The 24 Hours of Le Mans offered a glimpse into the future of the legendary race regarding the technology to be used in the vehicles. Before the start of the race, the hydrogen-powered Mission H24 offered an exhibition lap, where Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) confirmed its commitment to sustainable fuel.
The prototype’s presentation represents an evolution towards performance, making it lighter, more powerful and aerodynamic. Total Energies and ACO are also partners in a project developing hydrogen cars, built by the Swiss company Green GT. The initial goal was to introduce a specific category at Le Mans from 2024, but this has been postponed until 2025, due to the health crisis.
“The hydrogen choice is part of our mission, and a planetary challenge to combat the major issues of our time. We cannot continue with motorsports not adapted to environmental imperatives, and therefore, we must move towards zero emissions,” explained Pierre Fillon, president of ACO.
The Le Mans organizers announced that 100% renewable fuels will be used from next year. They will be produced by Visin refinery and will be based on bioethanol, with wine leftovers from French agriculture and raw materials from the circular economy. With this step, they expect a 65% immediate reduction in CO2 emissions from cars on the tracks.
The Electric Future
Electric motors are on the rise. To keep attracting audiences and sponsors, FIA major events are one by one adopting so-called renewable fueling.
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The Formula E Championship was launched in 2014. From this year, the World Touring Car Championship includes the Electric Car Class (ETCR), and the World Rallycross Championship (eRX2).
In order to reduce pollution, manufacturers are also relying on hybrid engines, combining electric and thermal technologies, so Le Mans decided not to be slow and began making decisions in this direction.
Written by I Jhonattan González