Up through the mid-nineties, Formula One racing was a bastion of technological innovation. Cars ran with 4-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-cylinder engines. There were naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines. They had active suspension systems. Since that time the sports governing body, the FIA
has been clamping down with more and more restrictive rules. Cars must run standardized fuels, have V-8 engines of 2.4L displacement and now even have standard engine ECUs
. Le Mans
style sports car
racing on the other hand has actively encouraged alternatives like diesels
, and different engine types like Wankel rotaries. A report titled CARS 21 published by the European parliament is calling on the FIA to allow for more innovation that can lead to environmental advancements for road cars. The American Le Mans Series is actively moving down this path and provides some of the most interesting on-track action to be found anywhere. FIA president Max Mosely has welcomed the call from the EU, so hopefully we'll see some loosening of the reigns in F1 in the next few years. A lot of safety and performance advancements have come out motorsports
over the years and the pace of development could help bring more relevant technology to the road if the rulemakers allow it.
[Source: AutoCar, via Autoblog]