EEMS, the Government-sponsored Energy Efficient Motorsport programme which works to put energy efficiency at the heart of modern motorsport, welcomed the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship’s move to make CO2 emissions directly relevant to motorsport, at the media launch of the test facility at Land Rover, Solihull on 5 March 2009.
For the first time in a motor racing championship, in order to reduce CO2 levels during racing, this season’s BTCC cars must not exceed levels of their showroom counterparts, and will be regularly tested on a rolling road using a drive cycle specifically designed for the performance of the cars on track. EEMS has supported the research work to create a benchmark for the drive-cycle.
Marc de Jong, Senior Project Consultant with EEMS, has been working closely with the development of this initiative:
‘We are excited about this because the BTCC is the first major championship to make CO2 emissions relevant to motorsport. CO2 emissions are a primary issue in road car development and they relate directly to the fuel consumed. Less CO2 means less fuel used. Hence any CO2 reduction measures here will encourage greater energy efficiency in order to use less fuel. The BTCC engineers must consider the energy efficiency of the engine, the powertrain, in fact the whole package. Energy efficiency would include all efforts to get the best performance from a litre of fuel.
‘Energy Efficiency is a topic that is high on many agendas. High performance motorsport engineers have always contributed to innovation in the motor industry, and this initiative will stimulate their natural instinct to innovate in this area. The BTCC has shown real leadership in recognising this issue and creating this initiative. TOCA and Horiba have researched and developed a measurement cycle and a protocol that are 100% fit for the purpose, not just clever maths.
‘Over the past decade, the BTCC has shown it welcomes applications of energy efficient technologies, in engines, in powertrains, trials of biofuels. EEMS has sponsored this particular research project and we hope this regulation will inspire more innovation. In the short term, measuring CO2 gives the BTCC an opportunity to learn more about the real emissions race cars over the course of a season. No racing series has done this before.
‘The short term objective is to show that no race car has worse emissions than its road going equivalent. Longer term, it gives BTCC the option to set ever more challenging targets and make energy efficiency even more important. BTCC is creating this option and backing it up with science.
‘This regulation shows that motorsport is about driving innovation, not just ‘round-and-round’, but learning meaningful lessons on the journey.’