The Quarkus P3 and Sustainable Motorsport Innovation

This week, delve into the Quarkus P3 and their assault on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, a prime illustration of the continuous innovation thriving in sustainable motorsport. Whether it’s conquering Pikes Peak or braving the challenges of the Dakar Rally, the relentless drive for innovation remains the cornerstone of motorsport, especially as it confronts sustainability head-on.

Additionally, I present updates from two conferences spotlighting sustainable motorsport, alongside a preview of the Geneva International Motor Show. Plus, the adrenaline-inducing Audi S1 E-Tron Quattro Hoonitron, famously associated with the tire-scorching maneuvers of the late Ken Block and much more.

It is all in this week’s edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Your source for sustainable high performance motorsport news.

Don’t forget that the Motorsport Prospects Weekly Newsletter is now available so you will not miss out on any news racers can use! Check out the footer of every page on the Motorsport Prospects website and sign up now!

Sustainable Motorsport News

A24 Autosport International Show 2024

Ennovation Consulting has published some insights from the 2024 Autosport International Show with respect to sustainable motorsport including a number of key takeaways. “The presence of a sustainability-focused panel at Europe’s biggest motorsport show is a significant indicator, that within the industry there is an increasing understanding of the necessity to improve current practices to ensure the future of motorsports is sustainable. ” Read their report here for news on some of the exciting developments discussed.

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

In another conference related to sustainable motorsport, Dr. Cristiana Pace attended the GOAL Grand Prix Conference to moderate a panel featuring Logan Waddle from NTT IndyCar and Eric Jacuzzi from NASCAR. Together they discussed nature based solutions and innovation within motorsport.

Organized by Oak View Group and OVG’s GOAL Team, GOAL Grand Prix opened with a keynote from professional motorsport speaker Mike Mooney followed by a series of workshops, breakout sessions, social events and panels. Oak View Group is parent company to VenuesNow.

Panel topics included In Pursuit of Authenticity: Balancing Concerns of Greenwashing while Avoiding Greenhushing; Charged Momentum: The Electrification Surge in Motorsport; Farm to Finish Line: Showcasing Nature-Based Innovations and the evolution of the supply chain with synthetic fuel to tires made from regenerative rubber; The Critical Importance of Impact-Driven Partnerships; Accelerating Influence: How Media can Highlight Sustainable Solutions; and The Role of F&B in a Sustainable Race Experience.

“I think we all face very similar opportunities and challenges around decarbonizing our industry whether you are representing a venue, a series, team or partnership,” said Logan Waddle, sustainability program leader for Penske Entertainment. “So, I think it’s great that we have this group of people who are coming together and truly collaborating in a candid way and really not holding back about the challenges we are facing.”

The Geneva International Motor Show is back this year and it has a number of interesting sessions with two specifically related to sustainable motorsport. Peter Rawlinson CEO & CTO at Lucid Motors, and Silvio Angori CEO Pininfarina will be joining Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group and host Roger Atkins for the 1st session. And Julia Pallé, Vice President Sustainability Formula E joins Frederic Bertrand & Marco Parroni and Roger Atkins on the Electric Racing Panel stage.

The Mercedes Formula One team have become the first motorsport outfit to sign The Climate Pledge. The Climate Pledge is a commitment to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040. Mercedes joins more than 450 organisations to have signed the agreement.

Mercedes have introduced numerous initiatives having targeted Net Zero for their race operations by 2030, such as a biofuel trial during the European leg of the 2023 season that reduced CO2 emissions by 89 per cent.

In 2022, savings of over 2,600 tCO2 were achieved through investment into Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) through a book and claim model, with a resulting 21 per cent reduction in air travel emissions.

Toto Wolff, team principal and chief executive of the Mercedes Formula One team, said: “Signing The Climate Pledge is another demonstration of our intent to perform to the highest standard on sustainability. We want to win through sustainable high performance, and to win within the societal and planetary boundaries which exist. The ability to collaborate with many of these leading organisations, striving for the same goal, offers considerable benefits for all signatories.”

Global Sustainable Sport looks at the state of sustainable travel in sport for both clubs and athletes. You can read part one of their report here.

Athlete flights, business travel, and fan travel to games and tournaments all contribute to sport’s carbon emissions—and some estimate that travel can account for up to 80% of a sports organisation’s carbon footprint. But, over the past year, a number of high-impact initiatives have emerged across the industry, showing signs that a shift towards greener travel in sport may be on the horizon.”

The Quarkus P3 and Sustainable Motorsport Innovation

OPTIMA Batteries, a top-tier brand under Clarios, is gearing up to electrify the off-road community with the 2nd annual OPTIMA Unplugged Powered by Clarios and Presented by DCE that was held last weekend. The event was the largest gathering of off-road electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts during the 2024 Progressive King of the Hammers Powered by OPTIMA Batteries in Johnson Valley, California.

Carbon Positive Motorsport has launched new carbon offsetting solutions for events and competitors. The new packages are tailor-made to make it easier and faster to be positive about motorsport.

The result of months of research, including reviewing developments in the carbon offsetting market, incorporating various legislation changes, and taking on board feedback from customers, our new packages offer 200% positive offsetting.

