Neste Races Across America on One Tank

Joanna Schroeder

History was made over the past two weeks as X-Games and Rallycross champion Tanner Foust crossed the finish line in Santa Monica, California after traveling 2,507 miles at an average speed of 68 miles per gallon using only 37.6 gallons, or one tank, of NEXBTL renewable diesel fuel. The event was sponsored by Neste, the producer of the NEXBTL renewable fuel along with CLP Motorsports. Foust drove across the U.s. in a CLP Motorsports’ Superlite Coupe.

Tanner Foust and Pat O'Keefe bring the CLP Motorsports' SLC race car across the finish line next to the beach in Santa Monica, CA, after completing a 2,507-mile cross-country drive on one tank of Neste NEXBTL renewable diesel. (PRNewsFoto/Neste)

Tanner Foust and Pat O’Keefe bring the CLP Motorsports’ SLC race car across the finish line next to the beach in Santa Monica, CA, after completing a 2,507-mile cross-country drive on one tank of Neste NEXBTL renewable diesel. (PRNewsFoto/Neste)

This first of a kind event was conceived by Pat O’Keefe, CEO and president of CLP Motor sports, vice president at Golden Gate Petroleum and a keen racing car driver and enthusiast. Golden Gate started selling NEXBTL renewable diesel to its fleet customers the San Francisco area in 2013.

“What a great opportunity to be able to partner with Neste on this project so that we can help bring awareness to the public about this amazing fuel – NEXBTL renewable diesel,” said O’Keefe. “We will continue to promote this great fuel through our fleet-servicing and retail stations and of course through our racing.”

Foust was also impressed with the fuel. “When it comes to low emissions in racing or driving on the street, good quality fuel is the key. With renewable diesel you will get more power, cleaner burning and it’s renewable. Those things typically don’t mix. That’s why I think Neste’s NEXBTL renewable diesel is a very special product.”

He continued, “When I saw the race car and the concept, I saw the opportunity to balance my own carbon footprint as I burn tires for a living. I really think Neste will take over here. Foust is a four-time X-Games gold medal winner, three-time U.S. Rallycross champion and two-time Formula Drift and Global RallyCross champion, at the finish line.

In addition to Tanner Foust and Pat O’Keefe, Luke Lonberger, CLP Motorsports General Manager and experienced motorsports driver, and Michael von Disterlo, CLP Motorsports’ Lead Mechanic, also drove during this record-breaking adventure.

From left, Pat O'Keefe, Michael von Disterlo and Luke Lonberger of CLP Motorsports join X Games Gold Medal Winner Tanner Foust in toasting the successful conclusion of the 2,507-mile cross-country drive on one tank of Neste NEXBTL renewable diesel in Santa Monica, CA. (PRNewsFoto/Neste)

From left, Pat O’Keefe, Michael von Disterlo and Luke Lonberger of CLP Motorsports join X Games Gold Medal Winner Tanner Foust in toasting the successful conclusion of the 2,507-mile cross-country drive on one tank of Neste NEXBTL renewable diesel in Santa Monica, CA. (PRNewsFoto/Neste)

The journey, which began in Jacksonville, Florida, and finished successfully in Santa Monica, California, took a total driving time of 37 hours 2 minutes. The trip was made with CLP-engineered and developed Superlite Coupe (SLC) racecar powered by a custom Volkswagen 1.9-liter TDI diesel engine. The SLC has been built featuring aerodynamics for maximum efficiency at speed and enhanced with an aluminum monocoque chassis and fiberglass body. The result was a car that maintains all of its power and handling of a racecar, yet is still street legal.

When the car was finally refueled in Santa Monica, the fuel consumption for the cross-country journey was determined to be 37.6 gallons of NEXBTL renewable diesel – yielding an amazing average fuel consumption of 66.7 miles per gallon. It is estimated that the use of NEXBTL in the SLC resulted in a GHG reduction of about 75 percent compared to a journey being done with a “regular” car running on petroleum diesel.

Kaisa Hietala, executive vice president, Renewable Products at Neste, added, “Motorists expect a lower carbon footprint as well as lower tailpipe emissions from renewable fuels, without compromising high quality and good performance. We made this unique trip to show that advanced biofuels such as NEXBTL renewable diesel meet these requirements.”

advance biofuels, Alternative Vehicles, Racing