Historic racing is very popular these days, particularly in Europe. However, as some modern series such as A1GP and the ALMS are moving toward using biofuels and alternative drive-trains, organizers of historics are looking at their options. In particular, many of the old race cars require high octane racing gasoline which is becoming more expensive. Race Retro will be looking at the issue of historics going green (beyond the British Racing Green paint that is) at the International Historic Motorsport Show in Coventry, England in March. One issue: updating old race cars to withstand the corrosive effects of water that gets absorbed into ethanol can be problematic.
Clearly wanting to be seen as being green can be advantageous politically for historic racing organizers. The practical effect though is actually pretty negligible. These cars are relatively few in number and generally only run a handful of weekends a year in short bursts. The amount of air pollution generated by them is not enough to be concerned about and aside from the problem of the cost of racing gasoline, conversions to enable using ethanol will probably cause more problems for the cars. Running new racers on alternative fuels and drive systems can actually contribute to accelerated development for production vehicles. Let's just put the focus there instead.