The Dutch and Detroit Grands Prix are pointing the way for sustainable race events and this week you will find out how.
I also bring you details on how you can prepare a Tesla Model 3 for racing, the evolution of the Formula E race car and what is happening with the STCC in 2023.
All this and more in this week’s edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Your source for sustainable high performance motorsport news.
Sustainable Motorsport News
Amongst a host of other sustainability initiatives, last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix imposed a car ban for traveling F1 fans. “The Dutch event aspires to be the most sustainable on the F1 calendar. Almost a third of supporters are expected to arrive by public transport, a third by bicycle or scooter, and the rest will travel by foot, coach or cab.”
Meanwhile, IndyCar’s Detroit Grand Prix has become the first motorsport event in the world to achieve gold-level event certification through the Council for Responsible Sport. Some of the initiatives included:
- Priority Waste implemented robust waste diversion and recycling program for Detroit GP
- With support from Penske Truck Rental, the IndyCar race was the first-ever motorsport event to offset 100 per cent of fan travel carbon emissions
- Small Business Straightaway hosted in Cadillac Square during the Grand Prix gave a platform to nearly 30 locally owned and operated black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) businesses
Michael Montri, president of the Detroit Grand Prix, said: “Reaching gold-level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport is a tremendous honor for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear and a true testament to our event’s commitment to being a positive force in Detroit and across Southeast Michigan. With the help of our event partners, we are proud of how the grand prix has emerged as a leader in effecting environmental and social change in our community, now and into the future.”
In the video above, Jarod of Electrify TV sits down with Ellis Spiezia from Ellysium Racing for episode 289, and the pair talk all things racing. Ellis is currently in Sweden racing in the NexGenCup. He is 17 years old, with a heart for racing that you can feel in this conversation. He is excited, driven, and dedicated to his craft.
Maserati executives explain how motorsport is essential to their business. “Formula E has an advantage in the sense that it has motorsport fans but it also has technological innovation gurus as their fans that follow it because of the innovation and the advancements that Formula E can help us meet together,” said Giovanni Tommaso Sgro, Head of Maserati Corse, in an interview earlier this year.
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
ExxonMobil has revealed a new Mobil 1 three-in-one thermal management fluid developed for all-electric racing. The company’s latest product has been engineered specifically for use by the Porsche GT4 e-Performance – a concept race car with a unique cooling system.
“We now have a single Mobil 1 thermal management fluid that we can use across all three components of the cooling system, helping to reduce overall system weight,” explained Rüdiger Klutinus, a Porsche HV engineer. “It helps optimize power delivery during acceleration and recuperation, extend battery life and enable faster charging during breaks to help increase track times. It also delivers enhanced e-motor durability and power electronics efficiency, providing sustained power for longer.”
GrassRoots Motorsports looks at the mods you need to make a Tesla Model 3 into a competitive racer. “Then there’s the fact that the Model 3, like all electric vehicles, has far fewer moving parts than ICE cars. “It’s simple yet complicated,” notes Mike Chang, whose Evasive Motorsports Model 3 placed first among EVs at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “You don’t have to do much. Do what you normally would do to any other car for racing.”
PMW Magazine looks at the Yokohama tires used in Nitro Rallycross ice racing. “We’ve tried more than 100 different patterns but with this one you get the best grip and the best braking,” says Vennberg, adding that the design was refined by BilTek and local ice-racing drivers over many years.”
Toyota is taking aim at EVs with their research into ammonia engines. “This fueling advancement may sound like breaking news, but according to the Ammonia Energy Association, Toyota has been dabbling in ammonia alternative fueling options for quite some time. Hell, last we checked the corrosive chemical compound was still being used alongside an organic slurry pulled straight from the surrounding farmlands to produce power for Toyota City just outside of Nagoya.”
The Formula E website has a great look at the various eras of Formula E race cars and what the future potentially holds. “We’re investigating using the front powertrain kit in traction as well as regen to allow for four-wheel drive-in specific scenarios and then looking even further to GEN4 we have to ensure Formula E remains at the forefront as the laboratory for future mobility. We will work through and understand the challenges the manufacturers face from a technical perspective to make sure it remains the perfect platform for them.”
Formula E is finally planning to adopt fast-charging pit stops for 2024. “The Race can reveal that a special meeting mostly given over to the introduction for fast charging was held earlier this month in the week after the London E-Prix and manufacturers and teams told that it would be definitely part of the race structure, as outlined broadly in the sporting regulations since the end of 2022.”
Alberto Longo, Formula E Co-founder, analyzed the recently concluded championship and the expectations for season 10, where the arrival in Japan for the Tokyo E-Prix stands out. “From the race in India, the race in South Africa, the new race in the United States. We are talking about completely sold out days, not just hospitality, which is something where we are a very powerful B2B (Business to Business) platform and we have been that since the first year, but we are increasingly transforming our B2B into B2C (Business to Customer) and that translates into our grandstands being full.”
Speaking of the future of Formula E, Lucas di Grassi has some suggested changes he would like to see in Formula E. “The Brazilian believes that the electric category should follow in the footsteps of Formula 1 and introduce the ‘Sprint‘ format to continue innovating. He proposes that they should have longer weekends at each E-Prix, and would even go further with the creation of relay races or the return of pit stops, this time in the form of reloads.”
BlackBook Motorsport talked to Extreme E’s new managing director Ali Russell about the off-road electric SUV series’ “always on” approach to broadcasting, its hopes of growing in Asia and North America, and the potential impact of Extreme H. “They’re still embryos. Extreme E is only 12 [rounds] old [at the time of writing]. We had about 12 races in the first season of Formula E, and that’s half the season of Formula One. We’re still at a very early stage. What’s nice is that it’s an acorn that’s growing very quickly into an oak tree.”
The Dunlop Super2 Series will now adopt E75 fuel at the beginning of 2024, Supercars has announced. The category has thus confirmed that E85 will continue to fuel the second tier (as well as the Super3 class) for the remainder of the 2023 season. “That E75 blend is hailed for being better for the environment. Specifically, it is claimed to be lower carbon (well-to-wheel carbon intensity compared to the existing E85 blend), containing more than 80 percent of second-generation fuel components sourced from renewable feedstocks.”
Due to further delays in production, STCC has decided to postpone the season until 2024 and instead focus on the premiere display of the new electric race cars in the fall. “As the delays in the delivery of our new electric STCC cars unfortunately continue, we choose to switch focus to the 2024 racing season and instead showcase our new cars in the fall of 2023, says Micke Bern, CEO of STCC.“