• Jan 16, 2008

Switching a racing series to ethanol? Smart. Shipping the ethanol around the world to show how green that racing series is? Less so.

A1GP has announced that its upcoming race in New Zealand will mark the inauguration of the series' switch to E30 Hiperflo ethanol-gasoline blend, which, as organizers point out, cuts CO2 emissions by 21 ethanol and 70% gasoline. While IndyCars and Champ Cars have run on methanol since the '60s, both series are based in the US and have to ship their fuel to fewer races abroad than A1GP.

Logistical considerations aside, overall we say it's a good thing that motorsports are shifting to more sustainable and environmentally-friendly fuel sources. At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show this week we heard all about the American Le Mans Series and its green intentions. Ferrari, which is set to begin supplying the engines for A1GP in two years, revealed its bio-ethanol-powered 430 Spider in Detroit, as well. Meanwhile, the FIA has revealed a preliminary timeline for introducing a new F1 engine formula that's anticipated to include environmental measures.

Excerpt from the press release after the jump.

[Source: A1GP via AutoblogGreen]

Press release excerpt

A1GP makes switch to Greener Racing

Taupo, New Zealand – A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will make history next weekend (18 – 20 January) as all 22 national teams competing in the A1GP Taupo, New Zealand take to the track with biofuel in their tanks. The landmark event will make A1GP the first truly global motorsport series to race on a 30 per cent biofuel mix.

The cornerstone of an ambitious series of initiatives to help reduce its environmental footprint, A1GP's new fuel, an ethanol based product Hiperflo™ E30, is sourced from sugar beet in Europe and produced specifically for A1GP. Developed in partnership with Zytek, the series' engine manufacturer, the fuel produces less harmful particulate matter than conventional fuels and will reduce CO2 emissions by 21 per cent per car based on a wheel to wheel calculation.

The introduction of E30 was delayed from the start of the season to ensure vehicle performance wasn't affected by the change, but A1GP CEO Pete da Silva says the short wait has only made the switch more exciting.

'Through our THINK Greener Racing initiative we're committed to leading a revolution that helps the planet and safeguards the future of our sport,' da Silva said. 'The number one priority is to produce a cutting edge series, but we firmly believe we can deliver exciting racing while minimising the impact of our operations on the environment.'



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      About 1 out of every 7 gallons of gasoline are imported into the US as essentially finished product, much of it from Europe. Much smaller but still-significant amounts of almost-finished diesel fuel are shipped back the other way. India ships finished gasoline to Iran, whose surplus diesel goes to Europe. Blame emissions regs for these global flows of highly flammable refined goods.

      A single tankerload of ethanol going across the Pacific to support a racing event in New Zealand isn't even a drop in the bucket. As for the green aspect, motor racing never is. Period.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This makes a lot of sense. If the A1GP series wants to demonstrate how green they are just cancel the series.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Cancel the series , heres something for you. If you want to help out the earth, and stop emitting CO2 and having an effect on the environment , stop breathing. So do that for me , and my future, please stop breathing.

        http://gtrusa.blogspot.com
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sean, I am with you on the concept of stopping breathing. A mass suicide by humanity is a viable solution to man made global warming. My suggestion is that the environmental wackos commit suicide first to set an example and to demonstrate their fanatical desire to end man made global warming. So, Sean, what say we stop breathing together as a sign of solidarity.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And what is used to ship the fuel? Diesel tankers? So more fuel is used to ship fuel to save fuel?