This week I bring you details on the electric drag racer that is looking to break a quarter-mile record.
In addition to that, you will learn about a 500 horsepower, hydrogen-powered Ford Falcon Futura, the Ducati V21L prototype MotoE electric racing bike, Scalar Performance’s SCR1 all-electric amateur touring race car and NASCAR’s net zero carbon commitments.
All this and much more in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup.
Sustainable Motorsport News
A lot of people were surprised when former Mahindra Formula E boss Dilbagh Gill announced that he was stepping aside. But since he has announced that his new electric development series Ace Championship is set to be launched in 2024, he is back in the spotlight once again and looking ahead to launching his new series.
“But there are going to be a lot of people who are aspiring to do this and we will wish them all well, yet at the same time I think it’s just the market is going to be so tight and small that we want to be sure that we’re an authentic brand and an authentic organisation.”
In Three podiums and three stars: Inside Aston Martin F1’s environmental transformation, The Sustainability Report looks at the sustainability initiatives of the Aston Martin Formula 1 team and how it has become an essential part of their culture. “For us it’s a non-negotiable,” Wall adds in her own words. “Martin Whitmarsh (Group chief executive of Aston Martin Performance Technologies) has been pioneering this. When I heard he was going to be coming in, I was almost outside the building cheering because I knew sustainability would be absolutely top of his agenda.”
Motorsport.com explains how how Veloce transformed itself from an esports team to become a race-winning force in Extreme E. “Veloce had been keen on expanding its presence beyond the virtual realm for some time, but it was only after the launch of Extreme E in 2021 that it found a championship that provided excellent bang-for-buck while keeping costs to a minimum.”
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team received the FIA’s three-star environmental award. It was awarded by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile as part of its World Championship Certification Program.
“The FIA three-star environmental certification is an excellent award and recognition of our efforts to systematically and consistently reduce the environmental impact of motorsport,” said Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport.
“At Porsche, environmental management and sustainability are integral parts of the corporate strategy. Our goal at Porsche Motorsport is to make a relevant contribution to the company’s sustainability strategy in the future through the power of innovation and rapid responses to change. This distinction from the FIA serves as an incentive and motivation for us to maintain a steady course on this path,” he explained.
On 15 March 2023 Ferrari were granted ISO 20121 certification, relating to the international standard for sustainable event design and management, linked to the participation in the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The certification is issued by TÜV NORD Italia.
“Ferrari S.p.A., Attività Sportive GT and Competizioni GT have adopted a sustainable management system for the team participating in the FIA WEC to incentivise every action over the short, medium and long term, with the aim of reducing its environmental impact whilst, at the same time, enhancing the social and economic benefits produced by the team. Such a system includes significant focus on all stakeholder involvement, namely, Ferrari personnel, suppliers, partners, sponsors, series organisers, circuits, guests and spectators, as well as the local communities where the championship rounds take place.”
SRO Motorsports Group marked this year’s Earth Day (22 April) with a renewed commitment to sustainability and positive environmental action, highlighted by the company’s new tree-planting partnership with Fondazione Sylva.
“We are delighted to add our support to the important work being done by Fondazione Sylva,” commented SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stéphane Ratel. “Our initial plan was to back the planting of 270 trees, but it soon became clear that this was a very worthwhile project and we took the decision to upscale to 1,000. Being as SRO stages multiple events in Italy each year, it feels especially important that we show our ambition and commitment to a cause such as this.”
In a further aspect of its sustainability work, SRO is now in the process of finalising its 2023 carbon compensation portfolio. This will once again include both renewables and innovative technologies, helping to drive the significant changes required to combat the climate crisis.
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
The Robb Report explains how Porsche’s new Atlanta track lets you try legendary circuits from around the world including while also being able to run hot laps in an all-electric Cayman GT4 delivering 1,088 hp.
