British motorsport specialist, Prodrive, will be one of the first major teams in the world to compete with a sustainable fuel in an FIA championship.
It will compete in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies with the Prodrive-run Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) team. They will then use the fuel at the Dakar rally in January to demonstrate that sustainable fuels can be used as a direct replacement for fossil fuels in standard production vehicles.
Prodrive has developed the sustainable fuel over the past eight months in conjunction with UK-based, Coryton Advanced Fuels. Called Prodrive ECOpower, it has been specifically developed to demonstrate the environmental benefits of the latest sustainable fuel technology.
The main components are generation 2 biofuel, manufactured from agricultural waste, and efuels created by capturing carbon from the atmosphere. As a result, the fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to equivalent petrol.
The fuel has been developed at Prodrive’s powertrain facility at its headquarters at Banbury, UK. The fuel has been run in the BRX team’s Prodrive Hunter T1+ car in the same unmodified engines which previously ran on petrol.
The Prodrive Hunter T1+ has been specifically designed to compete at the Dakar in Saudi Arabia and in cross-country rallies across the world. The four-wheel drive car can cross almost any terrain, from sand dunes to rocky mountain tracks, at high speed and over the two weeks of the Dakar will cover more than 7,500km.
The BRX team has carried out extensive testing in the UK and is now heading to the Middle East for more extensive endurance work in the same conditions it will experience at the Dakar. The team will then compete at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and Hail Rally before heading to the Dakar which starts on January 1.
While Prodrive ECOpower has been developed for motorsport use, this sustainable fuel can be used as a direct replacement for unleaded petrol in almost any vehicle. The company is planning to run a near identical fuel in a number of its road vehicles to further prove out the technology.
I am a great advocate of motorsport taking the lead in developing, proving and promoting new technologies that can help address climate change. Covering thousands of miles across the toughest terrains, the Dakar and the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies are the perfect environment to showcase the benefits of the next generation of sustainable fuels and demonstrate that they can be used in road vehicles to reduce the use of fossil fuels, while still offering the same performance and range. David Richards, Prodrive chairman
Founded in 2010, Coryton has become a global force in the development and supply of bespoke, specialist fuels. The facility is the centre of expertise for developing new, innovative fuels. Coryton’s range of sustainable fuels have the potential to achieve near net-zero CO2. Sustainable liquid hydrocarbons are also being developed for applications beyond transport, with an aim to replace solutions historically derived from fossil sources.
Coryton CEO, Andrew Willson, said: “Coryton has a long history in blending bespoke fuels for the motorsport industry, and to further support our customers evolving needs, we’ve recently launched Sustain, our new sustainable fuels offering. We knew that partnering with Prodrive would be an ideal way to test our capability in some of the world’s most challenging racing environments, alongside some of the finest engineering expertise in the industry.”