While it has been just a few days between editions of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup this week, I still have a lot to share with you. From Toyota’s hydrogen-fueled Corolla to the sustainable blockchain, Eco-friendly racing tires, and Porsche Supercup and MotoGP sustainability plans, you will find it all here and more. I also give my views on whether Formula 1 and Formula E can coexist. May answer may surprise you. Finally, I am also debuting my occasional series, Every Little Bit Counts where I highlight the sustainability activities of race drivers, teams and series so please contact me if you have a good initiative you would like to share.
- Toyota is continuing the development of its hydrogen-fueled Corolla, currently racing in the Super Taikyu series in Japan. Professional Motorsport World Magazine reports that “last season, over the six months following its race debut, Toyota’s development team upped the power of the GR Yaris derived 1,600cc engine by 24% and torque by 33%, putting it on a par with gasoline cars in terms of performance.”
- Race driver Ellis Spiezia was generousness enough to contribute an excellent article on sustainable blockchain to Motorsport Prospects. In One Electric Racing Driver’s Guide To Sustainable Blockchain, Ellis explains the concepts behind blockchain, the sustainability implications of the technology and how he is using blockchain as part of his race driving career. He also provides a wealth of source material so that you can explore further the concepts and technology behind sustainable blockchains.
- Allen Berg Racing Schools has created a brand new program called Electrified Training Systems. This specialized program is for teaching the driving skill sets necessary to properly operate electric vehicles. Allen Berg Specialized teaches the driving skills necessary for optimum battery life (range), optimum regenerative braking re-charging as well as high-performance training related to electric motor torque and advanced driver-assist / connected car technologies. More information can be found here.
- The ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA will adopt Carless’ sustainable racing fuel as part of a new partnership between the two brands. “Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series will mandate the use of Carless’ Hiperflo® R20 performance fuel across all of the category’s new-for-2022 Tatuus T-421 cars for a three-year period, starting with the upcoming 2022 season. The fuel itself contains a total of 20% renewable components, comprising 15% second-generation ethanol content and 5% of renewable hydrocarbons. This allows for an up to 18% reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases when compared to current pump fuel, lowering the subsequent impact on the environment.” The move to sustainable fuels aligns with Motorsport UK’s Sustainability Strategy which outlines the organizations commitment to tackling climate change and targeting a net-zero carbon footprint. Further information on Motorsport UK’s Sustainability Strategy is available here.
- Firestone has launched a more sustainable race tire that makes use of an Eco-friendlier rubber that shifts harvesting from trees to the robust guayule shrub grown in the U.S. Southwest. As quoted in Racer.com “Bridgestone has committed to carbon neutrality and 100-percent new renewable materials by 2050,” Cara Krystolic (formerly Adams), the director of race tire engineering and manufacturing, and chief motorsports engineer for Bridgestone Americas, told RACER. “We have a new E8 commitment where we talk about emotion, ecology, energy, and sustainability is the key here.” Racer has more details here.
- On the eve of the introduction of the Gen 3 car on April 28th in Monte Carlo, Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle feels that Nissan’s recent commitment to the series is a powerful validation to Formula E. “Nissan’s commitment is a powerful validation of our approach. Nissan has the scale and ambition to change the course of the industry. As a global manufacturer, it can deploy huge development and marketing resources in all key markets for Formula E,” Reigle said.
- Maserati has explained to The Race that their Formula E ambitions go beyond being a clone of fellow brand DS. “When Grasso joined Maserati in July 2019 he immediately pushed for a return to international competition for the marque because in his own words “without racing it wouldn’t be Maserati. It was born on a track, right?””
- The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup enters its 30th season at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari this weekend and the 911 GT3 Cup race car that all drivers are racing will be powered by Esso Renewable Racing Fuel. This is all part of Porsche’s Renewable Racing initiative that they want to apply to all their single-make series as explained in the video above.
