A new electric sports car series has been launched, but will it succeed where other attempts have failed?
This week I also look at how F1 is attempting to influence governments to embrace sustainable fuel technologies, how IMSA is a platform for environmental change and how visible changes are coming to the Gen3 Formula E car.
All this and more in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Its green news racers can use.
Sustainable Motorsport News
A nation-versus-nation electric sportscar series has been launched under the Elite World Cup banner ahead of a projected autumn 2024 kick-off with a grid of Lotus Evijas. “The founders of the Elite World Cup have revealed that they already have the finance in place to get the series off the ground with the build 50 EV racers, which will most likely be based on the 2000bhp Evija hypercar or supersportscar first shown in 2019.”
Green Racing News looks at the importance of sustainable racing to tomorrow’s automotive market. “From efficient propulsion systems to improvements in aerodynamics and lightweight materials, these competitions challenge to push limits and find solutions that offer greater power, speed and minimize environmental impact.”
The Modern Tyres Ulster Rally has partnered with Carbon Positive Motorsport to provide carbon offsetting for competitors and all organizer’s event vehicles. “In the first year of a long-term environmental roadmap and commitment to mitigate the event’s carbon footprint, 26 competitors have decided to support the event by including carbon offsetting as part of their entry, and as a result will enable over 11,000kg of carbon emissions to be offset in the future using a world class carbon offsetting project based in the Highlands of Scotland.”
Mercedes have offered an update on their factory developments that the team say will create a “world-class” facility for their team when finished.
“So, the new campus developments are really important for the team’s sustainability ambitions to become the world’s most sustainable professional sports team. We’re going to be able to not only reduce our emissions, but we are also going to be able to reduce our resource consumption which is critical as we move forward. So, we are looking at reducing water consumption per day per person by about 50 percent and increasing the amount of waste we can recycle onsite up to 60 percent. We will also have a great opportunity to improve biodiversity.
“The two new buildings that we are designing will be net zero in operation and they will also be backed by 100 percent renewable energy both onsite and offsite. Onsite generation is really important because it will allow us to have our own secure renewable supply of solar panels powering some of the site activities. This ensures that we are adding capacity to the national grid and ensuring that renewable supplies are growing in the UK.”Alice Ashpitel, Mercedes’ head of sustainability
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
PMW magazine explains how the University of Nottingham Racing Team uses a Lauda IN 530 T for EV testing and development. “The Lauda Integral IN530T provides incredibly powerful prototyping capabilities that may be used to validate the thermal behavior of future generation MGCUs, providing us with the opportunity to develop even lighter and smaller units,” said a University of Nottingham Racing team spokesperson when asked why they chose Lauda.”
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says that the sport is influencing and encouraging world governments to embrace more sustainable fuel technologies. Modern F1 cars run on fuels of 10% renewable ethanol and will move to 100% sustainably-sourced fuels for 2026. Domenicali says the sport is having an impact on international awareness around new fuel technologies.
“F1 has also progressed initiatives this season in environmental sustainability,” Domenicali said. “In Austria, we piloted an energy efficient power system that delivered a 90% reduction in carbon emissions from operating the paddock, pit lane and F1 broadcast area.”
“Additionally, a new fleet of biofuel trucks are delivering our broadcast production, technical and other equipment for the European events of the 2023 season, which we expect will reduce our overall freight emissions by a minimum of 60% compared to traditional fuel vapours.”
“The Formula 2 and Formula 3 cars are successfully running on 55% of sustainable fuels this season and we remain on track to introduce 100% advanced sustainable fuels to Formula 1 in 2026. We are also encouraged by the increased awareness and openness of governments to include advanced sustainable fuels in their policy roadmaps to net zero, something F1 will continue to be at the forefront of pushing.”Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali
In his latest LinkedIn column, IMSA President John Doonan explains how the series is a platform for environmental change.
A Platform for Environmental ChangeJohn Doonan
IMSA – International Motor Sports Association is driven to deliver sustainable, cost-effective, entertainment-driven sports car racing. It provides our partners a proving ground for their advanced technology and a showcase to influence consumers.
Sustainable competition is a team sport. No single team or manufacturer can do it alone. We at IMSA take our responsibility as the sanctioning body exceptionally seriously, working to validate our approach with EPA, DoE, and all our participating OEMs and Technology Partners.
A vibrant ecosystem is the best approach to enable us all to use the IMSA Platform to further our collective sustainability efforts.
Through these efforts, we execute practical environmental initiatives embedded into our core business in three critical ways:
• Through technical regulations, we specify regenerative hybrid technology for our top class of endurance sportscars in GTP without sacrificing performance, working in partnership with our OEMs and component providers.
• Also, through our technical and sporting regulations and in partnership with our consumable/energy partners, we source products with increasing use of renewable materials and decrease pit lane consumption rates.
• Lead by example by equipping our transporters with solar panels to power our paddock and providing VIP track experiences using electric vehicles.
Today’s world is complex and needs sustainable innovation. IMSA – North America’s most technologically advanced endurance sports car racing series – is the ideal platform and proving ground for the automotive industry.
As president, I’m committed to continued innovation in this area, not just next week or next month, but also to help advance industry opportunities over the mid-to-long term—this influences our sporting and technical regulations and how we lead by example.
For everyone at IMSA, our environmental considerations are an approach baked into our business that shapes how we operate, how we go racing, and how we help influence our industry and fans.
BlackBook Motorsport explains how AWS is supporting F1’s sustainability drive using the cloud and AI.
“As we’ve moved more towards the cloud, that has massive ramifications on sustainability. AWS has massively helped that digital transformation – it’s not only the sustainability aspect, but the latency aspect as well. We’re not having to send masses of data down a big tube all the way back to [the Formula One headquarters in] Biggin Hill. Now, we’ve got a digital archive all stored in the cloud. All the data we’re bringing off the cars and the timing systems goes into the cloud too. All of that has a big impact on sustainability: less kit, less people, and you’re generating less heat for that day.”
The Race gives an update on what is happening with Indycar’s 2024 hybrid engine. “IndyCar and its manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda have completed two days of on-track running at Sebring ahead of introducing the new hybrid-boosted engine package for 2024. IndyCar says this is the first time the hybrid components were combined with the 2.2-litre engine on track.”
According to Motorsport Week, IndyCar’s Detroit Grand Prix diverted over 30 tons of waste from landfills. “In total, over 30 tons of waste was diverted from local landfills and was put to better use in and around the Detroit area. The sustainability effort was made possible through the help of 1,400 volunteers at the track and the support of local disposal partners Priority Waste.”
The Race reports that ‘very visible’ changes are coming for Formula E’s Gen3 car in 2025. “Plans for an evolution of the current Formula E car that will include an active front powertrain kit are almost agreed and are set to be validated shortly for introduction in the 2025 season. The Race can reveal that the intention is for full active usage of the spec FPK at the start of races, in qualifying and potentially within the mandatory attack mode boost periods.”
Watch this great episode of The Money Lap podcast featuring an exclusive Interview with the Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds.