Gasco has entered three vehicles converted to operate on compressed natural gas (CNG) in the 2011 Dakar Rally. They are entered in the T-1 category, for alternative fuelled vehicles, and are the only vehicles entered in this category. Nevertheless, Gasco intends by its participation to demonstrate the effectiveness of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. The company has entered two Toyota FJ Cruisers (4000 cc V6 engine and 245 hp – Teams 351 and 401) and a Toyota Prado (4,000 cc V6 engine and 245 hp – Team 354).
Both vehicles are bi-fuel, capable of running on CNG or gasoline, with a combined fuel range of 900 kms. They have been modified to meet FIA regulations for cross-country driving, fitted with roll cages, fire extinguisher systems and approved seat belts. Additionally both have been fitted with reinforced suspension and shock absorbers, with some of the additional weight being offset by panels made of fiberglass and carbon fiber.
Starting 1st January, the rally is 16 days and more than 9500 kms long, including 5,000 kms of racing, spread over 13 stages.
Item primarily compiled using information from Gasco press releases.
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