This week in the Sustainable Motorsport Round-Up are a number of positive developments in Extreme E and ETCR, F1’s unwavering sustainability commitment, a bold move by Mazda and a high performance hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine. While I try to stay focused on sustainable motorsport, I do veer off the path once in a while to touch on sustainable transportation as a whole and this week is no exception. The quest for a more sustainable form of motorsport continues unabated.
Sustainable Motorsport Series News
- Blackbook Motorsport spoke to Ali Russell, chief marketing officer at Extreme E about how Extreme E is changing the motorsport industry. “The whole process is zero emissions.”
- Extreme E also announced their brand new hydrogen offshoot plan for 2024 called Extreme H. The new Extreme H series will utilize the same spec Spark Racing Technologies-built Odyssey 21 chassis as XE, while participating teams can use the same custom-built drivetrain across both cars. But a hydrogen fuel cell will replace the Williams Advanced Engineering-produced battery “as the principal energy source”, according to the organizer’s statement.
- Formula E is expected to reveal the details of their Gen 3 car in June before the World Motorsport Council. Meanwhile, they are racing against the clock in Jakarta to get the track ready in time for their inaugural Eprix.
- Audi has announced that the next challenge for the Audi RS Q e-tron will be the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. After its debut with four stage victories at the Dakar Rally in January, the innovative desert prototype with electric drivetrain, a high-voltage battery and the highly efficient energy converter will contest the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with factory drivers Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger in the second round of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship.
- The FIA ETCR Championship has concluded a multi-year contract with Turkey to run in Istanbul. The FIA ETCR will visit Turkey from May 20-22 to race on the Istanbul Park track but for 2023 and 2024 the action will move to a new, all-street circuit located in Beyoğlu.
- Mazda is set to compete in Japan’s Super Taikyu domestic endurance racing series with its Mazda2 Bio concept, a Skyactiv-D diesel-powered Demio/Mazda2 production-based race car that will be fueled by a 100% bio-derived next-generation biodiesel called Susteo, developed by Japanese firm Euglena.
- Electric rallycross specialist STARD says it is to deliver its first ERX powertrain kit to be used in the British Rallycross Championship, due for fitment in British driver Steve Harris’s Mini RX. With national ASNs throughout Europe adding electric cars to their existing rule sets, and with the ERX powertrain kit designed to be retrofitted to ICE cars, as well as being implemented in new builds, Harris and his technical partner in the UK, Sim-Tech Solutions, chose the STARD solution.
- Finally, Formula 1 Chief Technical Officer Pat Symond’s has stated in respect to F1’s sustainability challenge: “We need to develop every aspect of the business to carbon neutrality.” And F1 is working diligently to make that happen.
Sustainable Motorsport-Related Tech
- Five of the biggest manufacturers in Japan are hedging their bets on hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines with the development of the Hot V performance V8 hydrogen-combustion engine. The five manufacturers include Toyota, Subaru, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Mazda. The prototype engine displaces 5.0 liters and is based on the Lexus RC-F powerplant. In its hydrogen-combustion form, it makes 455 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 398 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm.
- While not directly related to motorsport, Cummins is working to develop clean diesel and hydrogen-powered truck engines. My favourite quote from Thomas Linebarger, Cummins’ chief executive has to be this: “Teslas won’t drive our economy, they’ll drive rich people.”
- It would be appropriate to say we are going “back to the future” as the DeLorean is apparently coming back as an all-electric sports car.
- Finally, Porsche has been all in with numerous sustainable technologies such as synthetic fuel and battery electric vehicles but they have not been implemented in the iconic 911. Yet. That can all change as apparently a hybrid Porsche 911 could be coming soon.
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