Mission H24 and the ACO have revealed a brand-new hydrogen electric prototype for FIA WEC and Le Mans competition and this week you will learn all about it.
In other hydrogen motorsport news, I have further details on Ligier’s JS2 RH2 hydrogen sports car as well as Roland Atkinson doing laps aboard the hydrogen-powered Toyota GR Yaris H2 Concept at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
There are also details on Rowe Racing’s BMW M4 that runs on plant-based race lubricants, a delay in the Formula E Gen4 tender process and how the UK’s 750 Motor Club is offsetting their emissions.
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
MissionH24, a collaborative project between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and H24Project, has today presented a brand-new hydrogen electric prototype for FIA WEC and Le Mans.
According to Daily Sportscar, GT3-like performance is the current aim.
According to the MissionH24 team, key strides have already been made. Research, development, verification and burn-in testing of the new power unit (hydrogen cell system, tanks, electric motors, battery, etc.) on laboratory cars is now complete. Thus, the focus is now shifting to producing the first car and reaching its stated performance target, which is for it to be “among the top GT3 entries”.
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Here are two great articles from Porsche on their part in sustainable motorsport.
In “Reducing the environmental impact of motorsport,” Uwe Brettel, Special Tasks and Business Development Officer at Porsche Motorsport discusses what excites him about racing and why he is now concerned with the topic of sustainability.
“I think good sport should always be an integral part of society and not an end in itself. However, the deteriorating state of our ecosystem, already clearly visible in man-made climate change, requires a consistent rethink. The focus on greater sustainability is an opportunity for Porsche Motorsport: we can make a significant contribution by developing innovative, technical and organizational solutions.”
In “Rennsport Reunion 7: a spectacular glimpse into motorsport’s future, present and past,” Porsche explains how the GT4-e was part of an event celebrating the heritage of Porsche.
“The Mission X concept and the Porsche Vision 357 Speedster were among the cars on display in the paddock, which was filled to capacity. As part of the GT4 e-Performance World Tour, German Marco Seefried raced around the legendary circuit near the Pacific coast in the up to 800 kW (1,088 PS) all-electric race car.”
Sustainable Sport looks at the sustainability enhancements featured at the Singapore Grand Prix. “For the 2022 event, when it came to reducing carbon footprint, 85% of grid electricity consumption was carbon neutral; B7 biodiesel was used to power 48% of the Circuit Park; and a successful trial with energy-efficient LED lights saw all track lights replaced with LED bulbs for 2023, reducing energy usage from track lighting by roughly a third.”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
In the video above, actor, car fan and alternative fuels enthusiast Rowan Atkinson drives the hydrogen-powered Toyota GR Yaris H2 Concept at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Thursday 13 July. Rowan Atkinson spoke to Goodwood’s Ed Foster about the experience in the concept car, which is fitted with a three-cylinder, 1.6-litre internal combustion engine powered by hydrogen. Toyota has created the GR Yaris H2 Concept to offer a tantalising glimpse into a possible future of carbon-neutral motorsport.
The Rowe Racing BMW M4 has been run on plant-based race lubricants for the past 2 years and Rowe Lubricants, Coolants & Fluids are at the forefront of developing renewable fluids both for racing and road. You can find out more about Rowe’s approach to sustainability in “Acting sustainably is our responsibility.”
“Sustainability is not just about manufacturing and selling products that are ‘eco-friendly’, it is so much more. ROWE is run as a sustainable business, by considering impact on both the planet and the people who work within the organisation.”
On 26 and 27 September, Jacques Nicolet, President of Ligier Automotive, attended the Le Mans Hydrogène – LMH2 event to talk about hydrogen in racing. Ligier Automotive is actively working on new energies and their integration into racing cars. The latest example is the Ligier JS2 RH2, Ligier’s first hydrogen-powered racing car, developed in partnership with Bosch Engineering.
“Our objective with Bosch Engineering was to create a hydrogen-powered racing car with the same thrills as any racing car with a combustion engine. The Ligier JS2 RH2 has already run more than 3000 kms and we will keep testing it with Bosch Engineering to collect as many information as possible. We need to test and develop new ideas in order to work towards the energy transition in motorsport”.
Autosport explains how Bridgestone’s rejected tender for the tire supply for F1, F2 and F3 would have included “advanced innovative technology.”
“The most likely area of potential for Bridgestone would have been in taking its innovative Enliten road tyre technology and applying it to F1. The tyre construction process, which uses extensive recycled materials, has helped produce road tyres that are around 20% lighter than their previous equivalent. This helps reduce rolling resistance, delivering improved fuel mileage and can help with car handling too as the wheel’s mass is less. It is also far more sustainable, as 63% of its components are recycled and the products are lighter to ship.”
The top four NXT Gen Cup drivers got to join the 2023 STCC Try Out at Ljungbyhed in Sweden and test the 550hp all-electric prototype PWR002 – a car technically identical to the race cars which will debut in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship next year.
“One of our core pillars is that there must be a clear career ladder after NXT Gen Cup and that the winners shall get the opportunity to try the next step. I am glad that we have achieved just that with together with the STCC in the 2023 Try Out and that our drivers really showed maturity and speed during the test,” said Fredrik Lestrup, NXT Gen Cup founder.
In Formula E news, the tender process for the ‘Gen4′ ruleset has been delayed by the FIA and Formula E in order to further evaluate prospective suppliers’ proposals for the 2026-30 competition period. The Race explains what this really means.
“The Race understands that the key sticking point, and potentially a key reason for the extra time in choosing a supplier, is the battery tender specifically. Sources have suggested that this is the area that needs further evaluation as it informs the majority of the technical package.”
In more coverage of Formula E on The Race, Sam Smith looks at Formula E’s urgent bid to escape its personality crisis era. “A couple of years on and four months into his tenure as the third CEO of the all-electric series, new Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds describes his current in-tray to The Race as “bigger in terms of opportunity than challenges”.
The Race also reveals that Phoenix could host a street race 34 years on from hosting its last Formula 1 Grand Prix after details emerged of plans to bring Formula E to the Arizona state capital.
“Last Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council approved funding a feasibility study to try and get Formula E to the city after leading delegates from the initiative visited the Portland E-Prix last June. The council’s feasibility study is set to major on street infrastructure, costs and socio-economic benefits for the city. It is unclear if some of the same streets that hosted the downtown event decades ago could be utilised again.”
Finally, lest you think that sustainable motorsport is only for the major championships, the 750 Motor Club which bill’s themselves as the UK’s Home of Affordable Motorsport has explained their sustainability strategy.
“Since the start of 2021, 750 Motor Club has offset all track miles across its full portfolio of 20+ series and championships; at the time becoming the UK’s first club-level race events with carbon neutral on-track action – and this will continue into 2024. Furthermore, in 2023 750MC witnessed another first, with two cars running on synthetic fuels during the season; Matthew Simmonite’s Mk3 MX-5 in Club Enduro, and a BMW E36 in the hands of David Russell in the Armed Forces Race Challenge.”