In its ongoing efforts to “go green” NASCAR racing teams have reportedly committed to use a 15% ethanol blend (E15) in all three of its 2013 national racing series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck – being 50% more ethanol than the E10 blend available at US service stations. Moreover, NASCAR has set a goal of planting enough trees to offset carbon emissions produced by its race cars, noting that a single tree has the potential of absorbing a metric ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime which is roughly equivalent to the carbon dioxide produced by a race car travelling 500 miles.
A number of NASCAR affiliates and partners are joining in the tree planting initiative. Ford has committed to planting one tree for every lap led by a Ford driver during April, with UPS joining forces with the Arbor Day Foundation in an effort to plant more than 8,000 trees as a celebration of this annual event. (National Arbor Day in the United States is observed on the last Friday in April each year, although individual states may have Arbor Day on different dates according to their optimal time for tree planting.) Through NASCAR’s Green website, fans are being encouraged to support the “NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program™” with donations. A number of regions that have recently been hit by natural disasters have been identified as targets for the tree planting project, and those donating can choose which area they would like their donation to be used in.
The other NASCAR Green initiative is the “NASCAR Race to GREEN™” project designed to motivate fans, teams, tracks, drivers, and official NASCAR Partners to protect our environment. NASCAR is committed to environmental sustainability and recycling programs. At NASCAR tracks Coca-Cola and Coors Light provide bins for recycling plastic bottle and aluminum cans, while Safety-Kleen Systems recycles and re-refines all oil and lubricant used in racing, and Goodyear facilitates an effective tire recycling program. Other NASCAR Green partners include Creative Recycling, Freightliner, Green Earth Technologies, Green Plains Renewable Energy, Growth Energy, Miller Coors, NCGA, McLaren, New Holland Agriculture, POET, Sprint, Sunoco, Toyota, UPS, Novozymes, and 3M.
In a statement NASCAR CEO Brian France said that the NASCAR Green program in April is the “most ambitious and collective effort to date in reducing the sport’s impact on the environment”. Clearly, NASCAR Green is an initiative worth supporting.
Motoring enthusiasts in Germany are spoiled for locations when it comes to the annual Frankfurt Auto Show, as it is hosted in Frankfurt and in Hanover. Each year, the show displays an array of vehicles, both production vehicles and concept vehicles, for visitors to enjoy. Last year, production vehicles such as the Audi R8 Spyder, BMW X1, Aston Martin Rapide, Dodge Caliber and Ford C-Max were showcased, with concept cars including the Lexus LF-Ch, Mini Coupe, Bugatti Galibier 16C and the Mazda MX-5 Superlight taking visitors breath away.
This year promises to be another display of magnificent vehicles and state of the art technology that will create the cars of the future and vehicles that are safe for the environment.
Date: 23 September – 30 September 2010
City: Frankfurt and Hanover
There is a new landmark that can be seen from outer space, and it is located next to the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond. A massive solar power field has been erected by the Pocono Raceway to break ground as the first sport facility to be run on sustainable energy. Their dedication to the environment and to becoming leaders in the field of sustainable energy in the sports industry, has earned Pocono Raceway and NASCAR praise and admiration. It is hoped that once other sporting facilities recognise the potential and advantages of sustainable energy, they too will make the necessary changes to promote an environmentally friendly industry.
The piece of land utilised for the construction of the solar field belongs to the racecourse and was used for parking until the course was able to provide alternative parking spaces for its thousands of NASCAR enthusiasts. Each solar panel is three mega-watts, and to harness enough power to run the entire racecourse a staggering 39 962 solar panels were installed. The solar field covers an area of twenty-five acres and the solar panels form part of a photovoltaic ground mounted system. President of the Pocono Raceway, Brandon Igdalsky, explained the reasoning behind the solar field, saying: “Pocono Raceway strongly believes in the NASCAR industry’s commitment to operate in a more environmentally responsible way and is proud to be the first race track to power our sport with clean, renewable sunlight as the world’s largest solar-powered sports facility. This solar power system, built with timber, steel and solar panels made in the U.S., satisfies all our Raceway’s energy needs, while helping to power local homes. This project demonstrates real sustainability and proves that any business that truly wants to go green can do it.”
The huge undertaking of developing the solar power field was taken on by enXco. NASCAR voiced their approval through the CEO and President of NASCAR, Brian France, confirming NASCAR’s dedication to developing renewable energy, and is excited to be a part of the sustainable energy adventure that Pocono Raceway is embarking on. They have become a testing ground for renewed energy sources, and new innovative technology that will assist in conserving the environment. They are beginning to pave the way for other industries, and are a brilliant example to other sports facilities and organizations.
The Auto China show was inaugurated in 1990, and has since grown into one of the premier auto shows in China. This year, Auto China 2010 will be held in the New International Exhibition Centre, in Beijing, and will feature the latest developments in the automotive industry. Auto enthusiasts can visit the show from the 23rd of April to the 2nd of May 2010, and will feature environmental protection products, vehicle testing equipment, concept vehicles, special purpose vehicles, passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, new materials, part, manufacturing equipment and much more.
Exploring the site, http://autochina.auto-fairs.com/en/leftnavigation/information, will give visitors additional information in regard to the exhibitors and general facts about Auto China 2010.
Date: 23 April – 2 May 2010
Venue: New International Exhibition Centre
Auto racing has been getting a lot of flack in recent years for not being terribly environmentally friendly. Now it seems that this facet of sport may potentially have a lot to offer the average man on the street in terms of preserving our fast-degrading environment. Green Racing may ultimately help lessen the environmental impact that cars have on our ozone.
In a new type of auto racing known as ‘green racing’, the winner doesn’t only have to be fast – he has to be green as well. But that doesn’t limit the action or excitement. Instead it serves to improve the eco-friendly options available to the man on the street. According to John C. Glenn, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specialist, this new type of racing may actually have a huge impact on the technology used in street cars. Automobile technology generally develops at a much faster rate in race cars than it does in street cars. This technology is then carried over to and used in street cars. When the emphasis changes from simply going fast to having more energy efficient engines powered by cleaner-burning fuels, the shift in technological advances also changes. This is one of the most positive effects that Green Racing has on every-day car usage. Glen also noted that people tend to base their choice of car on popular race cars. He said: “They see cars racing on the track, and that’s the kind of car they want to buy.”
It was that sort of thinking that lead Glen and other EPA members to develop the concept of Green Racing. Plans where set in motion as early as 2006 and in 2008 the American Le Mans Series race was the first to feature the Green Challenge. The trend is set to continue this year, with Michelin sponsoring the Michelin Green X Challenge in only a few months time. The prize winners will be determined by three main factors, namely: the amount of petroleum displaced by alternative fuels, the amount of energy used and the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by the vehicle. However, in trying to making racing more eco-friendly event organizers certainly haven’t left much room to slow things down – the average car will still make 200 mph! The Green X Challenge is the only racing series in the world where the cars are actually permitted to be powered by an alternative fuel. And, with current problems faced by the economy combined with the continued green-house gas effect, people are more and more likely to embrace this healthier approach to auto racing.