The sky's the limit when it comes to a racer's creativity as evidenced by this 3-1 Supermo
What opportunities do you see in exploring sustainable fuels and alternative engine technologies?
The opportunities to explore sustainable fuels and alternative engine technologies are clearly low-hanging fruit. Specifically, racers and sanctioning organizations need to step outside their conventional box and engage new partners, even though it's always tough to venture beyond an existing comfort zone. But for example, how often have the EPA and DOE shown an interest and willingness to work with the racing and high-performance industry? From my view, these are among the opportunities for finding solutions to both existing and future motorsports-related problems.
Absent of any considerations for including green technologies in racing, what do you think the motorsports community will look like in 10 years?
Simply stated, the vintage racing community will be at over-capacity . . .
Best case, by including green technologies in racing, what do you then think the motorsports community will look like in 10 years?
There will be emerging racing series that have embraced changes such as race cars with relevant technology and long-term sustainability. Under these circumstances, we can expect to see new media channels, exciting racing formats, and a growing trend toward new and 'eco-friendly' race facilities. It's clear to me the automobile manufacturers will be key motorsports partners in this transformation, and I see all this as the 'Great Race of the 21st Century.'
Robert P. Larsen
Bob sits on the Board of Directors for the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and is the Manager of the Fuels and Vehicle Systems in the Transportation Technology Research and Development Center of Argonne Laboratories, a federally-funded organization working closely with the Federal Department of Energy. He is an automotive engineer, enthusiast and member of the "Green Racing Protocol" team, an international group of visionaries helping to shape the future or motorsports. Bob's engineering team will be integral to developing the emissions measuring techniques used in the latest Circle Track project.
Why do you think the motorsports community should be concerned about a green approach to racing?
We need to understand that huge forces are reshaping our world due to major energy and environmental concerns, and these forces are fundamentally changing the vehicles we drive and the technologies in them. We're facing some major challenges regarding that rate of our energy consumption and carbon emissions that will mold the future transportation system for our children and their children as well. In my opinion, the kinds of changes we'll see coming in the automotive industry will be nothing short of transformational. Racing needs to respond and embrace these changes, and that's the challenge racers need to step up to-to get out in front of them instead of being swept away by the response to the forces that are bringing fundamental changes to our transportation system and the car culture.
In particular, I believe the disconnect that has developed between much of racing and what new vehicle manufacturers are developing for future vehicles needs to be closed and focused on forms of racing that not only accept these new technologies but can be used to accelerate their exploration and validation. Even to the point of becoming an important source of innovation during the technology development process, as racing has done repeatedly in its past. But we can't just cling to what we have always done because it is comfortable and doesn't rock the boat. That is a formula for disaster.