This week in the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup, I bring you news of Indycar and Asian Super GT using sustainable fuel in 2023, Mission H24 hits the track in Imola, more reviews of Porsche’s electric GT4 race car, cool sustainable motorsport tech and more. I also bring you some ideas to make your flying more sustainable in Getting to the Track Sustainably. Every little bit counts.
Sustainable Motorsport Series News
- The Race reports that IndyCar will have a new sustainable fuel for 2023 having announced Shell as its new supplier. “Speedway has supplied the current 85%-ethanol fuel for the series since 2019 but long-term Penske partner Shell will now take over, and is set to introduce a new fuel that it claims will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% compared to “fossil-based-gasoline”.”
- The Asian Super GT series is set to run on 100% biofuel in 2023. ETS Racing Fuels, a leading fuel development partner for the racing industry and a brand of HCS Group, has been selected by the GT Association (GTA) to supply its 100% sustainable fuel Renewablaze GTA R100 for all race cars as of 2023 season onwards. Masaaki Bandoh, chairman of the GT Association, said: “The motorsport industry is strongly committed to a low carbon future and is putting all its efforts into implementing sustainable fuels. For the Super GT series we have decided to introduce a 100% renewable fuel as one of the key approaches to the environmental sustainability. In such an environment, I am very proud of the good start of the activity in close cooperation with ETS Racing Fuels.”
- Mission H24, the hydrogen powered sports car program, has released footage of their recent race at Imola. Brush up on your French!
- I am not much of a fan of comparing one series against another with respect to their sustainability plans as every series is different. The point to me is not so much how they are hitting their sustainability targets and decreasing their resource usage but the fact that they are achieving demonstrable progress. That being said, Drive Sport Marketing have compared Formula 1 and Formula E in Motorsport and Sustainability: Formula 1 vs Formula E. Their conclusion? “In the Enovation Consulting’s sustainability index, Formula 1 took second place, just behind its “cousin” Formula E, but the imminent arrival of other car manufacturers and the ongoing sustainability strategy with the use of 100% biofuel from 2025 suggests that, within a few years, the positions could align and Formula 1, thanks also to the ever-growing and vastly superior audience to Formula E, could be the place to be.”
- It is common knowledge that logistics is where the majority of carbon emissions occur, with calls for Formula 1 to streamline their calendar so that the teams are not hopping all over the world. F1 has finally responded as they are set to group races by region in a 2023 calendar reshuffle. “F1 has talked in the past about consolidating the calendar by region, but it has now decided to actively press ahead with the move, although it will have to agree on any changes with the race promoters.” The optimist in me sees this as a sustainability move. The realist in me sees that as part of the equation but ballooning freight costs being more of an impetus to finally get this implemented.
- Tom Blomqvist and Taylor Project Services (TPS), have announced their participation in the all-electric FIA eTouring Car World Cup. “Sustainable development is at the heart of everything we do here at TPS,” Gerry Taylor, a partner at TPS said. “It was naturally very exciting to see Tom’s involvement with the all-electric ETCR series. The alignment between Tom, TPS and ETCR is very clear and we look forward to continuing to make great strides in our sustainable technologies.”
- Last week in the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup, I provided considerable coverage of the new Porsche 718 GT4 ePerformance. This week I bring you two more articles about the new electric GT4 car. The first is Evo’s review. “EV’s always pay a weight penalty versus ICE, but at 1500kg the 1000bhp all-wheel drive, widebody ePerformance isn’t excessively heavy, especially if you consider the latest rear-drive, narrow-body 500bhp petrol-engined GT4 RS Clubsport weighs 1330kg. Whichever way you slice it the ePerformance is a whole new level of Porsche GT car.”
- The second is Ars Technica’s Porsche develops its EV sports car platform with this special Cayman GT4. “How fast and powerful the 718 GT4 ePerformance is depends on the mode you have it set to. For qualifying, the battery can output a maximum of 985 hp (735 kW), sent to a permanently excited synchronous motor at each axle. In race mode, the aim is not to provide a single lap of speed but sustained performance over at least half an hour, and the battery’s output is pegged back to a still-hefty 603 hp (450 kW).”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
- A new hydrogen powertrain technology concept has been assessed by Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) and Viritech. Viritech secured a Niche Vehicle Network Feasibility Study grant, funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, to carry out an investigation into the development of a hydrogen powertrain for niche vehicle applications based off BAC’s Mono, which the two firms have coined e-Mono. BAC and Viritech’s aim is to retain the original Mono’s main characteristics and driving experience ethos.
- Road & Track answers the question of why don’t we just run internal combustion engines on hydrogen? “If only it was that easy. As Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained lays out, you could design a piston engine to run on hydrogen. It just wouldn’t be very good.”
The Big Picture
- Fueler Magazine has just released their third issue that focuses on sustainability and design and in particular, sustainability and motorsport. “What does sustainability mean to you? Are EV’s really good for the environment? What direction is Motorsport moving in, to become a more sustainable platform?” You can purchase the issue here,
Getting to the Track Sustainably
- Flying is a major contributor to climate change but in a lot of cases, it is an unavoidable necessity, especially if you need to travel globally. In Flying Private Has Never Been More Popular. But Is It Taking Us on a Flightpath to Climate Hell?, the Robb Report looks at what is being done in private aviation on the sustainability front. “Still, the truth is that there’s still good reason to make efforts to minimize the climate impact of every private flight. Sustainability in this sector is in its infancy, but many leaders are making worthwhile strides. It’s responsible and responsive; corporations, too, are increasingly setting goals that include targets around CO2 emissions related to their business, including jet flights. The nimbleness of this sector, as well as the higher margins compared with commercial operation, mean that innovation should ignite more readily here. “Everyone in the entire aviation industry is well aware of the necessity of reducing aviation’s climate impact while also being aware of the fact that we’re bearing a heavier burden than other industries because of the public pressure,” Jebely continues. “But private aviation can and must and will do better.””
- What about flying commercial? Check out the Ted Talk above for some tips. From the Ted Talk description: “Air travel opens our eyes to the world, but it also comes at a high cost to the environment. Piloting us into a future of green aviation, innovator Ryah Whalen shares three ways to lower the industry’s carbon footprint through smarter designs, eco-friendly fuel and new technology — so we can continue to explore the planet without hurting it.”