Sustainable Motorsport Roundup for July 9, 2022-A Carbon Neutral Bloodhound

This week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup really does cover the depth and breadth of motorsport. From the now carbon-neutral land speed record of the Bloodhound project to electric touring cars to running historic race cars on sustainable fuels, there is something here for everyone so here we go!

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup for July 9, 2022-A Carbon Neutral Bloodhound
  • The British Bloodhound Land Spreed Record Project has determined that pivoting to a net carbon zero approach will help it find investors to continue the project. “So I’m doing it for three reasons: it’s the right thing to do, the engineering challenge, but also to increase the attractiveness of any investor. We have had investors turn away and go, ‘I can’t be associated with that. I’ve got lots of money, but that’s not green.” As mentioned in his interview with The Sunday Times, Wing Commander Stuart Edmondson was keen to clarify that Bloodhound wouldn’t be using biofuels to power the jet engine, which come with their own environmental issues such as deforestation and mass crop farming, but synthetic e-fuels, such as those being developed by the likes of Porsche, using renewable processes to create a hydrogen and methanol-based liquid fuel. The process is potentially completely carbon neutral.
  • Could virtual placement make motorsport advertising more sustainable? That is the question that James Morris of Forbes attempts to answer. “A lot of waste can be involved in traditional physical advertising at an event location, which will be up for the period of the campaign and then be thrown away. For motorsport where every race is in a different location, the situation is even worse. Advertisements are there for the race weekend only. It may be possible to move them to each new event, but either way there is a carbon footprint involved. It may not be possible to use existing assets for a street circuit, where this must be tailored to the specific buildings in that city.”
Sustainable Motorsport Roundup for July 8, 2022-A Carbon Neutral Bloodhound
  • The NXT Gen Cup has been unveiled as the world’s first fully electric junior touring car cup which will run as support class to the STCC in 2023, a championship which recently announced its move to electric ahead of next year.
  • The delayed 2022 electric World RX season is set to begin in Norway in August according to Autosport. A statement from the organizing body said: “Teams have been working tirelessly behind-the-scenes in advance of the electric switch, but global events over the past couple of years have caused supply chain issues leading to unforeseen delays in car builds. In order to launch this new generation of rallycross beasts in fitting fashion, the decision has consequently been taken to grant teams two further weeks to perfect their preparations.”
  • Japan’s Super GT, the touring car racing series, is set to be the first championship in Asia to run on 100 per cent biofuels after striking an agreement with ETS Racing Fuels according to Blackbook Motorsport. “The motorsport industry is strongly committed to a low carbon future and is putting all its efforts into implementing sustainable fuels,” said Masaaki Bandoh, chairman of the GTA.
Sustainable Motorsport Roundup for July 9, 2022-A Carbon Neutral Bloodhound
Photo: MSV
  • MotorSport Vision (MSV) has unveiled fresh proposals for its Couvron development in north-east France, with a view to establishing the site as the world’s first self-sufficient eco circuit. The updated plans place a major emphasis on renewable energy, with the venue acting as a global leader in progressive, green motor racing and automotive activities. “Having contemplated rising costs and the shift by major manufacturers from petrol and diesel cars to hybrid technology and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), MSV has identified an opportunity for Couvron to establish itself at the forefront of motorsport and the automotive industry’s push towards a greener future.”
  • At the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, Zero Petroleum announced that The Duke of Richmond’s motorbike was powered by Zero Petroleum’s Zero® Syn95™, which is a first prototype of a sustainable and fossil-free equivalent of the everyday 95 RON petrol found on UK forecourts. Paddy Lowe: “I have been to Goodwood many, many times during my career so it is very exciting to be back this year with Zero Petroleum, fuelling The Duke around the event with this ground-breaking fuel. Synthetic fuels will play a central role in meeting the challenge of total sustainability in transportation. They offer a direct drop-in fossil-free solution for current and past vehicles and in the future they will power a vast range of vehicles that have high demands for power, range and payload as well as the legacy of classic cars we see at Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival every year.”
  • Related to the Duke’s motorbike, in a recent conversation about Sebastian Vettal’s Williams FW14B run using carbon-neutral fuel at the British Grand Prix, one participant in vintage racing mentioned that he was using Ecomaxx Clean Fuels in his historic race car. According to the manufacturer: “Ecomaxx fuels not only provide maximum engine performance, they are also cleaner and therefore better for the engine, health and the environment. The fuels also have a long shelf life.”
Sustainable Motorsport Roundup for July 9, 2022-A Carbon Neutral Bloodhound
  • Electric Racer and Motorsport Prospects contributor Ellis Spiezia discusses his progress on the electric racing development ladder and the future of sustainable motorsport in his interview with the Global Innovation Forum. You can watch the video above and I have included the graphic he used in his presentation as well.
  • The unison between Extreme E and the global initiative Count Us In, first announced in 2020, encourages fans to use the collective power of their individual action on climate, inspiring them to take one or more impactful actions from a set recommended by the campaign and they are back for a second season. “The goal of these actions is to show that committing to small lifestyle changes, such as eating more plant-based foods, walking and cycling more, as well as reducing energy consumption at home, has a positive impact when multiplied on a global level.”
Sustainable Motorsport Roundup for July 8, 2022
Image courtesy of Formula E
  • On their website, Formula E explains how the championship achieves net zero. “From optimising transportation and logistics, to extending end-of-life options for lithium-ion battery cells and cutting out single-use plastics on site, the championship’s drive for sustainable practices has led to Formula E becoming the first and only category in motorsport to receive third-party ISO 20121 certification – the international standard for sustainability in events.”
  • As for the new Formula E Gen3 cars set to debut in 2023, according to Autosport, drivers are reporting that the car offers a “good step up” but there are mixed reviews on the “rock” Hankook tires. “The main goal is to make the drivability as good as possible. For sure the braking feels different. But I guess there’s still let’s say a lot of work in performance running to do.”
  • In Episode 3 of the Inside McLaren Applied podcast, Freya Brolsma and James Baldwin catch up with Dr Stephen Lambert, McLaren Applied’s Head of Electrification. “The automotive world is changing rapidly, and the pace of change is putting pressure on our established transport networks to keep up not only with demand but with the need for the planet to transition.”
The Business of Motorsport for July 7, 2022
  • Finally, here is video of Sebastian Vettel driving his Williams FW14B at Silverstone running on carbon-neutral fuels under the banner Race Without Trace where he said he felt like a five year old such was his excitement at the run. In The inconvenient questions posed by Vettel’s Williams run, Autosport Plus asks two significant questions that Formula 1 will need to consider sooner rather than later with no easy answers:
    • Should these carbon-neutral fuels be introduced sooner rather than in 2026, and;
    • Should F1 ditch the road-going relevance they currently insist upon and run pure V8/10/12 racing engines running biofuels saving weight and bringing back some of the spectacle to F1?
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.