“Designed by Formula 1 racetrack guru Hermann Tilke—whose work includes everything from the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Tex., to Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi—the beauty of the new 1.6-mile West Track is that it features grin-inducing elements inspired by some of the world’s most iconic circuits. In other words, you get to plunge down a tribute to the Corkscrew at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, sweep around the infamous Carousel from Germany’s Nürburgring-Nordschleife, duck into the famous Daytona “Bus Stop” chicane, and even snake through a section of the Smoky Mountains’ 318-curve Tail of the Dragon mountain road.”
Porsche has also put down stakes in the US startup Group14 Technologies, which has just started to build a new silicon battery materials factory billed as the largest facility of its kind in the world. “If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, that’s a good question. Graphite is still the material of choice for lithium-ion EV batteries, but automotive stakeholders have been eyeballing the addition of silicon to improve capacity and fast-charging performance.”
In addition to their work on silicon batteries, Porsche is also involved in the development of eFuel, something that I have talked about in this column on numerous occasions. Stuttcars looks to answer the question about Porsche eFuels that many Porsche fans are asking, is this The Revolution We’ve (Possibly) Been Waiting For?
“Called “eFuel,” it is not based on organic bio-fuel, nor is it a type of battery. What it is, and what makes it revolutionary, is that it is a fully synthetic fuel. It will work with the internal combustion engines in Porsches, and on a wider scale all petrol powered cars, on the road today. The only adjustment would likely be a small tweak in the ECU, but any vehicle that has FlexFuel or other alternative fuel capabilities are already set up to accept it.”
The development path of the Ducati MotoE project is proceeding at a rapid pace with continuous progress shown during the tests which in this first phase are taking place at the main Italian circuits. Former world championship rider Alex De Angelis, riding the bike in the first dynamic video above, makes his return to the Ducati family with the role of test rider for the “V21L” prototype.
“The Ducati prototype, given the codename ‘V21L’, was designed to break the boundaries of electric two-wheeled motorsport. In doing so, the organisation has developed something revolutionary, which will be showcased in a 15-minute power race alongside the MotoGP series.”
Ford has revamped and upgraded its EV drag racer as the Super Cobra Jet 1800. Not only does the Super Cobra Jet 1800 look to break the CJ 1400’s quarter-mile record for a full-bodied vehicle, but the milestones for the fastest electric vehicle 0-60 mph, and fastest two-wheel drive electric vehicle 0-60 mph as well.
“We’re always looking to push ourselves in every corner of the motorsport world,” Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports, says. “Drag racing remains a key proving ground for our products and technology, and we’re excited to not only try to best our own record in the quarter-mile, but to further showcase ongoing development we continue to make across the entire electric vehicle landscape.”
In the video above, check out Mike Copeland’s 500 Horsepower Hydrogen-Powered Ford Falcon Futura. “Copeland’s Falcon is a fresh take on a possible future of hot rodding and we’re all about it. When other people are screaming about killing ICE engines, Copeland has found an environmentally friendly way to use them.”
Toyota and Yamaha test V-8 that runs on hydrogen is an article is from 2022 but it is a great demonstration of some of the new sustainable technologies being researched in the automotive industry. If they are intended for a road vehicle, they will eventually end up being raced on a track.
“Unlike the hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain used in the Toyota Mirai, in which hydrogen is used to generate electricity, this prototype engine simply burns hydrogen in place of gasoline, leaving water as the only emissions. Based on the 5.0-liter V-8 used in the Lexus RC F, the hydrogen engine makes 449 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, according to Yamaha. That’s not far off the conventional gasoline-fueled version’s 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque.”
The video above looks at Toyota’s new hydrogen combustion engine, an engine that is part of their diversified approach to future propulsion technologies.
The Scalar Performance SCR1 is the first all-electric amateur touring race car. With a bespoke powertrain designed for the rigors of racing, it is the first club racing electric vehicle approved by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) for touring car road racing. Watch the video above to learn more.
Andretti Autosport sponsor Capstone put its products to use at Texas Motor Speedway by powering the team’s massive hospitality complex as Jim Crouse tells RACER’s Marshall Pruett in the video above.
