Meet the latest racer in the alternative fuel racing game… the man behind the wheel of the spiced red, number 24 Volkswagen Jetta TDI… Jim Osborn, the President of Chili Pepper Racing.
“We race in what’s considered the most relevant racing series in North America. It’s called the Speed World Challenge Touring Car Series.” Osborn explains that they take street cars, modify them a bit to make them faster and safer, and basically hit the road in much the same car as what would roll off a dealer’s show room. “The premise of the series is to basically have cars you recognize.”
Osborn says the first race of the season is the Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 17th on Speed TV. It will be the first time a production-based alternative fuel (diesel) car will race in professional road race series in the United States.
Osborn says the alternative portion is the fact that his VW runs on diesel… an alternative to the racing petrol most other racers use. And he says since it does run on diesel, there is always the possibility of another alternative… biodiesel… could make it into his racer. “The performance issues with diesel and biodiesel are sonmething at their infancies in the United States, and something we’d like to puruse.”
While he likes to grab the checkered flag, Osborn says his racing has a bigger purpose. Chili Pepper Racing has been racing for charities for years. Now, he races for a more personal purpose. Last year, he lost his eight-week-old infant son to cancer. “Over the winter, we took some of this pain we had were feeling and tried to turn it into some positive energy and formed the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.” Osborn says they’ll race this season in “Hatch’s” name.
He promises some news of special significance for readers of this web site for the race at Sebring. Stay tuned!
Listen to the entire interview with Osborn: Osborn Interview (6 min MP3)