IndyCar will become the first North American racing series to use 100% renewable fuel in its race cars.
Shell, which recently signed a five-year extension to be the fuel sponsor for the open-wheel series, announced plans Friday to switch to a low-carbon fuel in 2023.
The new fuel will be a blend of second-generation ethanol derived from sugarcane waste and other biofuel, and it will create a fuel that is 100% comprised of feedstocks categorized as renewable under the applicable regulatory frameworks, according to Shell executives at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It will decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 60% compared to fossil-based gasoline, according to the company.
IndyCar currently use an 85% mix of corn-based ethanol and gasoline, or E85 mix, making it 85% renewable. It changed from using pure methanol to an ethanol blend in 2007 for safety reasons. Methanol burns with an almost visible flame.
Shell has set a goal of having a net zero carbon footprint in IndyCar by 2050.
“This race fuel development for IndyCar is a great example of how fuels technology is pivotal in helping decarbonize the sport,” Dr. Selda Gunsel, President of Shell Global Solutions, said in a statement.