BlackBook Motorsport speaks with Julia Pallé, Formula E’s sustainability director, and Alberto Longo, the series’ sporting director, who explain how Formula E is balancing its sustainable mission with global expansion as it begins its Gen3 era. “As we grow, we are continually trying to reduce [and] be more efficient,” she tells the BlackBook. “[It’s about] trying to find innovative ways that are less impactful [to the environment] and enable us to do the same but generating less emissions.”
Of all the racing series out there, you would tend to think, rightly or wrongly that NASCAR would consider sustainability the lowest on their list of priorities. Interestingly, you would be wrong. During Earth Week, NASCAR announced that it has committed to net zero operating emissions by 2035. “It’s an ambitious goal but one that holds us accountable as we begin to think about sustainability differently,” said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR’s Chief Communications & Impact Officer. “There is much work to be done but the fundamental objective is clear: we must reduce our emissions over time.”
The biggest complaint about Formula 1 with respect to sustainability is often the structure of their calendar. Because it is so far flung with races in different countries around the world and based on the promoter’s often unsustainable needs, the calendar is inefficient from a logistics point of few and is far from environmentally sustainable. This is apparently going to change.
According to Formula Nerds, F1 is planning a massive overhaul of its calendar. “Hence, in order to reduce its carbon footprint, the pinnacle of motorsport is now reportedly looking at options to better its impact through a ‘massive overhaul of its calendar’. According to GrandPrix.com, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has announced to the teams in Melbourne the intention to create a regionally-based calendar for the future.”
With the cancellation of the FIA ETCR for 2023, the ERA Championship has reaffirmed its ambitions despite the fact that they were to be a support series for the ETCR. “We are currently working hard to finalise our plans for 2023 and beyond. While we cannot confirm any details at this time, we can promise you that we are fully committed to delivering an exciting and unforgettable experience of electric racing that is true to our values and standards.”
From the 2023 season onward, the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) will use cleaner racing fuels following its partnership with Green Biofuels (GBF), a provider of high-performance hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel.
“GBF will provide each driver and team at each round of the BTRC with its advanced Gd+ fuel, a clean alternative to diesel which is produced from 100% waste-derived cooking oils and fats and then improved with an engine-enhancing additive. To improve the fuel’s sustainability credentials further, no virgin crops are used during manufacturing.”
PWR Racing has been officially confirmed as the fourth and final team that will take part in the inaugural season for the STCC after the decision was taken to switch to electric power for 2023. The team will join Exion Racing, Team Auto Lounge Racing and Brink Motorsport on the grid with a three-car programme that will be led by the experienced figure of Robert Dahlgren – who has won four championship titles since joining forces with PWR for the first time back in 2017.
Rally legend Sebastien Loeb will drive an all-new electric powered Lancia Delta in the 2023 World Rallycross Championship. “The car has been designed and developed by Chicherit’s own GCK Motorsport team, which first revealed plans in 2021 to revive the iconic Lancia Delta that made a name for itself in the World Rally Championship during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The car, powered by two 250kW motors, made its debut at the Nurburgring last year.”
As part of its strategic vision to recognize the development of future propulsion solutions, Motorsport UK has confirmed that the Motorsport UK Bambino Kart Class will have an electrified powertrain option, Electric Bambino, from 2024.
Motorsport UK Electric Bambino will see karters use an electrified powertrain that will be similar in performance to the current Comer C50s. The Motorsport UK Bambino internal combustion engine will remain eligible for use at events nationwide during a transitional period from the 2024 season onwards.
Motorsport Prospects Joins the Weekly Motoring Goodness Newsletter!
I am excited to announce that Motorsport Prospects has teamed up with the motorsport-mad folks at Racing Edge to become part of their Weekly Motoring Goodness newsletter! The first edition with content from Motorsport Prospects was part of last week’s April 14th newsletter. You can subscribe here: https://motoringgoodness.beehiiv.com/subscribe
Looking forward to having you along for the ride!