In a significant move for hydrogen in motorsport, Extreme H has completed the shakedown of its hydrogen prototype race car and I have details.
You will also learn about how hydrogen may fit into F1’s future, the third car for the new all-electric STCC and how Formula Regional Oceania is now powered by synthetic fuels.
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
This is a great article from Racer on RallyCross driver Brian Deegan. For many purists, the switch to electric cars marks the beginning of the end for motorsport. Brian Deegan may be a purist, but he doesn’t share the doom and gloom outlook.
“I think good racing is good racing. Why’s it always got to be old school?” he muses. “Things can change. You can have cool bands and music festivals and all that stuff going on. The cars, it might be a good thing about the cars being like that, at the end of the day you have to be smart to figure out how to turn it into an entertaining festival. Entertaining is what it’s all about.”
Silverstone has achieved certification to the environmental management system (EMS) standard ISO 14001, recognizing its sustainability commitment to reduce its carbon emissions, amongst other initiatives including action to enhance biodiversity conservation, reduce reliance on plastic and being powered by 100% green electricity.
The certification demonstrates the steps Silverstone has taken to align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), as well as its action with regards to biodiversity. Initiatives of note include the installation of 2,764 panels covering over 4,250 m2 on the roof of the Wing – the International Conference and Exhibition Centre situated in the F1 paddock which generates over 13% of the venue’s power, as well as smart building management system and LED lighting.
In June 2022, Silverstone announced its Shifting to Zero initiative, launching its Business Sustainability Strategy, committing to reducing their carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 and supporting F1 in their effort to be net zero by 2030 as well as zero single-use plastic and 100% of waste reused, recycled and composted by 2026.
BP has signed an agreement with BWT Alpine F1 Team to support its net zero journey at its site in Enstone (Oxfordshire), where the team designs, develops, manufactures, and builds parts and systems for its Formula 1 cars.
The agreement will see BP deploy its state-of-the-art data measurement and analysis tools to comprehensively assess power consumption data to identify where energy usage could be optimized in the facility. DIGBOX® uses smart ‘spotter’ algorithms that learn building behavior and search real-time data, aiming to increase energy efficiency and improve resiliency.
The forward-thinking Bath Motor Club has been rewarded with Motorsport UK’s Sustainable Club of the Year Award for 2023.
“Bath Motor Club is absolutely delighted to receive the Motorsport UK Sustainable Club of the Year award for 2023,” confirmed Andy Cross who, as the Environmental Sustainability Leader, is a key driving force behind the implementation of many of the club’s eco-friendly plans. “We have been working away on our Environmental Management System for three years now, this year using the Motorsport UK Carbon Calculator to back up our own carbon calculations too, and are so pleased that our efforts have been acknowledged in this way.
The FIA have released their white paper ‘Accelerating a Just Transition: The Motor Sport and Mobility Perspective‘ on the sustainable future of motorsport and mobility. These insights are grounded in several case studies from the Federation’s Member Clubs, which have played a key role in driving or testing sustainability initiatives, and are now experts within their respective regions.
You can download a copy here.
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
Elizabeth Blackstock on Planet F1 looks into how a hydrogen-powered Championship could impact F1’s future.
“We aren’t specifically looking to benefit F1, but hydrogen power can work in the future for everything,” Alejandro Agag said, noting its ability to be used for both combustion and for battery propulsion. Will F1 go to hydrogen? I don’t know. They don’t know. But the fact that they want to keep an eye on it shows that they want to keep their options open. Formula 1, it likes noise. Combustion of hydrogen makes noise. It’s just another point to keep them interested.”
Speaking of hydrogen, Extreme H has completed the successful shakedown of its first prototype.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “Completing this initial first shakedown of the Extreme H prototype ahead of schedule is a sign of strong progress being made as we prepare for the launch of Extreme H in 2025. We are thrilled to reveal the first look at our hydrogen-powered concept, which we feel is going to be ground-breaking in motorsport. This a hugely important first step as we transition towards an exciting hydrogen future and launch the first-ever off-road hydrogen racing world championship.”
Racer has some of the details on what the new series will look like.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand has confirmed that its Castrol Toyota FR Oceania Championship fleet of Toyota FT60 cars will switch full-time to P1 Fuels synthetic fuel.
“There were absolutely no issues and the test programme has proved the cars to be fast and reliable with the P1 fuel,” explained Nicolas Caillol, TGRNZ’s Manager of Motorsport. “We can see no reason why we cannot introduce the fuel as the spec fuel for the 2024 championship and future championships moving forward. Our goal is carbon neutrality with both of our domestic racing championships and to set new standards for environmentally conscious motorsport in New Zealand.”
The third model that will compete in the 2024 STCC season has been revealed after the covers came off the first BMW i4 that will be campaigned by Exion Racing.
“We are proud to deliver the first BMW i4 race car to the STCC ahead of their ground-breaking 2024 season as we continue to push for a sustainable and exciting motorsport future together,” said Micke Jansson, CEO of EPWR.
Despite the slightly negative connotations of the title, in Formula E Still Hasn’t Given Racing Fans a Reason to Care, Road & Track’s Fred Smith looks at the past and future of Formula E in a refreshingly balanced way.
“Your opinion of Formula E will come down to whether or not you believe nine years to be a long time for a racing series. At this year’s race in Portland, team executives, series officials, and even drivers stressed to Road & Track over and over again that a nine-year-old series is still young. Particularly with a timeline-breaking pandemic in the middle of it all. In the context of racing history, however, that’s hard to believe.”
Still with Formula E, CMG’s CCTV is set to air all Formula E races live in China for first time.
Jeff Dodds, CEO, Formula E, said: “This is huge for Formula E as we get ready to race in our biggest season yet. For the first time, every Formula E race will be available live in China on CCTV, the nation’s largest sports platform. We are excited to work with CMG as a major new media partner for Formula E and focus on supercharging our audience growth in China through the coming seasons.”
Is electric faster than combustion? World Rallycross plans to find out. In a world’s first, World Rallycross (RX) will be the only FIA-accredited race series to pit electric cars against their equivalent internal combustion alternatives. In 2024, the field will be opened up to sustainably fueled vehicles alongside the latest iteration of the RX1e EVs that debuted in Norway in August 2022. This could really answer the question whether electric or combustion-powered are fastest once and for all.