What opportunities do you see in exploring sustainable fuels and alternative engine technologies?
I think sufficient time has passed that we can look back and see this country's decision to use corn-based ethanol wasn't such a good idea, even though I suspect there are arguments to the contrary. Of the problems we've experienced, simply having the infrastructure for product distribution has been significant, even though there are some environmental benefits from the use of ethanol. However, it's important to recognize that to produce the power equivalent to that derived from gasoline you need to burn more ethanol. In fact, it has about half the latent heat of combustion potential of gasoline, given equal volumes burned. You could make the argument that if the goal is to reduce net CO2, ethanol and food-based fuels may be a good idea. But if you consider the possible increase of other pollutants, maybe we should take the time to rethink the idea.
Absent of any considerations for including green technologies in racing, what do you think the motorsports community will look like in 10 years?
By not addressing them, I don't believe we run the risk of race fans becoming uninterested in the sport. Instead, there's a chance motorsports will have environmental rules or sanctions placed on it that will be either unrealistic to achieve or difficult to address successfully on a short time basis. I believe we have enough technology available to us today that we can, and should, become more proactive in how we address environmental issues that exist in modern-day racing activities.
Best case, by including green technologies in racing, what do you then think the motorsports community will look like in 10 years?
Even though I've not been around long enough to have seen a lot of what the motorsports industry has contributed to the overall automotive scene, I have had the good fortune to have seen some of its contributions, especially in the area of technology. I see the motorsports community with yet another chance to make a difference in our everyday means of transportation by taking advantage of how fast things can be explored and perfected in a racing environment. Our sport and business can move very quickly when it comes to innovation and the reduction of new ideas to application. This has long been an integral part of motorsports and I can't imagine why it should not continue that process by addressing environmental issues on the stage of racing."
Some Comments Relative to these Interviews
In the course of launching this Circle Track project, it seemed fitting to provide a forum in which major participants had an opportunity to share some of their views. You may have noted that each person was asked the same line of questions. This format enabled the drawing out of perspectives from people of vastly different backgrounds and professions, commenting on the same topics, although all of these persons are commonly bound as automotive enthusiasts with a stake in the motorsports and racing industry. In addition, it was an opportunity to let CT readers get a sense for the breadth and depth of the project, inasmuch as it has pulled together people in positions to not only view but influence the short- and long-term future of motorsports. As readers of this magazine, you have a unique opportunity to be part of this evolving history.