Honda’s new hybrid CRV race car is just one of the developments I cover in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup.
In addition to the Honda hybrid that operates on 100% renewable race fuel, I look at Formula 1’s new partnership with Tottenham Hotspur, Formula E’s Season 8 sustainability report, the use of hydrogen as a racing fuel, and whether banning tire warming blankets is a good sustainability initiative or just plain dangerous.
All this and more in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. It’s green news that racers can use.
Sustainable Motorsport News
Formula 1 has agreed a 15-year strategic partnership with Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur that will see the delivery of the world’s first-in stadium electric karting facility and London’s longest indoor track below the state-of-the-art Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. As part of the partnership, F1 will also collaborate with Tottenham Hotspur on sustainability initiatives that promote environmental responsibility. Formula 1’s commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030, aligns closely with Tottenham Hotspur’s targets, as a signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework’s ‘Race to Zero’, to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and become net zero by 2040.
The Mercedes Formula One team are partnering with mCloud to showcase and apply new clean technologies addressing carbon emissions and energy waste on the path to net zero. The partnership builds on the existing implementation of mCloud’s AssetCare solution at the team’s base in Brackley. As part of the team’s Sustainability Working Group, mCloud will advise on the team’s strategic ambition to become the world’s most sustainable professional sports organisation.
Portuguese esports organisation Betclic Apogee has launched Gamers 4 the Planet, a new platform designed to forecast the environmental impact of the esports industry and decrease gamers’ carbon footprint. Alongside the launch of the platform, the organisation has unveiled a documentary called Restart the Game which you can watch above.
Founded in 2017, Betclic Apogee is an esports organisation that competes primarily in the FIFA scene. The organisation is the first esports team to have Carbon Neutral certification and last year launched a ‘Carbon Neutral Collective’ as well as teaming up with Esports Insider.
According to a release, the main pillars of Betclic Apogee’s initiative are to calculate the environmental impact of gaming and esports, as well as decrease the carbon footprint. Moreover, the project aims to share experiences and support regeneration actions.
In order to support the Gamers 4 the Planet platform, professional esports teams will gain access to an exclusive app that helps keep track of the individual’s carbon footprint in a certain time frame. Moreover, there will also be a way to view a collective carbon footprint. Alongside Betclic Apogee, notable organisations such as FNATIC and OG Esports have joined the platform. Additionally, Esports Insider will also take part in the initiative.
The Net Zero Motorsport Conference in association with WAE takes place on Tuesday 21 March 2023 – 08:30-17:00* (GMT).
EEMS2023 in association with WAE will be very different – it’s a visionary discussion Forum where you can directly question and meet world-class business and technology leaders from high performance and motorsport engineering and visit interactive technology showcases. Recent fast-growing popularity of motorsport and ‘net zero’ changes in technologies, fuels and powertrains mean plenty of new business lies ahead. You will meet innovative companies who have the technologies and solutions needed and are looking for new collaborative partners. The journey to net zero offers so many exciting new opportunities.
There will be:
- FOUR hours for a well-informed, inclusive discussion Forum
- Plus FOUR hours for valuable business networking and meeting potential collaborators
More information can be found here.
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
Alto Ono of Race Engine Suppliers investigates two projects using hydrogen as a fuel for 24-hour racing, Mission H24 and Toyota Hydrogen Corolla. “As the world moves toward carbon neutrality, motorsport has also been pushed to look at alternative solutions to petrol and diesel. Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is an attractive fuel source that some are looking to as a viable alternative to petrol for racing. To create power, hydrogen can be used mainly in one of two ways: internal combustion or fuel cells. Theoretically, the only by-product from either method is water, making it a genuinely ‘green’ fuel.”
Honda Performance Development has unveiled their CR-V Hybrid Racer, “An IndyCar Wolf in CR-V Clothing.” Conceived and designed by the engineers at Honda Performance Development (HPD) in California and designers from the North America Auto Design Division (NAAD) of American Honda; then built at Honda Automotive Development Center (ADC) in Ohio by the Honda of America Racing Team (HART); the CR-V Hybrid Racer places a 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged, electrified Honda V6 INDYCAR power unit and transmission under 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid bodywork to create the “rolling laboratory” for the continued development of electrified technology by Honda and HPD. The CR-V Hybrid Racer runs on Shell’s 100% renewable race fuel; and features world-leading Skeleton Supercapacitors and Empel MGU hybrid motor technology.
