Highlights from this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup are hard to determine because there is so much going on, but here are just a few that you will read about this week.
I feature an impressive motorsport STEM competition for schools, colleges, youth clubs and apprentices in the UK where teams learn how to retrofit petrol go karts and convert them into fully electric ekarts which they get to test and race to see which is the fastest and most energy efficient.
I look at the impressive work being done at the Silverstone Circuit to increase their sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint.
I highlight a renewed push behind MotoE both by the promoters and by Ducati, the new supplier of next season’s electric race bikes.
Finally, I bring you details of some of the excellent, sustainable motorsport-related conference sessions at this year’s Professional Motorsport World Expo.
All this and much more including my regular features Every Little Bit Counts, The Big Picture and Getting to the Track Sustainably. It’s all in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup, green news that racers can use.
Sustainable Motorsport News
- The FIA Motorsport Games have teamed up with Opel Motorsport for the Auto Slalom discipline at this years event. The Auto Slalom competition joins the Karting Slalom competition as the two disciplines which will use electric vehicles for the event. Both Auto Slalom and Karting Slalom will have two drivers from each nation – one male, one female. Originally launched in 2019, the Opel Corsa-e Rally is used in rallying competition in a championship coordinated by Opel and its partner, ADAC. It features a fully ecologically sustainable charging infrastructure with quick recharging capable within 25 minutes up to 80 % SOC with a 100 kW charger. The Opel Corsa-e Rally provides impressive performance due with impressive torque (260 Nm), racing suspension, and slip differential.
- The Blair Project has presented details of their ProtoEV Challenge, a motorsport STEM competition for schools, colleges, youth clubs and apprentices in the UK. “ProtoEV teams learn how to retrofit petrol go karts and convert them into fully electric ekarts which they get to test and race to see which is the fastest and most energy efficient.” You can register a team for a UK Regional final and explore their website to discover everything you need to get started.
- Following a successful audit, Mahindra Racing has retained its Three-Star level of the FIA Environmental Accreditation Program. The team’s Environmental and Sustainability Manager Claudio Corradini shares his thoughts: “Hey everyone! I’m delighted to be writing this blog with some excellent news. During the off-season, as the team works hard to prepare the Gen3 car ahead of Season 9, our sustainability committee continued to further progress our position as ‘the greenest team in motorsport.’ Back in September we underwent a successful audit conducted by an FIA Environmental Accreditation Auditor that meant we retained our Three-Star level in the framework. For those who might not be aware, the FIA Environmental Accreditation Programme is aimed at helping motorsport teams worldwide measure and enhance their environmental performance. By introducing a constant and well-defined environmental management system, it provides teams with a three-level framework against which to accredit their activities – such as our #TurnTheTide water bottle or tree-planting campaigns.”
- Scalar Performance, a new EV race car manufacturer plans to debut their first ever club racing car, the SCR1, at SEMA this year. “Scalar Performance co-founder, successful tech entrepreneur, and amateur racer, Brian Bourne is looking forward to releasing its Gen1 all-electric club sport amateur race car after months of research, development and engineering. “This first generation club level electric race car is the stepping stone for all the different technologies Scalar Performance is developing and bringing for the first time to the club sport amateur racing level. We are working closely with thought leading organizations such as National Auto Sport Association (NASA) to ensure we develop motorsport technology that can lead the evolution of amateur club sport racing”– Brian Bourne, Scalar Performance co-founder. To develop this car, Scalar Performance is working with partners such as Hypercraft and Ettractive. Hypercraft founder and CEO, Jake Hawsworth, added, “Working with Scalar Performance and Ettractive to develop this bespoke, innovative, and extremely high performance electric powertrain – all while keeping safety a top priority – was the kind of challenge that we at Hypercraft live for. We’re extremely excited to showcase the final product.”
- The Silverstone circuit has detailed their various sustainability initiatives as they start Shifting to Zero. Here are some of the details:
- 2764 solar panels providing 13% of their overall power
- 100% renewable energy from the grid by 2023
- HVO biofuel used for all in-house and ad-hoc generators since 2022, reducing emissions by 90%
- 30 EV chargers by 2023
- Low emission fleet by 2030
- Sustainably sourced food and drink
- Green Champions program established
- Zero single-use plastic and 100% waste reused, recycled and composted by 2026
- Zero waste to landfill since 2018
- Females in Motorsport chatted with Iona Neilson, a Senior Sustainability Manager at Formula E, on her role in Formula E and staying ahead of the curve. “As a Senior Sustainability Manager, Iona leads on the environmental excellence pillar of Formula E’s sustainability strategy with a focus on monitoring, measuring and reducing the environmental impacts of the championship. One of the main focuses of the role is operational delivery, which involves working with a number of different internal departments on a race by race basis to ensure the event is planned and delivered with sustainability in mind.”
