Part of what I am covering this week is why Toyota supports the switch to synthetic fuels in motorsport with their move to efuels in Formula Regional Oceania.
You will also find out what it is like to drive a Porsche GT4-E Performance on ice, the future of Formula 1 engines and Formula E news on the eve of the first race of Season 10.
All this and more in this week’s edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Your source for sustainable high performance motorsport news.
Sustainable Motorsport News
Matt Farah of Road & Track spent some time with the Porsche GT4-E Performance in Finland and it gave him hope that the future of the EV will in fact be an exciting one from a driving perspective.
Turns out there’s lots of ways to fine-tune the level of control with the GT4 E-Performance. There are a pair of paddle shifters on the Cup-style wheel (meaning two pairs). The top ones control your brake bias in realtime. The car has electromechanical brakes, meaning regeneration first, then the stompers, and, like a traditional brake bias knob, you can move the balance fore and aft. For today’s drive, this has been deactivated, as has all the regenerative potential, in favor of a traditional hydraulic handbrake. No complaints from me.
The other set of paddles controls the power bias, which you can also move fore and aft. With enough clicks, you can deactivate one of the motors entirely, resulting in not only the world’s first AWD Cayman, but also the world’s first potentially FWD Cayman.
Then there’s the reason I’m writing this piece in the first place, 1100 words in: the oversteer pedal.Porsche’s Experimental Electric GT4 and Its ‘Oversteer Pedal’ Left Me More Excited For the EV Future
Nissan Formula E Team, through its partnership with UAE-based software company Coral, has announced that it will work with biotech company VAXA Technologies to offset its carbon emissions generated during Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Coral, which specializes in reliably offsetting carbon emissions, has now released its report on the team’s total carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) during the 2022/23 campaign of the all-electric series including travel, waste and energy usage at the factory. As part of its commitment to sustainability, and alongside its pledge to reduce the team’s emissions, Nissan Formula E Team will offset 100% of its Season 9 CO2e in 2024.
To achieve this, the team is working with Coral to purchase offsets from VAXA Technologies. This innovative biotech company produces Icelandic Ultra Spirulina (IUS) in a verified carbon-negative process, which converts clean energy to food (E2F) by leveraging resources from the adjacent geothermal plant.
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
Feeder Series looks at why Formula Regional Oceania’s switch to synthetic fuels matters for Toyota. As Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand’s motorsport manager Nicolas Caillol recounts to Feeder Series, “Toyota New Zealand was pretty keen to move on [to] more sustainable for motorsport and finding some solution without necessarily going to electric vehicles or other things, so it was an opportunity.”
The FIA says the long-term direction of Formula 1 engines will be dictated by what ensures the championship remains road relevant for car manufacturers.
“The step for 2026 is defined, but what we do in the next step afterwards is still up for discussion,” Tombazis told selected media including Autosport. “There are a lot of options still on the table; whether it is more sustainable efuels, whether it is hydrogen – in which we have quite a lot of work happening in the FIA – or whether it is more electrical. But we always want to remain relevant to what the OEMs that are participating want to do.”
As Formula E prepares for their 10th season, there are some positives and negatives facing the series. The positive is that the series has extended its partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery that will scale coverage of every race to the widest possible audience across 50 markets in Europe. A negative is the unfortunate cancellation of the Hyderabad E-Prix.
One of the things many are looking forward to seeing is the new “Attack Charge” being implemented into a race. The Attack Charge will be used during a pit stop as a means of fast recharging the batteries but will only be introduced at the Misano round of the championship. This late introduction during the season is causing some concern amongst the drivers.
“I think actually just introducing an attack charge or pit-stop if done correctly, and with the testing that we’re going to be doing at the opening few rounds in practice, the simulations that the team and the series are doing, then it can be introduced properly, it can add something to the racing.”
Finally, The Race has put together a first look at Formula E’s revamped 2025 car design. “Based on information seen and received over the last three months, the design shown in our mock-up features several notable changes including the likelihood of the front powertrain becoming ‘in drive mode’, or four-wheel drive.”