Last August I brought you video of the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT electric concept car. Two interesting technologies that are part of the car are its multi-speed elector-mechanical transmission and its “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust” system. After feedback was less than positive, Dodge are back and have updated its simulated exhaust sound for the Charger Daytona EV. You can have a listen in the video above.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES ushered in a new era of sustainability in the open test Feb. 2-3 at The Thermal Club with the eagerly anticipated arrival of Shell 100% Renewable Race Fuel, advanced technology that will power the series’ race engines beginning with the 2023 season. With the debut of the new fuel developed by Shell, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES becomes the first United States-based motorsports series to power racing with 100% renewable race fuel that enables at least 60% greenhouse gas emissions reduction compared to fossil-based gasoline.
The second-generation ethanol, derived from the waste portion of sugarcane, is sourced from Brazil. The product is part of a joint venture between Shell and Cosan, with Raízen, Brazil’s second-largest fuel distribution company, playing a critical role as the leading manufacturer of sugarcane ethanol in the country and the largest individual sugar exporter in the world. “Shell’s 100% Renewable Race Fuel powering all competing vehicles in the INDYCAR SERIES in 2023 contains a significant mix of second-generation ethanol combined with another renewable component to create the 100% renewable formulation that will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60 percent compared to fossil-based gasoline,” said Bassem Kheireddin, Shell technology manager of motorsports. “We are very proud to bring it to the series, and it’s a step to decarbonize motorsport.”
Does banning tire warming blankets increase the sustainability of the racing series that use them? That is the question surrounding the upcoming vote on whether tire warming blankets should be banned in F1 in 2024. Those in favor feel that the energy usage is excessive and carbon heavy. Those against say it could be dangerous and the sustainability gains are negligible as the race cars need more fuel to get up to speed on cold tires. Here are a few articles that debate the question.
- How fate of F1 change Hamilton calls ‘dangerous’ will be decided
- IndyCar driver questions Hamilton’s complaint over ‘dangerous’ F1 rule
- Pirelli respond to Lewis Hamilton’s complaints about incoming tyre blanket ban
- Pirelli not ruling out tyre blankets ban delay
- Hamilton: F1 tyre blanket ban “dangerous” and “pointless”
- Glickenhaus doubts environmental benefits of WEC tyre warming ban
Formula E has published its Season 8 Sustainability Report, entitled Racing For Better Futures, which “details the most impactful year to date of the first sport in the world founded with sustainability at its core.”
Jamie Reigle, Chief Executive Officer, Formula E, said: “As we publish our Season 8 Sustainability Report, interest in motorsport has never been higher. The global reach of the sport provides a powerful platform to engage hundreds of millions of fans across the world in taking positive action to combat climate change. At Formula E we take our leadership role seriously by driving the agenda and setting the benchmark for sustainable sport. We are delighted to see others across the sports spectrum follow our lead. We are proponents of an electric future and are adamant that elite sport, high performance and sustainability can co-exist without compromise. Formula E is committed to pushing boundaries at the cutting edge of technology, performance and sustainability. The launch of the GEN3 race car during Season 8 is evidence of our commitment. The GEN3 is the world’s most efficient race car and described as a machine created at the intersection of high performance, efficiency and sustainability. The GEN3 made its racing debut this year, grabbing the attention of audiences and showcasing an exciting, electric future for motorsport.”
Despite the fact that Formula E has just started their Gen3 era, Sam Smith of The Race looks at what Formula E teams discussed in first Gen4 concept meeting. “The Race understands that the meeting did not go into specific technical details but rather looked at how Formula E can be developed and maximised as a whole going forwards.”
The fourth season of the Champions of the Future Euro Series is set to take off from 9th-12th March 2023 at the Lucas Guerrero International Karting Circuit in Valencia, Spain. Part of the plans this year include Carbon Neutral Racing. “Promoter RGMMC has started a carbon neutral process. In partnership with AQ Green TeC, the promoter of the Champions of the Future Euro Series is committed to calculating the environmental impact of its events and offsetting it by participating in renewable, community and natural energy projects around the world.”
Volcon Inc. has teamed up with tire maker BFGoodrich to develop an off-road racing program for the former’s line of electric UTVs, known as Volcon ePowersports. A vehicle built for competition will be showcased at the Mint 400 vehicle parade on 8 March followed by the Off-Road Festival the following day, both in Las Vegas. “Off-road racing is a demanding sport that requires not only speed and agility, but also toughness and durability,” commented Volcon ePowersports CEO Jordan Davis. “We believe that our electric vehicles are more than up to the task, and we can’t wait to prove it on track. It also serves as the perfect test bench for our vehicles and partner technologies to be pushed in the most challenging environments, so we know we’ve done due diligence before customers take delivery.”