Triple Eight Race Engineering have announced their plans to develop their business 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 200hp - 440Nm diesel powered engine. The project has the support of both Vauxhall and Opel and, in line with their environmental considerations the RallyD is very fuel-efficient and fitted with an exhaust particle filter to keep emissions low.

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

Commenting on the launch, Triple Eight Managing Director, Ian Harrison said:
"This is an extremely exciting new venture for us at a time when rallying, and alternative fuelled Motorsport in general, is showing strong growth. We have a 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 not 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 fuel vehicles"

For further information and high resolutions images, please contact Raphael Caille at Triple Eight.