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24 Heures du Mans: “100% renewable” fuel next year

Fuel from wine residues and recycled materials to be introduced in the World Endurance Car Championship in 2022

The start of the 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the famous endurance car race, will be given on Saturday at 4pm. But one announcement for the next edition caused a stir on Friday: a “100% renewable” fuel will be introduced in 2022 in the World Endurance Car Championship (WEC), whose flagship event is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the European Le Mans Series (ELMS).

Developed by TotalEnergies, this fuel “will be produced on a basis of bioethanol from wine residues from French agriculture and ETBE (ethyl tertiary butyl ether, a substitute fuel produced from ethanol and isobutene). It will be manufactured at the TotalEnergies refinery in Feyzin (Rhône) using raw materials that also come from the circular economy,” it said in a statement.

“This fuel should allow an immediate reduction of at least 65% in the CO2 emissions of the cars on the track,” it is also announced, while the fuel used at the 2021 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this weekend, incorporates 10% bioethanol.

A boost from the FIA

The major championships of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) are adopting so-called “sustainable” or “renewable” fuels one after the other, under the impetus of motor sport’s governing body.

“The FIA’s main objective is to implement sustainable energy sources throughout its portfolio of motor sport disciplines, thus paving the way for the reduction of CO2 emissions, in perfect harmony with its ‘race to the road’ strategy and the ‘PurposeDriven’ movement”, which frames the body’s actions in the areas of diversity, the environment, health and road safety, explains its president Jean Todt. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

TotalEnergies and theAutomobile Club de l’Ouest, which organises the Le Mans 24 Hours, are also partners in the Mission H24 project, which is developing a hydrogen-powered prototype for endurance racing.