This week in the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup I cover everything from Ford’s changing electric racing plans to Mercedes F1 testing biofuels in their fleet of trucks used to transport the team around Europe. I also look at testing sustainable fuels in Formula 2, DTM Electric’s sound experiments and two opportunities for young drivers interested in racing electric. All this plus tips on greening your website, my Getting to The Track Sustainably column and much more.
Sustainable Motorsport News
- Ford have made it clear is that they are no longer pushing for hybrids or full-electric racing. “Ford Performance boss Mark Rushbrook, as part of the global launch of the new seventh-generation Ford Mustang last week, says that the marque’s stance had mellowed towards electrification in racing. Rushbrook explained that Ford Performance’s broader take on electrification and hybridisation in motor racing had changed, with internal combustion power now the preference.”
- Dorna Sports have announced that they have obtained international ISO 20121 certification. “ISO 20121 provides a framework for improving and maintaining the economic, environmental, and social impact of events, certifying current standards as well as defining a plan for continuous improvement going forward. Obtaining ISO 20121 certification is a voluntary process via a third-party audit providing an objective and independent assessment as to whether a company or organisation meets the criteria.”
- Fast Company looks at why Andretti Autosport is involved in EV racing. “Formula E was the catalyst to tackle climate change in auto sports, so Andretti Technologies was born to develop our Formula E powertrain solution going into season two. Once the powertrain opened up, we focused on the E motor and inverter and transmission. That was with a handful of other partnerships and a full test program. Formula E made a commitment to be net-zero carbon from the beginning, and they’ve been able to do that with their certified science-based targets since day one.”
- The Mercedes Formula One team reduced its CO2 emissions by 89 per cent during a biofuels trial for its European land freight. The trial took place between Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Zandvoort in the Netherlands and Monza in Italy, which were the final three European races of the season. Mercedes traveled approximately 1,400km during the trial, and analysis concluded that the use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO 100) biofuel saved 44,091kg of CO2 and reduced freight emissions by 89 per cent. “Sustainability is at the heart of our operations,” said Toto Wolff, team principal and chief executive of the Mercedes team. “Trialing the use of biofuels for our land freight is another example of our commitment to embed sustainability in every decision we make and action we take.”
- Sauber Motorsport, the organization behind the Alfa Romeo Formula One team, has achieved the three-star level within the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Environmental Accreditation framework. “Past and present activities have put the team at the forefront of this effort: Sauber Motorsport have been powering its Hinwil headquarters with renewable energy generated on site; it has fully offset the team’s CO2 emissions, including employees’ flights, through reforestation and forest protection projects; and it has renewed the company’s vehicle fleet to reduce emissions. As part of the commitment to a greener future, the team has also targeted a reduction of its total carbon footprint by December 2023.”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
- Škoda Design has presented the Vision GT, a computer-animated study of an all-electric racing car, at the Design and Transformation exhibition in Brussels, Belgium, that runs until January 8, 2023. “The futuristic vehicle is a reinterpreted concept of the OEM’s 1957 1100 OHC. Designed as an open-top race car much like its older sibling, the Vision GT features an active cockpit with a single, centered and suspended driver’s seat to compensate for G-forces when driving.”
- Audi Sport prepared for the first rally of the new Audi RS Q e-tron E2 at an extensive test in Morocco in September 2022. With Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, all six drivers and co-drivers got to know and appreciate the second evolution stage in tough conditions. “Audi Sport completed a total of 4,218 kilometers in Morocco. Together with the previous tests in Europe, this already results in a total distance of 6,424 kilometers for the Audi RS Q e-tron E2. However, the team has no time for a break: In less than two weeks, the second evolution of the rally prototype will experience its baptism of fire. Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz contest the Morocco Rally in the southwest of the country from October 1 to 6. With its varied terrain, it is considered the ideal event to prepare for the Dakar Rally.”
- Hazel Southwell in Race Fans explains why F2’s role as F1’s sustainable fuel guinea pig ‘isn’t going to be a reliability issue’. “Calendini said the intention is to gradually ramp up from biologically-derived fuels to fully molecularly-constructed fuels, made using captured carbon from the air and sustainably-sourced hydrogen. “So our next step will be in 2025 and 2026 to start to include the synthetic components and then to pave the way for Formula 1 for 2026 with a fully sustainable fuel and come with a fully sustainable fuel in 2027 for F2 and F3.”
- The Regular Kart Racer tests the EV Kart AMP in the video above. “Testing the EV kart at the AMP Kart Racing facility at Atlanta Motorsports Park. Went out with the Shifter karts as we (@Vextrek) wanted to see how it would fare. Sure enough, we have the speed and acceleration to at least run with them. This thing also managed the hills and elevation changes with ease. Biggest downfall remains the weight, it can hang with a Shifter kart and I can even make a pass, but once we get into the corner…oof. Combine that with having instant torque and power on demand, makes it a handful. Still an absolute blast to drive though!“
- When Formula E published a fact sheet on the new Gen3 race car, they probably did not realize that they would be facing so many issues with battery reliability. “The Gen3 car has a much higher cycle of regen (600kW maximum). In Gen2 a certain amount of energy was being regenerated on one axle last year (250kW) but there will be two axles worth of energy coming in next season. That means the battery has got a much harder cycle to deal with and remember it is 100kgs lighter than its predecessor (285kgs to 385kgs).”
