The Dakar Rally is a Sustainable Motorsport Proving Ground

The Dakar Rally has become a sustainable motorsport proving ground with their Mission 1000 initiative. This week I feature more vehicles with various forms of sustainable propulsion taking to the dunes as well as one that is utilizing carbon offsets.

I also feature McLaren Racing’s new sustainability initiatives, using Formula E to sell EVs and Ken Block’s last hurrah.

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

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

McLaren Racing today announced its Climate Contribution Programme aimed at both accelerating the removal of excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and scaling climate solutions, in support of the team’s target to achieve net zero by 2040. McLaren Racing has partnered with The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Mombak, and UNDO, who are committed to high-quality projects that address the impacts of climate change.

Kim Wilson, Director of Sustainability, McLaren Racing, said: “At McLaren Racing we have committed to achieving net zero by 2040 and to play our part in line with climate science to tackling climate change. A big part of that is making sure that we reduce emissions across all our operations and supply chain, but we know that’s not enough. We also have to do something about the existing carbon in the earth’s atmosphere, damaged ecosystems and biodiversity loss. That’s what our Climate Contribution Programme is all about. We’re delighted to be partnering with three fantastic projects that are providing tangible and credible solutions to the impacts of climate change and are excited to see what we can achieve together.”  

“McLaren Racing is working with Mombak and UNDO to acquire carbon credits of the highest quality, both of which remove carbon from the atmosphere via reforestation and enhanced rock weathering, respectively. This investment in carbon removal technologies will support McLaren’s journey towards achieving net zero but we also want to use this opportunity to raise the standard for sustainable action in sport by supporting these credible, high-quality projects.”

Here is some additional coverage:

Lamborghini World Finals

The Lamborghini World Finals has received ISO 20121 Sustainability Certification.

The Lamborghini World Finals is an annual event composed of two deciding races to award the world champion title. The 2023 edition was held at the Vallelunga circuit, on the outskirts of Rome, from November 16th to the 19th, and was characterized by a sustainable managing strategy that included several areas of environmental focus: from waste management by promoting recycling, to emissions reduction by using electric scooters and golf cars for staff mobility. Particular attention was also paid to the materials used, reducing packaging and disposable plastic items as much as possible. This “green” management awarded the Finals the certification ISO 20121, attesting that the event organization was carried out according to the best environmental, social, and economic sustainability practices.

“For us, this recognition represents not only an achievement but also an important moment in the sustainability path undertaken by Lamborghini,” remarked Stephan Winkelmann, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “Our commitment started way back in 2009 when there was still no widespread attention or sensitivity to these issues. Since then, and thanks to specific tangible actions, we have progressively involved the whole company, including our racing division Squadra Corse. In addition to confirming our approach and vision towards everything related to protecting the planet, this recognition for the 2023 World Finals further motivates us to achieve the ambitious goal of a fully sustainable championship.”

The Dakar Rally is a Sustainable Motorsport Proving Ground

COP 28 is currently taking place controversially in the UAE and there are a number of motorsport-related sessions.

EV Magazine looks at Formula E’s participation and a discussion with Formula E’s VP of Sustainability, Julia Pallé. “We know that sport is ideally placed to drive transformation, and we take pride in leading the charge for faster and widespread adoption of more sustainable lifestyles and technological solutions.”

Recover E’ car

Global Sustainable Sport looks at how Envision Racing will represent the world of sport at COP28. Formula E World Champions Envision Racing will use their position at the conference to showcase their world-first ‘Recover E’ car, and showcasing the power of sport to passing world leaders.

While you may or may not be convinced that events like COP28 are actually useful, motorsport has been working hard to make an impact on reducing emissions while staying true to its sporting essence. Here are two quotes that best some up the relationship between motorsport and sustainability via the FIA who is also participating at the conference.

The climate change problem will be solved with technology The Dakar Rally is a Sustainable Motorsport Proving Groundand innovation. We need to be excited about the future.”

Lucas Di Grassi: Formula E World Champion, UNEP Ambassador and Zero Summit Co-Founder

The world of motor sport is an exciting and exacting testbed for the solutions we need, be they to do with sustainable Fuel, electrification or hydrogen technologies. We have a responsibility to keep this high on the agenda, and keep pushing to net zero.”

David Garrido: Sky Sports

Coronel Dakar Team

The Coronel Dakar Team, sponsored by LKQ, are on their way to Saudi Arabia to compete in the most gruelling rally in the world, the 2024 Dakar Rally. Carbon Positive Motorsport will be offsetting the fuel usage of brothers Tim and Tom Coronel’s competition car.

Steve Smith of Carbon Positive Motorsport is very proud to be involved with the Coronale Dakar team sponsored by LKQ: “The total distance of the Dakar 24 is an incredible 7,891 kilometres, of which 4,727 kilometres will be under the pressure of the stopwatch! Tim Coronel’s Dakar car fuel usage will amount to around 4,500 litres of fuel. I am very pleased to be working with Tim and his team and Carbon Positive Motorsport will offset every single drop of competition fuel he uses on the event.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Ahead of Formula E season 10, Jaguar TCS Racing have officially moved into their new technical headquarters, situated in Kidlington, Oxfordshire. The British manufacturer has opted to relocate to the new Fortescue WAE facility, which only recently opened. From their new technical HQ, the season 10 favourites will design, develop and manufacture the powertrains used by Jaguar and their customer outfit, Envision Racing. Envision, of course, are the reigning Teams’ Champions.

