Australian motorsport stars Peter Brock and David Brabham have thrown their support behind Formula Green - a new environmental organisation which is the presenting sponsor of this year's Bathurst 24 Hours.

The brainchild of PROCAR chairman and Bathurst 24 Hours founder, Ross Palmer; Formula Green is a concept which will analyse motorsport with the aim of making it more environmentally friendly.

The Formula Green Foundation has also joined forces with key environmental bodies including Greening Australia and Green Fleet and, as part of its programme, a total of 4500 trees will be planted to eliminate the amount of carbon dioxide produced by competitors, support races and spectators vehicles at this weekend's event.

"For some time, I have been a bit concerned as to whether motorsport was using its potential to ensure the environmental impact was lessened," Brock said, "This is a fantastic initiative and it will allow a whole host of people to come on board to help in environmental development. Everybody knows motorsport has the potential to do things fast, and do things well, so lets use it help protect the world around us."

Both Brock and UK-based Brabham will be official ambassadors for the Formula Green Foundation.

"Motor racing has been happening for years and years, but there has never been a lot of thought about the environment," Brabham said, "Formula Green is a fantastic vehicle for Australia and the rest of the world to get people in the sport start to think about the environment and the impact it has on it.

"With the technology developed in motorsport, I am sure we can eventually develop road cars which will have lower and lower emissions."

The Formula Green concept was developed by Palmer after being urged by three-time Formula One world champion Sir Jack Brabham - David's father - to investigate ways for motorsport to help the environment.

"Jack urged me to come up with a formula for racing to ensure the sport has an ongoing future," Palmer said, "It is easier said than done but, after three years of hard work, Formula Green is ready to begin.

"The idea of the spirit of competition driving improved emissions from internal combustion engines is great for the environment. It is my dream for this concept to eventually be adapted on a world-wide basis."

Australian GT Production racer and Greening Australia vice-president, Jim McKnoulty, is a key advocate in promoting the Formula Green concept. He will race in the two-hour production car event scheduled for the Saturday morning before start of the Bathurst 24 Hours.

"Greening Australia and Green Fleet are proud to be working with Formula Green in how we can reverse the environmental impacts of driving cars at an event such as this," McKnoulty said, "The technology is what has caused the damage to the environment, but the technology of the judging aspects of Formula Green competition, combined with the natural process of planting trees to equal out the carbon-dioxide produced will help heal the damage.

"If you drive your car all year, planting 20 trees annually can reverse the impact to the environment you cause."

The Bathurst 24 Hour was chosen to launch the Formula Green brand concept due to the unrivalled international exposure that the brand will receive, and the process will measure selected environmental variables on race vehicles. It will not, however, impact on the pure sporting nature of racing with PROCAR or any of the current sporting regulations.

If competitors choose to make their car more environmentally efficient, they will have a better chance of winning the Gold Formula Green award, but it is not mandatory that they make any changes. The criteria for measuring the Formula Green award will be separate to the existing sporting regulations, and the award will be measured separately to the current trophies for 'first across the line'. In simple form, once the final race is run, the outright first, second and third place finishers will then be measured by the Formula Green standard criteria.

 

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