- Road & Track reports that the Jakarta E-Prix, the Formula E round in Indonesia that ran in June of 2022 after a long and rocky organizing process, is now reportedly the focus of an investigation by the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission, according to the Jakarta Globe. “The corruption group reportedly spoke to Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan last week, a conversation meant to shed light on why the city budget was used to fund most of the costs of the race. An Indonesian-language source surfaced by Formula E expert Hazel Southwell later clarified that the governor is not necessarily a suspect in the investigation.” Despite all of this, organizers have insisted that the race will be back in Season 9.
- The ERA Championship is getting ready for their first full European season in 2023 by launching their Next Gen Racer Scholarship, with the winner receiving a full scholarship seat in ERA Series Europe 2023. The video above explains how the program will work.
- Autosport explains why the newly electrified World RX faces a critical balancing act. “That’s no mean feat given the work needed to accommodate the spec, twin-motor Kreisel Electric four-wheel-drive powertrain kit – which packs a 500kW punch. “It was not as simple as just removing the internal combustion engine and putting in the electric powertrain,” points out Hansen World RX Team boss Kenneth Hansen, who runs two Peugeot 208 RX1e cars for sons Timmy and Kevin. That explains why the first round was twice postponed, from Holjes to the Nurburgring – which has been rescheduled – before getting underway in Hell.”
- Månz Thalin has become the youngest driver to join the inaugural NXT Gen Cup season in 2023, the world’s first fully electric junior touring car championship. “The car features a 30kWh battery with an electric, liquid cooled motor which produces 230hp pending circuit – including push-to-pass functionality. The front-wheel drive cars can run 20-minute races at full pace thanks to comprehensive development by NXT Gen Cup in a wide array of conditions.” Junior drivers can apply interest to take part in the 2023 NXT Gen Cup here.
- The DTM Electric race car is to make a special “sound demo” at the Red Bull Ring this weekend. “DTM Electric is a new one-make category that could join the DTM support bill by 2025 and is based on an under-development prototype capable of producing 1000bhp and reaching speeds up to 300km/h. The idea is not to mimic the sound of a combustion engine or take cues from science fiction. Instead, the DTM Electric is supposed to closely resemble the sound of an electric motor, but with certain tweaks to make it more appealing to trackside spectators.”
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.
Sustainable Web Design
- Most race drivers, teams and motorsport service providers have websites as they are critical to maintaining a connection with stakeholders such as sponsors or customers on a platform that is under their control. What you may not be aware of is the impact that energy consumption and emissions from the internet have on the environment. According to reports, 2% of global carbon emissions come from the electricity used by the internet. One of the things that you can do to reduce your impact is to apply sustainable web design to your website. The interesting part is that sustainable websites tend to be faster and more efficient which means they are more responsive and easier to navigate for your users such as fans and potential sponsors.
Where to Start?
- Because you cannot improve on things that you cannot measure, using something like Ecograder is a great first step to determine how sustainable your website is and what steps you can take to improve it. And a new and improved version has just been released. This is a great first step and at the very least, it will build awareness both for yourself and your wider community on the importance of minimizing the impact of your website while still enabling your site to achieve what it needs to achieve for you.
What About Motorsport Prospects?
- I am actually working on a slight redesign of Motorsport Prospects so I am trying to keep in mind these best practices while I work on it. While I will be publishing a sustainability statement on the site in the near future, in the interests of transparency, the above graphic shows the site’s Ecograder score currently. And let me be clear, this is not a zero sum game. I fully intend to grow and improve Motorsport Prospects so that it remains the preeminent source of resources for race drivers. I am just trying to lessen its carbon impact as much as possible at the same time because as I like to say, every little bit counts.
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.
- This jet fuel was made by sucking carbon out of the air. It could power your flights by 2024
- Lufthansa and OMV sign SAF agreement
- The sky’s the limit? “A combination of increasing regulatory ambition and passenger demand look set to ensure the growth of the SAF market for some time to come.”
- Delta’s first carbon neutral flight powered by Air BP-supplied biofuel
- XFuel secures funding to develop next generation of biofuels
Sustainable Ground Transportation
- Toyota, Kenworth Prove Fuel Cell Electric Truck Capabilities with Successful Completion of Truck Operations for ZANZEFF Project
- Amazon Will Power Trucks With ‘Electrofuel’ Diesel To Curb Carbon Emissions
- Mercedes-Benz Vans and Rivian move to partner on electric van production.
- California drivers embrace renewable diesel from San Francisco refinery
- Volvo Begins Sales of Heavy-Duty Electric Trucks
- VOLTA ZERO PROTOTYPE
- Big Rigs Going Electric As Navistar, Cummins, Daimler Rev Up Next-Generation Trucks
- BMW Boss Argues For Expansion Of Hydrogen Refueling Infrastructure
- Werner Enterprises sign LoI to purchase 500 Cummins 15-litre hydrogen engines
- Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Environment?
- Dig This: The Shift To EVs Requires A Massive Expansion Of Battery Metal Mining
- EVs Won’t Overload The Power Grid, In Fact EVs (And Ice) Are Its Salvation
- Sustainability and supercars at Revival 2022’s Earls Court Motor Show
- This modular off-grid solar EV charger can be installed in just four hours
- Siemens and Deutsche Bahn test hydrogen train and mobile refuelling station