Events and competitors can now claim that they have already offset 100% of their estimated emissions using carbon reduction units. In addition they will be able to promote that they will offset an additional 100% in the future using projects in development.

This level of positive offsetting can be used in a meaningful and impactful way to attract media coverage and sponsors.

More details on the programs can be found here.

Speaking of Carbon Positive Motorsport, the Ecosse Junior 1000 Rally Championship will be fully carbon offset by Carbon Positive motorsport for 2024, as part of a package of support for the successful championship series.

Carbon Positive Motorsport will provide the 25 series competitors with a full season of carbon offsetting to cover their competitive fuel use for all championship events in 2024. 

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Toyota Financial Services has extended its sponsorship of Toyota New Zealand’s motorsport activities as it gets behind the racing division’s 100% fossil free fuel drive.

Toyota Financial Services Chief Executive Officer, Brent Knight, says “As part of the Toyota family, we are passionate about supporting efforts to reduce the impact of vehicles on the environment. Switching to 100% fossil free fuel is an exciting development for the future of New Zealand’s motorsport. “

The March 2024 issue of Racecar Engineering has a number of sustainable motorsport topics featured including details of IndyCar’s hybrid engines, energy management strategy and the new supplier of Formula E’s Gen4 battery. You can order your issue here.

In Autosport’s article on why launching new national championships is getting harder, author Stephen Lickorish explains that the growing complexity of modern cars is making the task more challenging.

But, returning to the issue of complexity of cars, it is perhaps little wonder that so many club competitors are now going down the arrive-and-drive route as the regular man or woman on the street no longer has the knowhow to turn up at circuits and run these cars themselves.”

Sustainable Motorsport Tech

KH-7 Epsilon Team

Race Engine Suppliers looks at Dakar Mission 1000 and its two-wheel and four-wheel leaders.

The 2024 Dakar Rally, the prestigious annual event that was staged in Saudi Arabia this year on January 5-19, encourages alternative powertrain technology through its Mission 1000 initiative. This puts electric, hydrogen and hybrid cars and motorcycles through a 1000 km test, run concurrently with the main event, thereby allowing experimentation with such alternative options.

Ten vehicles took part in what was seen as a challenge rather than a competition, with various assessment criteria defined by the organiser, from reference time comparison through to ‘fan boost’ popularity.

Dakar Mission 1000; two-wheel and four-wheel leaders

The Quarkus P3 and Sustainable Motorsport Innovation

MotorTrend’s Jonny Lieberman had the opportunity to drive the late Ken Block’s Audi S1 E-Tron Quattro Hoonitron in A Tire-Melting Tribute to the Star.

What was a big deal was the long, aluminum handbrake. I’d been in the passenger seat trying to watch Capello drive the Hoonitron earlier, and the only thing I could really see from my five-point-harnessed vantage point was that every single turn involved pulling the black, anodized Hoonigan handle. After dropping two “gears,” I yanked. Doing so instantly stalls the rear wheels, shifting the car’s weight forward. Then, the slightest turn of wheel instantly points the Hoonitron in a new direction. Then—because kill all tires—you bury the throttle and burn rubber. Because EVs develop their full torque instantly, you really burn that rubber. It’s a magnificent sensation, like you’re suddenly transferring from tarmac to ice then back again. Years ago, I drove the wild Nissan Juke R, essentially a shortened GT-R on stilts, that felt vaguely similar in the way its tall body rolled while changing direction. But nothing I’ve ever driven changes direction like the Hoonitron. It’s like a pinball deflecting off a bumper: instant and wild.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

French manufacturer Quarkus, which is currently developing a road-going supercar, has announced it will take part in the 2024 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the Quarkus P3. The company states that the car features a carbon chassis with an in-house-developed powertrain and suspension, including a four-cylinder engine mated to what it calls a ‘micro-hybrid’ system. Overall power is pegged at 300bhp, with a target vehicle weight of 600kg.

Series News

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup
Via Racer

Racer has explained how IndyCar has made huge strides with its first hybrid test of 2024. “A combined 1446 laps were turned — 3196 miles — by 10 drivers who cycled through the cars without a single stoppage during the test. By comparison, in the last hybrid test in November, also held at Homestead-Miami, one driver was towed in six times in one day as their car refused to complete a lap, and in general, it was rare for any of the 2023 hybrid test cars to operate without some form of malfunction each day.”

Despite interest from Osaka, Formula 1 has confirmed Suzuka will remain on the calendar for at least another five years, with a new deal in place to remain at the circuit until 2029 inclusive.

For 2024, Suzuka has been moved to a much earlier calendar slot, serving as the fourth round of the championship – this has come about as F1 moves to regionalise the calendar in a bid to reduce travel logistics and emissions on the journey towards net carbon zero by 2030.”

Green Racing News reports that McLaren has expressed its desire to remain in Formula E beyond 2026 according to Ian James, Team Principal, and Zak Brown, the brand’s Executive Director of Competition.

“We are laying the foundations of the project. Our commitment is absolute. Formula E is, again, on an upward trajectory,” James stressed. “I think if you look at the start of the season, the commitment there and the audience data, we are heading in the right direction. The calendar is also very strong, with long-established races and new cities,” continued James in words published by the Motorsport Week web portal.

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.