ACO Doubles Their 24 Hours of Le Mans Hydrogen Bet

The ACO has doubled their hydrogen bet for the 24 Hours of Le Mans as they have announced that they want the top class to be all hydrogen by 2030.

Along with this fascinating sustainable motorsport development, I have news on an electric Hyundai rally car, recycled plastic IndyCar tires, biofueled F1 trucks and McLaren Racing’s Circular F1 Car project.

All this and more in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. As always, its green news racers can use.

Sustainable Motorsport News

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Le Mans 24 Hours organizer the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has outlined a vision for all cars competing for overall victory to be hydrogen-powered by 2030.

At Le Mans it’s important that we allow manufacturers to test different technologies: it has been the case for 100 years and we want to continue to do that. The idea is to introduce H2 category progressively after 2026, and the idea in 2030 to have 100% of the top category with hydrogen.”

As for the type of hydrogen technology to be used, it will include both hydrogen fuel cells as well as hydrogen combustion technology.

We are officially announcing that both technologies, fuel cell and hydrogen internal combustion engine, will be accepted and authorised for manufacturers wishing to enter the 24 Hours in the hydrogen category.”

Daily Sportscar looks into potential manufacturer involvement as well in their article.

McLaren Racing are extending their partnership with Deloitte as its official transformation partner for the McLaren Formula 1 team and enhancing the collaboration with increased efforts on sustainability. McLaren has pledged to be a net-zero producer by 2040 and now will receive assistance from Deloitte to accelerate those decarbonization efforts.

In Collaboration, circularity and cost cap exclusions: Inside McLaren’s sustainability vision, The Sustainability Report also looks at McLaren Racing’s sustainability efforts.

Nobody had sustainability at the front of mind when the cost cap was designed,” Kim Wilson, McLaren’s sustainability director, tells The Sustainability Report. “It wasn’t by any intent to exclude it, but it did mean that we were facing a choice that we didn’t want to have to make ultimately, which was: do we invest in on-track performance, or do we invest in sustainability improvements?

Part of this sustainability focus is their Circular F1 Car project in partnership with Bcomp.

The successful collaboration between Bcomp and McLaren Racing continues to open up new possibilities for our ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ natural fibre solutions to make the highest-performing F1 cars more sustainable without sacrificing performance. In the past, our bio-based alternatives to carbon fibre have already been successfully trialled and raced in Lando’s seat, bodywork and pit-stop equipment. We are excited to continue looking for more opportunities to use our bio-based natural fibre composite technologies at the highest level of motorsports together with McLaren Racing.”

At a celebration attended by senior industry figures at last weekend’s Grand Prix De Monaco 2023, the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team was announced as the winner of the inaugural Grace Influential Positive Impact Award.

Mercedes were awarded the accolade for their ambitious and broad reaching Accelerate 25 programme, through which the team has pledged to recruit 25% of new team members coming from under-represented groups by 2025. In just two years they have already made great strides towards this target, increasing representation of female team members by 25% and tripling the number of employees from a minority ethnic background.”

Following up on my recent post about Mercedes F1 utilizing biofuel for their truck transporters, BioFuel news explains how the team is targeting over 60% emissions reduction by switching to biofuel.

The BBC looks at the return of Lola Cars as they embark on their new chapter in motorsport. “Lola was always at the forefront of motorsport and that’s where I want to bring it back to,” said Mr Bechtolsheimer. “In this new carnation, I want to revive it with a focus on alternative powertrains. For us, it’s electrification, hydrogen and synthetic fuels.”

Raise the Game as a profile of Iain Banner, the promoter of the Cape Town Formula E race.

The opportunity to host was perfect for Cape Town to promote itself as a city. I knew we needed activities and purpose to support the event, so we started by creating an E-fest to promote and boost the economy for energy and create jobs. This event was a storytelling piece for us — people need to see and experience what clean energy can look like. Since Africa is behind Europe in adoption and access to renewable energy, the festival allowed over 650 people to have firsthand experience riding in electric cars, kids got to ride e-scooters, we showcased charging solutions, and much more — all as an education process. Our goal was to create interest, show the possibilities, and begin developing skill sets for the future.”

ACO Doubles Their 24 Hours of Le Mans Hydrogen Bet

Envision Racing and Warner Bros Discovery-owned Cartoon Network have partnered to raise awareness of climate change among children and young people.

The partnership focuses on raising awareness about electric waste, which is projected to reach 75 million tonnes by 2030. Cartoon Network also has a Climate Champions initiative, which encourages children aged six to 12 to take daily challenges to help the environment. The initiative, featuring popular characters from shows such as The Amazing World of Gumball and Craig of the Creek, has seen more than 1.5 million challenges accepted globally since its launch in June 2021.”

Sustainable Motorsport Tech

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Autosport looks in detail at the electric Hyundai Kona rally car that could point a way to rallying’s future. The Kona has a flexible configuration where up to four Brusa BLDC Motors can be used, producing a top end output of 800kW (four motors), generating up to 1100Nm of torque. In rally spec, two motors are deployed producing 400kW with a continuous power of 260kW-280kW.

If you take range out of the question and wind the power up on it then it’s equivalent to a Rally1 car,” Paddon explains. “To make it work over a longer distance, you can’t have the power wound up that high. What we’re trying to do is to have a Rally2 equivalence. Performance-wise, we know it’s faster. We’re talking about a second a kilometre compared to an equivalent Rally2 car. But we’ve got to get the range out of it.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Jaguar TCS Racing became the first team in the history of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at the Monaco E-Prix to run re-refined transmission fluid, something they’d been working towards with long-time partner Castrol.

