This week in the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup I bring yet more developments in the fast-paced world of sustainable motorsport.
The Roundup looks at the state of EV racing in the United States, an all-electric Gymkhana race car, issues with Formula E’s new fast charging technology and much more.
I also bring you details on a sponsor scouting report that allows you to conduct ESG due diligence on potential sponsors, the latest Sustainable Sport Index, and a great video on how Formula E moves the championship around the world as sustainably as possible.
Finally, because Halloween is on Monday, I give you some green Halloween tips for more sustainable trick and treating!
Sustainable motorsport is a journey, both literally and figuratively. Always remember not to let perfection be the enemy of good. Enjoy!
Sustainable Motorsport News
- PRI has a great article on the state of EV racing in the United States. “The reluctance to accept EVs as legitimate race vehicles seems to be a US-only phenomenon. When asked for examples of where EV racing is strong, Mollica mentioned several series, from Formula E to FIA Rallycross and the Dakar Rally, that take place in Europe and South America. “Here in the US, people are trying to figure out rules and safety. EV adoption abroad happened faster than it has here, and they have a head start on the racing. A lot can be learned by studying what they are doing right. But if you consider the hockey-stick trajectory of EV racing elsewhere in the world, combined with the mass adoption and rollout of EVs at the OE level, it is not going to be long before EV racing takes a foothold here.”
- Aston Martin F1 has achieved the FIA’s Three-Star Environmental accreditation. Mike Krack, AMF1 Team Principal, said: “I am pleased that we have received our FIA Three-Star Environmental Accreditation. The award demonstrates our commitment to provide solutions to sustainability challenges through our people, operations, and practices. We acknowledge that we are still at the start of our journey – there is still so much more that we can achieve as we continue to focus on implementing sustainable systems across the team and raise further environmental awareness.”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
- After a billion total views across 10 wildly successful Gymkhana Films, setting the current bar for automotive action movies, Ken Block is back with a new partner to launch the future of Gymkhana. Driving an entirely bespoke machine developed and built by Audi, Ken Block is electrifying Gymkhana in the first ever Electrikhana! To provide the perfect setting for the 800 volt, bi-motor, AWD Audi S1 Hoonitron’s tire-slaying debut, Hoonigan Media Machine shut down one of the busiest cities in the world: LAS VEGAS. Watch it in action in the video above.
- Ahead of this weekend’s Mexico City Grand Prix, F1 celebrated the winners of the first Santander X Global Challenge – Countdown to Zero in a special ceremony that took place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The competition challenged startups and scaleups from around the world to identify projects that contribute to the green transition of F1, the automotive industry and others and F1’s President & CEO Stefano Domenicali and Brandon Snow, Managing Director – Commercial were in attendance to honour the six winners, who were chosen from over 600 entrants from 11 countries. You can watch the awards ceremony in the video above.
Sustainable Motorsport Series News
- Formula E has delayed the introduction of fast-charging pit stops due to reliability issues according to The Race. “The Race had learned that the rapid charging booster, which has been trialed in private testing over the last few months, will not be ready for wholesale use but could still make appearances in some selected races in the first Gen3 season next year.”
- Dorna Sports, series promoter for MotoGP, has announced an extension with Petronas as the exclusive fuel supplier for its Moto2 and Moto3 feeder series. “For Petronas, we view Dorna’s call to reduce carbon emissions in MotoGP as key in unlocking new opportunities as we embark to redefine ourselves in the face of the energy transition. Beyond the comercial aspect, the extension of the agreement, and Petronas’ title sponsorship of the Malaysian Grand Prix, we also hope to contribute to the growth of the motorsports industry in Malaysia. This is the same reason why Petronas has continued to support grassroot Malaysian competitions over the past two decades and revive the wildcard programme.”
- Honda’s MotoGP team and Repsol have extended their title partnership until the end of 2024. “Repsol Communications and Corporate director Marcos Fraga says the company is “proud” to extend its collaboration with Honda for at least the next two seasons, adding that the two parties are working towards the “ambitious goal” of developing the best sustainable fuel as MotoGP works towards running 100% sustainable fuel for the 2024 term.”
- Since debuting on the high-profile World RX package last year, RX2e – a joint venture between Spanish electro-mobility specialist QEV Technologies and Swedish rallycross powerhouse Olsbergs MSE – has attracted no fewer than 32 drivers, producing some spellbinding on-track action and memorable wheel-to-wheel duels. Up to this point, most cars have been run by QEV, but from season three, RX2e will become a team-based championship, with private outfits able to buy or lease cars and adapt the bodywork while QEV continues as single supplier.
- The bodywork that is likely to adorn the 2023 version of the Super Formula car has been publicly revealed in testing at Suzuka. “The sidepods are made partly from Bcomp flax fibre, while Yokohama tyres featuring more sustainable materials are also expected to be part of the final package of upgrades that are brought in for next season.”
- The new for 2023 FIM E-Xplorer World Cup has successfully completed its first pre-season tests. “To conduct the test sessions, the entire event, including the paddock, received sustainable energy through zero-emission hydrogen power generators provided by GCK Energy, leaving behind the use of fossil fuels and boosting the adoption of this type of energy in competitive sport categories.”
- American racer (and Motorsport Prospects contributor) Ellis Spiezia will join the 2023 NXT Gen Cup as the first international driver of the world’s first 100% electric junior touring car cup. “Joining the NXT Gen Cup in 2023 is the perfect way for me to continue my career as an electric racing driver. Being at the forefront of new junior series is exciting and I hope I can inspire more young drivers to race electric,” said Ellis Spiezia. The NXT Gen Cup will start in 2023 and run alongside the all-electric STCC, featuring a big grid of LRT NXT1 race cars which are based on the electric MINI Cooper SE road car – explore the cup further here.
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.
- With Halloween on Monday, the World Wildlife Fund has some great tips for you on how to make trick or treating more sustainable. Here are their 10 Green Halloween Tips.
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.
- 5T Sports Group has introduced the Sports Partner Score Card, a scouting report for sponsorship due diligence. “Knowing that front offices in sport do not typically have the skills in-house to assess the sustainability credentials of a prospective partner, 5T Sports Group set out to create an agile ‘triage tool’ to assess potential pairings. As such, the Vancouver, Canada-based sustainability consultancy – which advises major professional teams, leagues and events – devised the Sports Partner Score Card, a scoring framework through which the sustainability efforts and ESG-related commitments of more than 60 global brands across 15 sponsorship categories have been assessed.” To illustrate how the Score Card works in practice, researchers at 5T took a deep dive into Heineken’s data and that of three of the Dutch brewing giant’s most high-profile sports partners: Uefa, Formula One and Formula E. Heineken was chosen for this case study due to its global footprint and visibility, as well as the international nature of its sports partnership portfolio.
- The GOAL platform, NHL Venue Metrics and The Toolbox’s ANOC partnership highlight sport’s growing arsenal to make sustainability more accessible, participative and rewarding. “The common adage, ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’, is fundamentally true, but the expectation that sport measures its environmental and social impact – and measures it well – is growing.”
- The 2022 Sustainable Sport Index has been released. Read about the state of sustainability in the sports industry based on self-reported survey data from professional and collegiate teams and venues. The report also includes best practices, a playbook for getting a venue’s footprint closer to zero, and support for building the business case for sustainability. You can download it here.
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.
- Have you ever wondered how Formula E takes a World Championship racing series around the world sustainably? Find out what exactly goes into racing in city centres all over the world from the people that make it work in the video above.