The Government-backed Energy Efficient Motor Sport programme has paid tribute to the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship's decision to implement CO2 emission testing for the 2009 season.
The series will regularly test its competing cars at a state-of-the-art laboratory at Land Rover's Solihull plant as the series seeks to bring the emissions of its competing cars down to – or even below – their road-going counterparts.
The move will make the BTCC the first motor sport series to make a concerted effort to bring down CO2 levels and EEMS senior project consultant Marc de Jong said it was an important step to see the series taking steps to improve its efficiency.
“We are excited about this because the BTCC is the first major championship to make CO2 emissions relevant to motorsport,” he said. “CO2 emissions are a primary issue in road car development and they relate directly to the fuel consumed. Less CO2 means less fuel used. Hence any CO2 reduction measures here will encourage greater energy efficiency in order to use less fuel. The BTCC engineers must consider the energy efficiency of the engine, the powertrain, in fact the whole package. Energy efficiency would include all efforts to get the best performance from a litre of fuel.
“Energy Efficiency is a topic that is high on many agendas. High performance motorsport engineers have always contributed to innovation in the motor industry, and this initiative will stimulate their natural instinct to innovate in this area. The BTCC has shown real leadership in recognising this issue and creating this initiative. TOCA and Horiba have researched and developed a measurement cycle and a protocol that are 100 per cent fit for the purpose, not just clever maths.
“Over the past decade, the BTCC has shown it welcomes applications of energy efficient technologies, in engines, in powertrains, trials of bio-fuels. EEMS has sponsored this particular research project and we hope this regulation will inspire more innovation. In the short term, measuring CO2 gives the BTCC an opportunity to learn more about the real emissions race cars over the course of a season. No racing series has done this before.”
Land Rover's director of quality Tim Davis was also pleased with the tie-up and said the company would do all it could to work alongside the BTCC to make the new programme a success.
"The Jaguar Land Rover Product Compliance Centre at Solihull is one of the best purpose-built end-of-line facilities in Europe and this is further endorsed by the BTCC's decision to work with us,” he said. “The facility is another important step towards Jaguar Land Rover's commitment to reduce emissions and by sharing these technologies with the BTCC we can work together towards a 'greener' future."