This week on the Sustainable Motorsport Round-Up I look at why McLaren are racing in Extreme E, the fascinating Fangio Hypercar, Lamborghini’s plans for synthetic fuel and the new 2022 Extreme E tire. All that plus a look at some interesting developments in sustainable aviation and more.
- It was a surprise to some that McLaren decided to compete in Extreme E in 2022. In why McLaren has taken its unprecedented off-road left turn, Autosport Plus looks at their reasoning and how the series fits in with McLaren’s mission. “We have a filter, if you like, when we look at new racing series. It has to be commercially viable. Extreme E ticked every single one of those boxes.”
- The Veloqx Fangio Hypercar (see photo above) is currently a track-only car and not a homologated racer but it has recently been testing at Yas Marina. Don’t confuse this for a “typical” hypercar though. This car, while currently powered by a Ferrari V12 engine is being targeted to be powered by a “variable zero-emission fuel combustion engine” designed to run on a variety of fuels, including hydrogen. And that fits into Veloqx’s plan to create an LMH version of the car for 2025, which fits in with the FIA WEC’s plans to run until at least 2024 with TotalEnergies’ new totally renewable fuel.
- The CrossContact 2022 Extreme E Tire is a lesson in sustainability. As Green Racing News points out, “a third of its structure is made from recyclable and renewable raw materials, where silica, extracted from rice husk ash, stands out.”
- While Lamborghini is moving towards an electric future, they are not giving up on the internal combustion engine. They hope to keep combustion engines alive beyond 2030 by using synthetic fuel.
- Motorsport has been sponsored and fueled by oil companies for as long as the sport has existed. As more and more of these companies announce sustainability plans, how sincere are they? Not much according to oil firms’ climate claims are greenwashing, study concludes.
Getting to the Track Sustainably
As I do from time to time, here are some articles of interest related to sustainable transportation that impact motorsport as they involve the type of logistics that motorsport uses to get to the track.
These developments are not necessarily motorsport-related but are fascinating none the less.
- The New Zealand America’s Cup team just announced the near-completion of its hydrogen-powered catamaran prototype that will serve as the tender for its AC40 raceboats. The boat weighs about 11,000 lbs., with a cruising speed of 37 to 40 mph, and a top speed of 58 mph. It will be able to carry a crew of six, with a range of 110 miles. The fuel cell will power a 400V DC electric engine, generating about 440kW of peak power.
- Italian yacht builder Sanlorenzo has announced that it will deliver a 164-footer equipped with hydrogen fuel cells as soon as 2024. Sanlorenzo’s CEO Massimo Perotti is so confident in the design, in fact, that he is backing it himself, as reported by the Superyacht Times.
- Finally, a new list shows the trucks, buses, engines, and other commercial vehicles that have been approved by the manufacturers to run on higher blends of biodiesel. These range from Caterpillar to DEUTZ, MAN and MTU to Scania and Volvo. By using biodiesel, operators of heavy-duty vehicle fleets contribute to climate protection, because depending on the feedstock, biodiesel emits between 70-90 % less greenhouse gases than fossil diesel.