- IMSA president John Doonan has told MotorsportWeek.com that the new IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship class, GTP, is the ultimate expression of the brand and performance, but in a responsible manner in terms of the environment. In the interview, Doonan said that, in GTP, “We have renewable fuel, hybrid power and thanks to our partnership with Michelin we have reduced tire allocations and consumption. Ultimate expression of the brand and performance but in a responsible manner in terms of the environment.”
- The one element of IMSA’s sustainability strategy, the method for deploying the hybrid electric power, is still being debated amongst the manufacturers and the series. “We’re working on the simulation side and understanding and figuring out across the class what’s the plan,” GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser told reporters during an IMSA-hosted Zoom session last week. “Some of that is still in motion. It’s probably the most exciting part – all of the opportunities.”
- Jaguar driver Sam Bird emerged unhurt from a huge Formula E testing accident at the Calafat circuit in Spain in the latest round of Gen3 running. The Race reports that “Bird’s incident is at least the third serious accident to occur with the Gen3 car since it began testing just under a year ago, although the incidents don’t appear to be fundamentally linked by one issue.”
- The FIM has announced that MotoE, motorcycle racing’s premier electric series, will get a promotion for 2023 as it gains full world championship status while expanding to new circuits and a 16-race season at eight different venues. According to The Race, “the news comes as part of a renewed push from series promoters Dorna for the series thanks to the arrival of Ducati, with previous one-make manufacturer Energica not shy in its final races about hinting at its unhappiness with the way in which the championship has failed to be promoted successfully by the series.”
- The new all-electric, all-terrain E-Xplorer Championship has officially launched with full International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) backing ahead of a full debut in 2023 reports Blackbook Motorsport. “Eight of the ten confirmed teams took part and the entire (test) event was powered through zero-emission hydgrogen energy, including the paddock. Each team will have one male and one female rider, with knockout head-to-head races staged in a relay format that sees both riders competing. In order to advance, a team will have to win two races in each heat.”
- Racecar Engineering details how the BTCC completed its first hybrid season. “The primary target for the hybrid drive was 15 seconds of deployment per lap when the system was available to a given driver. This translated to that car gaining 15m within those 15 seconds, assuming a corner exit speed of 100km/h. The organising body, TOCA, didn’t want it to act like a DRS, only being deployed in some regions of the circuit and only rewarding chasing drivers, as it believes this overtaking is too fabricated. Instead, it wanted a push-to-pass system that drivers could use at the exit of a corner to try and bring them alongside opponents in the next corner. However, the driver in front would also be able to push to defend that position, keeping racing close.”
- Ahead of the first public viewing and track demonstration of the new fully electric Formula Foundation-E race car at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 22nd & 23rd October, the British Racing & Sports Car Club has announced a support partnership with Essex based company Green Recycling Ltd. “This new collaboration will see Green Recycling Ltd supporting the BRSCC with funding to assist in the public launch and marketing of the Formula Foundation-E project. As part of the agreement, the stunning FF-E1 race car will carry Green Recycling Ltd brand colours and logos when the car is shown in public for the first time at the BRSCC Formula Ford Festival event at Brands Hatch.”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
- The Alpine Alpenglow is Alpine’s exploration of a possible hydrogen‑powered future. “Alpine is looking into a technology that could prefigure the brand’s racing and roadgoing cars,” the marque’s statement reads. “A hybrid hydrogen internal-combustion engine is environmentally-friendly and comes with the inimitable driving pleasure that this technology provides, including the sheer might, weightlessness and enthralling soundscape. Combining hydrogen technology with technical expertise honed in the heat of motor sports competitions will give future vehicles the kind of performance that only racing cars can reach – while producing practically nothing besides steam and riveting engine roars.”
- Pirelli’s motorsport division has been awarded the highest possible three-star rating by the FIA, as part of its Environmental Accreditation Program. Pirelli’s environmental approach will enable the group to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. “Examples of Pirelli’s own environmental sustainability objectives, both in business and manufacturing, include the reduction of overall CO2 emissions by 25% by 2025 (compared to 2015 levels) as well as the aim of purchasing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources: a target already achieved for all of Pirelli’s European plants.”
- The Nardò Technical Center is a massive testing track owned by Porsche in the south of Italy that is increasingly including sustainability in everything they do. “The Nardò Technical Center (NTC) in Apulia boasts a long and storied history. Since its founding in 1975, it has been the scene of countless speed and endurance records – most recently by the ‘Blizz Primatist’, a streamlined electric vehicle modeled on Bertone’s legendary Z.E.R. This achievement also symbolizes a new era at the NTC: As the test center continues its tradition of technical excellence, sustainability is also playing an increasingly important role for Porsche Engineering’s legendary venue in southern Italy.” The Porsche Newsroom has the details on what they are doing and why.
