Written by Gen Flauta, Edited by Sasha Macmillen
Super GT’s promoter GTA has recently jumped onto the carbon neutrality bandwagon, by signing a three-year deal with the German firm Haltermann Carless from the beginning of the 2023 season. This deal will lead to a supply of 300,000 litres of carbon-neutral fuels (CNF) by Haltermann Carless, under their ETS Racing Fuel brand with the ETS RENEWABLES GTA R100.” This specific CNF will be produced at Haltermann Carless’s own UK production facility in Harwich.
200 CNFs have already been sent to the three GT500 manufacturers, Nissan, Honda and Toyota, to conduct early benchmarking with their current CNF-fuelled engines. The foreign manufacturers of FIA GT3 cars will also be able to set their own benchmark of CNFs before the switch for the next season.
All 43 cars from both the GT500 and GT300 classes this season will be able to collect more data on their cars with CNFs, by participating in the mid-season test at Suzuka Circuit on 30th of August, just two days after the 450km race at the same track.
As a result, the challenge for engine and tyre manufacturers will now have to do with the optimisation of their respective packages (engine and tyres) no longer based on raw speed, but rather the longevity of those components, such as fuel efficiency and tyre wear. GTA Chairman Masaaki Bandoh said that GTA have “told (the engine manufacturers) that improving fuel efficiency should take precedence over raw power output.” GTA has also informed the tyre manufacturers of “a change in direction in development efforts toward achieving long tyre life, rather than focusing purely on grip.”
Furthermore, this will lead to all Super GT teams having a deduction on the number of tyre sets in order to test the harmony and durability between the engine and tyres. Adding to the fact that Super GT will have three 450 km-long races this season, the switch to CNF will be an opportunity for engine and tyre manufacturers to showcase their capabilities of developing and testing their innovations.
However, despite the change towards a more sustainable future for Super GT, Bandoh insisted that the engine sound from these cars would still remain “ten years from now”. Bandoh added that they “have an obligation and a responsibility to make sure that society will still recognise motorsports.” He also added that “everyone (at GTA) involved is working together to fulfil our duties and responsibilities, and promote environmental measures.”