The world is becoming a more eco conscious place by the day. Even elements that seem as far away from holding any green credentials, such as motorsport, are now making changes.With pressure on car manufacturers to create energy efficient models for everyday drivers it is little surprise that the green influence is now seeping into the sport.
The largest of the motorsports, Formula One, may have changed little in terms of boosting its eco reputation but many others have made adaptions or entered the field recently. The increasing focus on green is changing the way such sports are played.
Formula E was developed as an environmentally friendly alternative to Formula One, using electric racing cars. For its first season, which was successfully completed in summer 2015, all drivers had to use the same car which featured an electric motor and five-speed gearbox. This was to create even competition, with adaptions allowed in the 2015-16 season.
Formula E was created to demonstrate and promote the use of green vehicles in everyday life as well as providing an exciting competition on an even field. Turning Formula One into a fully electric sport would have been impossible so this new sport was introduced after being dreamt up a few years previously.
The famous Le Mans 24-hour race is the world’s oldest sports car endurance race which has been going for over 90 years. With such a rich history it was hard to imagine it changing, and while the format remains the same and as competitive as ever, the cars have developed a lot since 1923.
The Le Mans prototype models which are used for the race and a few other races, now feature two categories. One of these is for hybrids featuring an Energy Recovery System (ERS) which has proved just as popular and successful as traditional versions. This is a giant leap forward for motorsport fans pushing for greener racing.
Not quite as popular or professional, the Shell eco-marathon has become an annual fixture now for innovative and energy efficient racing. Rather than developing the fastest car this race focuses on the models which can travel the furthest on the least amount of fuel.
Years ago this would have turned many racing fans off immediately but with the environmental impact becoming more of a reality it regularly attracts many engineers and racers. In years to come all racing cars could be learning a lot from these vehicles.