and pure electric vehicles and they have been involved in motorsports since the company's founding in 1981. In 1998 Zytek was contracted by Panoz to develop the Q9, a hybrid version of the Panoz GTR1. The car failed to qualify for the 24 hour race at Le Mans but ran second in class at Petit Le Mans the same year. Since then there have a been a few other hybrid power plants in racing but no serious, top level effort happened again until this year.

Zytek is using the GZ09HS as a development platform for it's battery technology in their road cars. The ALMS has always been a series at the forefront of automotive technology and fuel efficiencies and environmental responsibility have both been themes the past few seasons. E10, E85 and clean diesel are common in cars on the grid now and if the GZ09HS can show good results you can bet on seeing more hybrids on the track in the copycat world of motorsports.

At the Utah Grand Prix the Corsa Ginetta-Zytek 09HS finished 13th overall and 4th in the P1 class, running 87 laps in 2 hours and 46 minutes. It's best lap time on the 3.048 mile road course was 1:37.311.

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