The HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship has announced that it will work alongside Cranfield University in an effort to establish targets for limiting the CO2 emissions of cars competing in the series.
As announced at the end of 2007, the BTCC is to become the first motor racing series in the world to place a limit on the CO2 emissions produced by its competing cars – with the BTCCC's technical experts have been conducting research and development since then to help formulate a strategy to ensure that the new regulations are both workable and meaningful.
Cranfield University will work to undertake a full assessment of the drive cycle of a typical race car, with the research project aiming to help to establish applicable values to the testing of race cars which will acknowledge the different performance criteria of the vehicles. The next stage of this project begins next week when a BTCC race car, kindly loaned by 888 Race Engineering, will be put on a rolling road for the first time to gather relevant benchmark data.
“One of the challenges we face is that the emissions testing of road cars is undertaken specifically to reflect the drive cycle of a typical road car journey, predominantly at less than 40mph,” Alan Gow, BTCC series director, said. “These conditions bear very little relation to the type of engine activity that we see on a race track where speeds average around 100mph and there is heavy demand on acceleration and braking. Testing the BTCC cars to these standards would clearly be irrelevant, so we are working with Cranfield to establish comparable values that will make our testing relevant and meaningful.”
The BTCC is also working closely with Horiba Instruments Limited, the biggest supplier of emissions testing devices in Europe, to develop the on-board CO2 testing equipment that will be used by the championship next year.
“Obviously we will not be able to install a rolling road in the pit lane!” Peter Riches, BTCC chief scrutineer, who is leading the BTCC's CO2 emissions project, addedt. “We are working closely with Horiba to make sure that we have a workable solution throughout the season to ensure that the teams are complying with the regulations.”
The BTCC emissions project is supported by Energy Efficient Motor Sport (EEMS) which has, since 2004, been working with the UK motorsport industry towards an overall goal of putting energy efficiency at the heart of modern motorsport.
“EEMS is delighted to support yet another energy efficient move by the British Touring Car Championship which has been particularly proactive and, in previous years, introduced measures such as catalytic converters, trials of biofuels and fuel flow metering,” Marc de Jong, senior project Consultant for EEMS said. “The measures that are being taken by the BTCC organisers to reduce emissions in this highly competitive, well-respected and public-facing Championship can't fail to have a positive 'can-do' effect on other Championships that might be considering similar moves to limit the impact of motorsport upon the environment.
“It is a logical move for EEMS to support this innovative research programme which will establish benchmarks that bring UK motorsport and the automotive industry closer together in their common objective of promoting energy efficiency.”