“The use of re-refined EV transmission fluid is a great demonstration of circularity in action on the race track and supports the wider company ambition to adopt circular economy principles so we can reduce the use of virgin materials,” said Rosella Cardone, Director and Head of Sustainability Office at JLR. “We have a clear aim to achieve carbon net zero by 2039 and embed sustainability into the JLR DNA.”

Porsche explains their battery management system solutions for motor racing and series production. “Porsche Engineering has been developing high-performance battery system solutions for motor racing and series production for more than 20 years. The battery management system (BMS) has the task of assessing the condition of the battery, defining the current operating limits and ensuring operation within those limits.”

In Tyres – are we just going round in circles?, Paul Glass of Carbon Positive Motorsport discusses tires, how they affect our carbon footprint, and what to do about them.

Whether used in competition or road use, the environmental impact of tyres is a little understood or quantifiable topic. Most sources give an average lifetime for a tyre in road use of 20,000 miles or 10 years. Compare that to a special stage rally, where tyres can wear out in a matter of miles and minutes.”

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Mahle Powertrain and Clean Air Power will see the pair collaborating on the development of cost-effective solutions for net-zero internal combustion engines.

Zero-carbon internal combustion engines offer a solution in difficult-to-decarbonize applications where battery and fuel cell technology may not be best suited,” commented Dr Dan Skelton, CEO of Clean Air Power. “This agreement opens up the opportunity for us to collaborate further to accelerate development in this important and exciting area, assisting the transition to net zero and helping establish a pathway for the rollout of clean fuels.”

Series News

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

IndyCar has confirmed the use of recycled plastics in the 4,500 tires supplied to last weekend’s Indy 500.

Cara Krstolic, director, race tire engineering and manufacturing, chief engineer, motorsports at Bridgestone Americas, said: “When we build a tire, there are certain compounds that we need to make sure that are exactly the same. So, we monitor recipes and monitor formulations, but when you’re looking at something like butadiene, it doesn’t come in and say: ‘I’m from a natural source. I’m from a sustainable source.’ It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s just in there, and it’s just a raw ingredient. If we were to change something … then it actually might be different with how it is. But because this is a monomer, it’s basically a fundamental building block. It doesn’t matter how it’s sourced.”

PMW Magazine has more technical details on these tires.

Through a partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Penske and Shell, Bridgestone supplied tires featuring ISCC PLUS-certified recycled butadiene to the NTT IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 which took place on May 28, 2023. The monomer – manufactured from hard-to-recycle used plastic including shopping bags and other types of flexible polymer packaging – was developed in collaboration with Shell and featured in the synthetic rubber Firestone Firehawk race tires used during the race weekend.”

DTM has introduced a new points system, updated penalty rules and sustainable fuel for the 2023 season, which kicked off last weekend at Oschersleben.

The 28-car field will run on sustainable fuel for the first time in the series’ history, with fuel supplier Shell providing a fuel which consists of roughly 50 percent regenerative components.”

ACO Doubles Their 24 Hours of Le Mans Hydrogen Bet

Formula 1 and DHL have announced that the European leg of the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship is being delivered using biofueled trucks, reducing carbon emissions by a minimum of 60% when compared to standard fuels, with the potential for higher savings.

Ellen Jones, Head of ESG at Formula 1 said: “We are a sport which operates on a global scale and DHL play a critical role in delivering the races and helping us address the logistical impact we have as a World Championship. Together we are continually looking for more sustainable solutions, and through innovations such as the biofueled trucks we’re able to take the next step forward in reducing our carbon emissions and achieving our sustainability goal of being Net Zero by 2030. It is wonderful to see partners like DHL share the same drive and commitment to creating a more sustainable Formula 1.”

Paul Fowler, Head of DHL Motorsport Logistics said: “Each truck can therefore transport up to 40 tons and travel up to 3,500 kilometres per 1,000 litre tank. For the European F1 leg the trucks run entirely on HVO100, which is a second-generation biofuel, meeting the standard EN15940 for paraffin fuels, as well as a drop-in fuel.”

The Race looks at the challenges Formula E’s new CEO must overcome. “While James believes that Reigle “very much had an overall positive impact on Formula E” he also realises that several areas, despite having shown a decent post-pandemic recovery, remain untapped on the commercial and media side.”

NXT Gen Cup, the world’s first 100% electric junior touring car cup, will join DTM and ADAC Racing Weekend for two back-to-back rounds in July and August as the 2023 calendar is completed. “This will provide us an excellent opportunity to showcase NXT Gen Cup and our talented young drivers to an international audience, as well as providing them with experience of major international circuits. We want to extend a big thank you to the ADAC Racing Weekend and DTM organisations for welcoming us to their events.”

“ADAC has taken on a pioneering role in the topic of motorsport and sustainability with various initiatives such as sustainable fuel, an electric rally series or concepts for sustainable events. The NXT Gen Cup is an interesting race series and an attractive addition to the DTM and the ADAC Racing Weekend. Junior and electric racing are two important factors for the development of motorsport and NXT Gen Cup combines this in an interesting way. We are looking forward to exciting race weekends together,” said ADAC Motorsport Director Thomas Voss.

Ace Championship Powerpack

The new for 2024 all-electric Ace Championship have explained how their two-tier series will work according to Green Racing News.

ACE Championship will have two categories: Championship and Challenger. The former will be the highest level, requiring even greater engineering skill and guidance due to increased power, where strategy, race management and energy control are key aspects that will determine success in the competitions. On the other hand, the second will offer a space as an entry-level where young drivers can hone their skills in single-seater racing after their karting experience. This simplified sports format focuses on improving technique, mastering technology and promoting collaboration between drivers and engineers.”

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.