The facility also has a state-of-the-art workshop, where the Jaguar I-TYPE 6s will be worked on in unique car bays. Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy will also spend considerable time at the new technical HQ, as it’s where the team’s driver-in-the-loop simulator can now be found. During race weekends, Kidlington is also where Jaguar’s remote team will be. From the HQ, remote engineers will offer set up and strategy support to the trackside team.

The Dakar Rally is a Sustainable Motorsport Proving Ground

In November of 2022, Ken Block and the Hoonigan team headed to Mexico City, MX to film the next installment of the Electrikhana series with the Audi S1 Hoonitron. Just over one month later, the devastating loss of Ken Block meant that the project was shelved – until now. Block, The Hoonigans, and Audi continue pushing the limits of what’s possible in the performance EV world with Electrikhana TWO, sliding through iconic areas of Mexico City in Block’s infamously aggressive, rally-inspired driving style. Improving the car immediately after the first film, Block and Audi built on important development lessons from their experience in Las Vegas.

The Dakar Rally is a Sustainable Motorsport Proving Ground

Formula 1, the FIA and Extreme E’s sister series Extreme H have announced the formation of a joint Hydrogen Working Group that will start in 2025. The parties will evaluate how hydrogen technology – including both battery systems and fuel cells – can be used across motorsport, with a focus on increasing the sustainability credentials of transport and infrastructure.

Race drivers fly around a lot, it’s part of the job. To help minimize your carbon footprint as much as possible, myclimate has expanded and updated its online flight calculator. For around twenty years, people interested in climate protection have been able to calculate the climate impact of air travel free of charge using the platform at, and, if they wish to do so, finance climate protection projects at a level that matches the impact calculated. In addition to updating all emissions factors and validating data and the calculation model, the latest version includes a new seat class, the option to select from the ten most common aircraft types and an adjustment to the weighting of the short-term effects of “non-CO₂” emissions.

Highlights in this month’s Getting to the Track Sustainably are a new two-seater sports car concept from Mazda, Virgin Atlantic’s 100% SAF flight, an emissions-free supersonic passenger jet concept that could fly at 1,141 mph and a roadmap to sustainable shipping.

Sustainable Motorsport Tech

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Transmission specialists Xtrac had a variety of technologies on display, including the P1320 epicyclic transmission developed for EV applications. You can watch a video about it from the PMW Expo floor here.

German lubricant manufacturer RAVENOL has become a technical partner of the X-raid team as they prepare for the Dakar Rally. “Since last year, the X-raid team has relied on HVO biofuel for refuelling the racing vehicles and intends to further expand its commitment to the environment in the coming years. The oil specialist RAVENOL is on hand to advise X-raid on various issues, such as the use of modern fuels and lubricants. In addition, RAVENOL’s new Eco Racing products will be subjected to an extensive endurance test in the desert.”

Series News

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

The Dakar Rally is really encouraging some exciting sustainable motorsport innovation.

Alexandre Lemeray will race a MAN L90 powered by hydrogen and diesel at the 2024 Dakar Classic. As part of a new partnership with Team HoleShot Compétition, the Canadian-based dynaCERT will supply a HydraGEN HG1 unit that supplies hydrogen and oxygen into the truck’s engine.

Meanwhile as part of the Dakar Rally’s Mission 1000 initiative, Arctic Leopard will bring a triumvirate of E-XE 880 electric bikes to the 2024 Dakar Rally, where they will compete in the Mission 1000 challenge with Willy Jobard, Su Wenmin, and Jack Cai.

Even the Wall Street Journal is starting to take notice. In their article Move Over, Formula One. Here Comes Formula E, the venerable business newspaper looks at the present and future of the all-electric series. “For electric cars, the racing circuit is known as Formula E, a nod to the more-established and gasoline-powered Formula One circuit. And although Formula E cars are slower—and the races are shorter—than with Formula One, Formula E has been able to leverage its technological limitations in ways that excite its smaller but growing international fan base.”

MotorTrend looks to answer the question, Will Formula E Racing Help Roadgoing Electric Cars Go Further and Faster?

Although fan boost is no more, the battery pack in today’s Formula E racers still can’t hold enough energy to complete a race. But Formula E, which kicks off its 10th season in Mexico City in January, is a serious race series with teams backed by brands such as Jaguar, Porsche, Maserati, McLaren, and Nissan. One of the reasons these companies are all spending money on it is an idea nearly as old as the automobile itself: Racing improves the road-car breed. With electric cars now a mainstream vehicle category rather than a technical novelty, everyone’s looking for technology honed on the track that could translate to a more competitive car on the road.”

In my final bit of Formula E news, Bridgestone was amongst the tender winners for the Formula E Gen4 car. Bridgestone will produce two different types of tire for the series. This will include a ‘baseline’ rubber which will be a grooved all-weather tire that “must guarantee sufficient grip to ensure safe racing in light rain” and a second ‘typhoon’ rubber that will be “mandatory in heavy rain”.

Other winners were Podium Advanced Technologies who is set to provide the battery for the Gen4 machines, the front powertrain will be provided by Marelli and the Spark Racing Technologies group who will continue to supply the chassis.

Finally, Forbes looks at how Extreme E has pioneered off-grid sustainable power supplies. Energy infrastructure partner Power Logistics has used the Extreme E series as a giant experiment in pushing the boundaries for off-grid zero emissions generation that can be delivered reliably worldwide.

Our target was to generate at least 30% of the site’s power with hydrogen this season, and we’ll more than exceed that,” says Andy Welch, Extreme E’s Utilities Manager. “This year our aim was to learn about the system. The hydrogen logistics with methanol is a massive improvement. We move the hydrogen around as a liquid fuel rather than a gas. Gaseous hydrogen is problematic and expensive. With methanol we’re looking at a fuel that costs less than diesel.”

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.