- MotoMatters has a great interview with MotoGP’s Director of Technology, Corrado Cecchinelli as he discusses MotoGP’s push for non-fossil fuels, the inevitability of ride-height devices, and balancing the rules. “It’s clear that if you want to reduce the footprint of an event, the best thing is not to do it. But, if those events help to promote things that will have a big impact on the world, so on billions of vehicles, then it all makes sense. And the choice of going to partial and then totally non-fossil fuels, the idea behind that is there’s an alternative way than full electric, that we also have. So, the championship is hybrid in the sense that we have an electric series and an internal combustion series.”
- I have posted this before and it is well worth a view if you have not seen it already. In Motorsport In The Electric Age, EV advocate Roger Atkins, asks whether we will still be able to watch a Formula One race in 2031. Thought provoking and not all doom and gloom which is always encouraging. You can watch the film above.
- Green Racing News reports on a new battery technology that could triple the range of electric vehicles. “According to Theion, Li-S battery technology is one of the most promising battery technologies today because of its technical, economic and environmental advantages. Unlike Lithium-ion batteries, Sulfur is abundant and inexpensive. In batteries, it can replace these cathode materials at a high processing cost. Theion claims that it is 99% cheaper to obtain than nickel-rich cathode materials.”
- Speaking of Green Racing News, at their upcoming Green Racing Virtual Summit, through an exclusive interview, participants will have the opportunity to learn all the details about Extreme H, a “sister” series to Extreme E, which will use Hydrogen as fuel to power the race cars. In order to watch the virtual presentation, register here to attend.
- McLaren Applied have a fascinating glimpse of what Formula 1 racing may be like in 2050. Here are just a few of the highlights. You can find out more here.
- 500 km/h inductively charged, electric racing machines
- On-board advanced AI co-pilot
- Shapeshifting active aerodynamics
- Thrilling circuits, fierce banking
- Strategy support via esports pathfinders
- Inspired by comprehensive fan research
- Sam Smith in The Race argues that Formula 1 and Formula E must soon decide if they can coexist. I have always felt that if anything, Formula E will eventually fade away. Why? Because eventually, Formula 1 will have no choice but to be open to all forms of propulsion, whether that be battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, liquid hydrogen, synthetic fuel hybrids or something that has yet to be dreamed up. Subject to some performance and safety parameters and a budget cap set by the FIA, F1 teams should and will be free to pursue whichever power source they feel will allow them to win races. It is the fastest sustainable technology R&D laboratory on the planet. It also takes care of that pesky agreement Formula E has with the FIA about being exclusively electric.
- While only indirectly related to motorsport, more and more industry heavyweights are pointing out the obvious that electric is not the only carbon emissions solution, it is just one part of the solution. According to BMW CEO Oliver Zipse: “If you are not selling combustion engines, someone else will.” He elaborated at a recent industry round-table: “When you look at the technology coming out, the EV push, we must be careful because at the same time, you increase dependency on very few countries,” Zipse told reporters, according to Reuters. EVs are primarily popular in highly developed markets like China and Europe and also depend on raw materials that flow mostly through China. And as the pandemic and current trade sanctions on Russia show, depending too much on any one set of market conditions or single chain in a supply line can be dangerous.
Every Little Bit Counts
In Every Little Bit Counts, I intend to shine the spotlight on race drivers, teams and championships as they implement their own innovative plans to increase their sustainability and reduce their use of limited resources. Regardless of what it is, every little bit counts.
Race driver Tommy Foster is working hard to become carbon neutral this racing season. I took this right from Tommy’s Facebook page as it is a good demonstration of how one driver can make a difference.
Our calculations, working with Plant One 🌳 making us carbon neutral for the season, by planting trees to offset the cars emissions, have been thrown off by TotalEnergies incredible new 100% sustainable fuel – with 65% less harmful output.https://www.facebook.com/TommyFosterRacing
We can now proudly announce that our whole race season is going to be CARBON NEGATIVE!
However we’re not going to take our foot off the gas, Plant One will be putting on a private planting day where we are inviting our friends from Your Partnerships & Cornwall Chamber of Commerce to attend.
Together we can all build Cornwall’s Green Future.