Porsche Plots its Electric Motorsport Future

Porsche is plotting its electric motorsport future as it continues its Porsche GT4 E Performance Tour giving them the opportunity to explain what their goals are in an ever-changing motorsport landscape.

I also look at the big power boost plans for Formula E, the tech behind the Groupe GCK Hydrogen Chevrolet and the launch of Formula 1’s long stated goal to start regionalizing their calendar.

All this and more in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.

Sustainable Motorsport News

Porsche Plots its Electric Motorsport Future

GQ India explains how Jaguar is using Formula E to bring electrification and innovation to our roads. “The I-TYPE 6 is more than just a race car. It is a unique collaboration of innovation in design and advanced technology. As Jaguar continues to compete for world championship success in racing, they are also developing and innovating new technology that will soon be seen in its ‘race-to-road’ strategy.”

In Turning Generation Z To Generation E, EV Magazine chats with electric racer and Motorsport Prospects contributor Ellis Spiezia about his journey as a young race car driver focused on electric racing and how he became a sustainability influencer.

Sports Business Journal explains how it is extra time in the match between the sport industry and the climate crisis?It is January 2073. The Miami Grand Prix is now under water and permanently off the calendar, endurance events have been uncoupled from summer athletic meets, and the Winter Olympics is struggling to find host cities. This type of projection, once hyperbole, is now optimistic.”

Bombardier EcoJet

Don’t forget to check out my monthly Getting to the Track Sustainably column where I bring you links to some fascinating developments in sustainable transportation. This month Mika Häkkinen goes all in on electric motorcycles, Toyota plans an electric sports car with a manual shift, Boeing and NASA have plans for a new sustainable X-Plane and a hydrogen-powered inland container ship. You can read this month’s column here.

Sustainable Motorsport Tech

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Sportscar 365+ provides an insight into how Porsche is preparing for an electric future. As Porsche GT4 E Performance Tour project manager Oliver Schwab explains, the goal of the project was to develop a race car that could meet the performance targets currently seen in Carrera Cup or Mobil 1 Supercup competition, a series that utilizes the ICE-powered 911 GT3 Cup car.

Looking at what we’ve done in customer racing, especially in one-make racing for more than 30 years, we’ve had the GT3 Cup be the center of the gravity and the innovation-giving piece that we’ve built the whole one-make series around,” Schwab says. “Therefore we said when having a white sheet of paper approach, we do need to have some sort of a fixed point. With the GT3 Cup performance, at 30 minutes, the regular time for a sprint race, that gives us something to fix this on.”

Ahead of its launch in July, the electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is undergoing validation at the Nürburgring in Germany. The model combines Hyundai Motor’s Electrified-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) with N’s motorsport-bred technologies. The vehicle is being pushed to its absolute limits on the circuit to confirm it meets its mechanical endurance targets and to validate the functionality of the software.

Initial WEC Global Fan Survey results have shown huge support for hydrogen Le Mans cars. “With two weeks of responses so far, fans have been far more positive towards hydrogen as an alternate fuel source than electric, with a 45% swing between them. Fans have also shown strong support when asked if it would be a major step for the WEC and the ACO to allow hydrogen cars to race in future at the Le Mans 24 Hours – which is set to happen from 2026.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Race Engine Suppliers looks at the Groupe GCK Hydrogen Chevrolet. “The hydrogen unveilings began with Groupe GCK, showcasing its Solution F Foenix H2 GT racer. The Foenix H2 is built in the vein of a traditional GT platform, but with the primary difference being that the engine burns hydrogen as opposed to gasoline. The engine is a traditional 6.2 litre mechanically supercharged GM LT4 V8, with the internal geometry of the engine remaining essentially as it can be found in its stock guise.”

The August issue of Race Tech Magazine, Issue 273, has some great articles including a look at hydrogen in motorsport and the sustainability progress being made at Silverstone in time for the British Grand Prix.

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Finally, Race Engine Suppliers looks at the technology behind the Sonnenwagen Solar Car. “Adelie is a battery-electric three wheeler that takes its energy purely from a four square meter array of Mono-Si solar cells, which are 25% efficient. There are 567 cells and they take 90% of the car’s surface area. The team says, “the arrangement and placement of the solar cells is optimised for solar radiation and to avoid any shadows caused by the canopy”.

Series News

Formula E Mexico

A lot of Formula E news since their race in Portland two weeks ago. While I have reported on a possible second race in the United States, there has also been talk of including more permanent circuits to the calendar in the future.

Jeff Dodds Formula E CEO: “It brings a completely different racing,” he says. “I want to see very different styles of racing, and it could be a twisty permanent circuit, it could be fixed tracks like this, or it could be a different style of purpose-built [street] track if the venue allows it. I think that’s the beauty of this sport, is that we are not tethered to any particular style of racing.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

The main takeaway for me this week has been the Autosport interview with new Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds who wants the series to start showcasing its speed and quality of racing both now and in the future. “This fits in with Dodds’ vision for the car to get “faster and faster” over time. He continues: “The tender documents that have gone out for Gen4 give you a sense of where we are looking to push the series. Clearly, I want these cars to go much faster. That means they need more capacity, and different battery constructs. In Gen4, we will have more capacity, so we will see the racing evolve, and definitely the cars will have more performance.”

Ever wondered how Formula E achieves their goal of Net Zero? They explain all here. “As a signatory of, and following the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative, Formula E manages its carbon footprint through three key steps: effective measurement of carbon output, prioritising reducing of the championship footprint and offsetting remaining unavoidable emissions. On UK Net Zero Week, here’s how Formula E does it.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

With the SRO Motorsports Group announcing an extension to their long-standing partnership with TotalEnergies during last weekend’s Spa 24 Hours, they also explained how sustainable fuels will be powering their various championships.

First up it’s environmental policy and the headliner here is that the 2024 season will see the adoption across GT Word Challenge Europe and Asia of TotalEnergies-supplied 100% bio fuel. Bio fuel will also be used for tyre warmers.”

Porsche Plots its Electric Motorsport Future

In announcing their 2024 schedule, Formula 1 has stated that their work towards regionalizing the calendar has begun.

“Formula 1 has made clear its intention to move towards greater calendar regionalisation, reducing logistical burdens and making the season more sustainable. By moving Japan to April, Azerbaijan to September and Qatar back-to-back with Abu Dhabi, this calendar creates a better flow of races in certain regions, and this work will continue while being realistic to the fact that as a world championship, with climatic and contractual constraints, there will always be travel required that cannot be completely regionalised. For the opening two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the Grand Prix will take place on a Saturday. This decision has been taken to accommodate Ramadan.”

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.