- The upcoming Professional Motorsport World Expo taking place November 9, 10, 11, 2022 at Köln Messe in Cologne, Germany has an interesting conference tack on advanced technologies for performance and sustainability. Here are some of the sessions that will be taking place during the conference:
- Advanced technologies for performance and sustainability
- Race to road – developing natural fiber series parts in racing
- The roadmap to sustainable manufacturing in motorsport
- Self-learning models for vehicle dynamics
- Motorsport and sustainable mobility: paradox or evidence?
- Sustainable fuel technology
- Renewable racing fuels as true drop-in solutions
- Racing for clean mobility – exploring high-output hydrogen ICE at Alpine
- Climate-neutral racing – the transition to sustainable performance
- Advanced motorsport powertrain technology – innovations and challenges, part 1
- 0-80% SoC in under 90 seconds with the high-efficiency BlueFire battery
- Hypercar and endurance racing fuel cell systems
- BTCC hybrid: How the UK’s top national race series became a platform for the future
- Advanced motorsport powertrain technology – innovations and challenges, part 2
- Fundamentals in e-safety design
- Embracing sustainable motorsport
- Racing on hydrogen by Forze
- Optimizing vehicle dynamics – learning through electrification
- Advanced technologies for performance and sustainability
Every Little Bit Counts
Every Little Bit Counts looks at small steps that you can take to decrease your environmental impact and increase your sustainability.
- There’s mounting evidence that people are getting more savvy to greenwashing – the term for when companies exaggerate or mislead about their environmentally conscious efforts. Here are 4 ways to avoid greenwashing in your marketing courtesy of the Advertising Specialty Institute.
The Big Picture
In The Big Picture, I look beyond motorsport to see what other sports are doing in their sustainability journey as well as the issue of sustainability generally. Hopefully this will act as a catalyst for change in the motorsport ecosystem as it demonstrates that in many ways, all sport shares some commonalities that can be tackled with achievable, measurable sustainability practices.
- Sail GP, often referred to as the sailing equivalent to Formula 1, has published their Purpose and Impact Report which explains how SailGP is reducing its carbon footprint. “Key highlights across the season include the the first 100% clean energy event delivered at the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Aarhus and the introduction of SailGP’s pioneering Impact League, which further incentivised teams to reduce their carbon footprint.”
- Ennovation Consulting looked back at sport at COP26 and the renewed ambition for climate action. “Motorsport’s widespread global influence in addition to its capacity for technical innovation make the sport an important actor in driving progress towards a more sustainable future for both the industry and beyond. Formula E, a signatory of the UNFCCC framework and member of the Race to Zero campaign, shone a spotlight on the sustainable future of motorsport and its capacity to drive social change. Formula E hosted two events at COP26, one of which was led by the championship’s sustainability director Julia Pallé and demonstrated ‘the power of electric racing’ in ‘accelerating sustainable human progress’. Additionally James Colgate, formerly Operations Director at Williams Racing, was among the speakers at an event discussing how sport can set the pace for climate action. Other speakers at this event included key stakeholders from Sail GP and World Athletics.”
- The Sports Industry Group has put together a video featuring 7 key learnings from this year’s Sport Positive Summit. You can watch it here.
- Watch the video above from Play to Zero as part of their Webinar Series: Approach to Carbon Neutrality, Energy.
Getting to the Track Sustainably
Getting to the Track Sustainably is my occasional column on developments in sustainable transportation that could have some application to motorsport. Since the majority of carbon emissions come from logistics and transportation, this topic is of utmost importance as motorsport works to make itself more sustainable. Here are some articles you may find of interest.
- Heart Aerospace switches its 19-seat electric aircraft to a 30-seat version with reserve-hybrid power
- American Airlines makes equity investment in Universal Hydrogen
- US roadmap outlines steps to meet the grand challenge of producing 35 billion gallons of SAF by 2050
- Cathay Pacific to acquire Aemetis SAF and extends carbon offset programme to air freight
- Why airline carbon offsets are mostly a sham
Sustainable Land Transportation
- GKN Automotive co-develops powerful production powertrain for Ariel Hipercar
- António Félix da Costa: “The Porsche Taycan convinced me that electric cars are the future”
- EXCLUSIVE Automakers to double spending on EVs, batteries to $1.2 trillion by 2030
- Bridgestone Unveils “Renewed Bandag”: Sustainable and Profitable Solution for Tire Manufacturing
- Borla wants to make your Mach-E sound like a (gas-powered) Mustang
- Hertz Rental Fleet to Add 175,000 GM Electric Vehicles
- New Scientific Research with Electrodes Doubles Autonomy and Increases Charging Speed in Electric Cars
- Major Breakthrough For Electric Cars To Go Mainstream: Researchers Develop 10-Minute Charging Method
- Recycled Battery Materials Can Work as Well as New Ones
- Inside one company’s journey to revolutionize how electric vehicles are made
- Why Car Enthusiasts Really Hate EVs
- Supercars at the electric breakthrough
- India’s cheapest electric car is powering past safety concerns over EVs
- E-bus deal puts Oslo on track for zero-emissions public transport goal