Indycar races to be more green
Indycar’s steps to being more sustainable were celebrated on the most recent Green Sports Day last week, with the motorsport series highlighting its use of renewable race fuel, transport initiatives and tyre technology.
This season saw the NTT Indycar Series debut the use of Shell 100% Renewable Race Fuel, making it the first US racing series to do so. At least 60% of greenhouse gas emissions were reduced compared to fossil-based fuel, according to Indycar.
Additionally, Indycar transporters, including those of the teams, used 100% renewable diesel as they travelled from race to race. This diesel is made from vegetable and animal fats, as well as waste cooking oils that are refined, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85% compared to traditional diesel.
Teams utilised the Firestone Firehawk guayule race tyre, which was debuted by Firestone during the 2022 season, and the series used the natural rubber in tyres for all street circuit events this year.
Guayule is a drought-resistant, heat-tolerant woody desert shrub native to northern Mexico and southwestern areas of the US. Natural rubber is extracted from the branches, bark and roots of the shrub.
Bridgestone race tyre engineers opted to use the guayule rubber in the entire sidewall, allowing Firestone to maintain the same quality and performance as traditional race tyres.
Safety-Kleen has recycled automotive fluids for Indycar for more than 30 years, and in 2023 collected 19,000 pounds of reclaimed fluid waste to be recycled into new oils, solvents and lubricants.
As the series continues towards hybridisation, Indycar is on the path to using hybrid technology with its 2.2-litre twin turbocharged V-6 engine for next season, with the programme being developed by motor engineering companies Ilmor, Chevrolet and Honda.
Earlier this year, the Detroit Grand Prix became the first motorsport event to receive gold certification with the Council for Responsible Sport, while Indianapolis Motor Speedway has also been commended for its environmental sustainability efforts.
Penske Entertainment, which owns Indycar and the NTT Indycar Series, has been working alongside consultancy WM Sustainability Services to complete a comprehensive baseline study for the entire series.