When competitive technology is put at the service of the world

Today, technological advancements are essential to maintain To improve engine performance At the same time that Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced Related to competition.

In this sense, competition has always been the best testing ground for technologies later used in cars and products related to transportation and mobility. Additionally, it is a perfect showcase to demonstrate its effectiveness in extreme conditions, Demanding a better performance at the World Championships All kinds.

It doesn't make sense for brands that exist in the biggest world competitions to bet on championships that use technologies that will become obsolete on the street. As such, the competition to reduce emissions has undergone a major shift in recent years. from Formula 1up to MotoGPPassing through the lowest divisions and the toughest race in the world, the DhakaAs well as creating more events with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

F1 and its „zero carbon” plan by 2030

Several years ago, the premier category of world motorsport presented its zero-emissions plan for 2030.F1 Net Zero 2030'. In 2014, single-seaters became hybrids, combining gasoline and electric motors and energy regeneration systems. This led to a shift from talking about engines to power units made up of multiple components. In 2022, a further step was taken with the introduction of renewable fuels. And in 2026 it goes even further with the introduction of new engine regulations. In this new era of F1, power units will be used with a total power increase of up to 50%. They range from 120 kW to 350 kW. Additionally, The fuel used for the combustion engine is 100% syntheticCompletely stable.

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But that's not all. A very difficult thing Reduce carbon footprint It creates kilos and kilos of materials that move from one part of the world to another for the organization and celebration of the Grand Prix. F1 also pursues this larger objective, with two-thirds of its footprint in logistics and travel. To this end, F1 is introducing changes to the dynamics of the tests to reduce the number of personnel involved in running the Grand Prix and to shorten the distance between races to increase the productivity of the journey and its logistics partner is working to reduce emissions. With efficient planes and trucks that run on renewable fuels.

This work is also to be carried out in grassroots sections. Tomorrow's drivers begin their careers in single-seaters after spending time in karting. It's worth remembering that from 2022, French Formula 4 will be the only single-seater competition to run on 100% renewable fuels. The fuel used in this competition is designed and manufactured in Spain, specifically Repsol Technical Lab.

MotoGP, big step from 2024

The premier category of world speed motorcycling is also experiencing a transformation in the sector. In 2024, MotoGP included new regulations that required all motorcycles to use fuel. 40% non-fossil originwith the aim of achieving 100% by 2027.

At the highest level, each manufacturer works with its supplier. For example, the Repsol Honda team will use renewable fuel developed by the Spanish multi-energy company, which will adapt to the needs of its engines.

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Luca Marini of Repsol Honda during free practice for the Qatar GP

Photo: Naushad Thekail / EFE

Dakar, a test bed in the hills

The case that draws the most attention, and in turn presents one of the greatest challenges, is the Dakar case. It is the hardest race in the world with stages of 400 or 500 kilometers, very difficult days through the trap-filled deserts, in high temperatures, under the scorching sun and among the dunes and tracks of Saudi Arabia.

Dakar has been making improvements for some time to reduce the championship's carbon footprint, and in 2021 it was launched. Dhaka is the future, it aims to take giant steps towards competing exclusively with alternative energies by 2030. To take the first steps in this direction there are many innovative projects and very different technology in these years. For example, Audi has been competing with more complex technology for three years with its Audi RS Q e-tron, thanks to its two electric motors and a battery charged by the combustion engine working at low speeds. A minimum consumption, which enables the German company's cars to ensure that their batteries do not run out of energy during long Dakar stages.

There is also a case for using renewable fuels Isidre Esteve within it Toyota Hilux. The challenge started in 2021. Since then, Repsol's Technology Lab has made great progress in collaboration with Toyota engineers. The Oleana driver competed in the 2023 Dakar, with 75% renewable fuel produced from organic waste, such as cooking oil. And in 2024, Esteve returns with gasoline made from 70% waste (because it is suitable for a new FIA regulation), Its efficiency is higher than that of fossil fuels.

Additionally, other teams such as BRX, X-Raid, the aforementioned Audi and other projects are working with synthetic fuel. But not only that. The innovation has also reached heavy and powerful vehicles like Catalan's MAN 6×6 truck Jordi Juandeni Y Jose Luis Criado, last year already switched LPG for hydrogen with an innovative project. This year, this 6×6 will compete in a new and important category: Mission 1,000.

This new Dakarian class was born precisely for the purpose of compliance Zero Carbon Emissions by Dakar 2030. It will be used as a test bed for various pioneering technologies. All of them will have to face a different course than the usual Dakar, with short stages and a general classification system through points. The goal is to test these technologies and analyze their results in order to add them to the full route in a few years, with all of them covering a total of 1,000 kilometers in two weeks of racing.

E competitions

Another example of how competition is changing is e-competitions. The greatest manifestation of the Formula E, a 100% electric single-seater variant debuted in 2014. Since then, its growth has been phenomenal due to the numerous brands that have joined the championship due to the car companies' electric commitment to the street. But it has grown at the technological level, especially in terms of batteries. The competition wants to continue to increase its power and efficiency to create key technology for today's and tomorrow's cars.

Then came MotoE, the electric motorcycle championship contested on MotoGP weekends. A was created Electric Passenger Car World Cup That didn't stick. And in RallyCross, a rally car competition on closed circuits with a lot of contact, the RX2e type was developed several years ago, fully electric, with the Spanish technology of the company QEV.

Formula E wants to continue to increase its power and efficiency to create key technology for the cars of today and tomorrow

Everything seemed electric, but …

Initially, the arrival of Formula E had combustion engine fans worried about the future of F1 and other legendary competitions. 100% Electric World Cup. And with the terms of the historic championships, the 'Great Circus' at the forefront, the factories were going back and studying their old plans to suit the future direction of the movement and the brands' intentions.

A clear case is that Endurance World Cup (WEC), after several companies dropped out, Toyota was the only one to keep its hybrid engine before entering a new regulation, the hypercar category. It is the best variant of the WEC that combines a petrol and hybrid engine. As any fan who attends a Le Mans or WEC event can see, even if the cars are hybrids, they continue to raise everyone's heart rate with their roar. They attract. Car brands bounced back quickly. In fact, the future of this competition looks promising with more and more industries hoping for success 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Peugeot 9×8, 24 Hours of Le Mans

Peugeot Motorsport

This last case or the case of F1 is very important Understand where the movement is going. It is clear that the future is not only electric, as it appeared a few years ago. The future is a mix of multiple renewable energies, each perfect for a specific application or individual's mobility needs. That combination is evident in the competitive world. Electricity, renewable fuels, synthetic materials, hybrid engines etc. The competition moves forward to determine the future of the movement for everyone.

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