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Triple Eight Race Engineering (UK) have announced that it will develop its business plans into the sport of rallying with the launch of a turbo diesel-powered Vauxhall Astra, the Astra RallyD.


Based on the FIA homologated Astra Sport Hatch 1.9 CDTi, the RallyD is designed to Group N regulations with a 200 BHP engine. The project has the support of both Vauxhall and Opel and, in line with their environmental considerations, the Rally D is very fuel efficient and fitted with an exhaust particle filter to reduce emissions.


The first two RallyDs are currently being built at Triple Eight's Banbury headquarters for the launch partner Thurlby Motors, who is helping with the development process. The 2007 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship has now launched the new Diesel Cup, for which the RallyD is eligible.


"This is an extremely exciting new venture for us at a time when rallying, and alternative fuelled Motorsport in general, is showing strong growth," stated Triple Eight MD Ian Harrison. "We have proven heritage in designing, building and racing winning cars and it is this experience that we are now applying to the world of rallying."


Stuart Harris of Vauxhall Motors added: "Whilst now a works Vauxhall programme, we fully support this independent venture into rallying with the Astra Sport Hatch Diesel at an exciting time for Diesel and alternative vehicle fuels."

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