Rally-Raid Network official Facebook page
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 
Facts are facts, we all should face them reasonably.  And it is a fact that the human activity on the 3rd rock counting from sun is having a huge effect on the landscape and natural environment of the planet .  Just remember how your very own village or city changed in the past 20 or 30  years.
 
And during the past 100 years or so, humans became depending and intoxicated with oil and all its derivates.  And this can’t exactly be considered a bad thing, because many parts of the world had grown hugely due to this magic substance that is hidden in the guts of our planet.  But with gain came also pain, and we aren’t talking about the oil spills in the ocean or other accidents, but the gradual and subtle change to our atmosphere that is not noticeable from one day to the other, but we can see it in the long terms records, transforming our climate, with odd event happening everywhere, some with catastrophic results.
We know what some could say: “The climate changes on his own”. True, the climate has cycles, that’s the reason why we had ice ages. But imagine a river:  the water level raises up and down with rain… but humans can also make it raise or lower it with a dam.
 
Returning to the top, facts are facts, and we should face them reasonably, that’s why we do care about environment and we are worried about global warming, rise in the ocean levels or miss-use of plastics among other problems.   But our worries doesn't mean that from one day to the other we should start believing that diesel and petrol are  daemons like many want to make us believe. These fuels are actually part of our lives, will continue to be part of our lifes for some years.  Eventually we will have to stop using not only petrol and diesel, but also other forms of fossil fuels,  and we will need to  make the intelligent transition to other forms of energy in a coherent, smart and intelligent way.

 Our planet will face huge challenges in the upcoming years and our societies , as a whole, should tackle and solve those the environmental problems for the good of our planet and of  all our children.  Decisions like the recent ones form the US Government can only be considered dumd and dangerous.   This and other contries do not live in "America Only" but in "Earth Togheter" with all of us.

But this text is not intended to be a lesson on environment or a speech of a preacher to his followers. This text is just our personal view over the future of motorsport, especially, cross-country rallies and similar sports.
 
Motorsporst are directly linked to the combustion engine,  an "ever evolving" machine that in some time will have a less and less relevant part in our lives, being replaced by something else,  very likely something electric.    Our  most popular means of transportation, the car and motorbike,  which are the very own vehicles we do use in motorsport and consequently in cross-country rallies will change, be different, maybe smarter.
 
We assumed that the change will happen, and one day the loud music of the V8 petrol engines will be only a memory from the past,  and the same will happen to the smell of petrol or flames coming out of the exhaust pipe.    
 
What doesn’t look right in all of this is the speed of the change, that apparently some want to be much faster than it is possible technically or financially at the present time. The abrupt change some “lobbies” want is strange, and even if it could work on short circuit races, we have very serious doubts that the same solution will work in the middle of the Sahara or Atacama deserts.  We do not defend that we should sit and wait for a magical solution to happen, something should be made.

But many problems are ahead of us, for example each manufacturer wants his own solution to win, with the obvious reason being the huge gain the winner will get.  Petrol or diesel are more or less standard,  but electric solutions aren't not even close to have a standard.   And can you imagine finding a solution for an electric problem so easy, so cheap but above all so fast as you do for the fossil fuels in the next 10 years?
 
The change from fossil to renewable is happening already, but the ones that are turning it into reality should takie in to account all details, in order for the transistion to be effective and widely acepted and not think only on their share olders. For Motorsports,  a possible solution is to start making small and incremental changes, especially with smarter use of fossil fuels, with new technologies that already exist or are being developed. 

And this process shouldn’t be “castrated” with 1000 rules, hard to understand and undermining all the evolution process. Let the fast be fastest and do not make new rules to slow him down. The others should do their work to catch up and not wait for the “government of the sport” to give them a push forward. A good example is what the restrictor does to petrol and diesel engines used in racing, suffocating these components that otherwise could be amazing. Worse than that, often it causes unfair problems to the teams for 1/100 of millimetre. If the problem is the power of the engine, why do allow such a big one and why not limit the engine capacity?  

We fear that the same will happen with the process of evolution to electric, with the rules that could show up to level the competition being the exact element that will turn it unfair and uninteresting.

Maybe it’s the time for the people who control the sport to let the teams to start to introduce electric components, even if they have a direct impact on overall performance, like a secondary electric engine. Or, on the other hand, stimulate the “intelligent use of fuel” giving a bonus to the teams that use the less fuel on a race.   These ideas could be used to push the teams in the right direction without forcing them.  But if one finds an advantage, others will follow.
 
The gradual introduction of new technologies will  alow motorsports to  continue to be the perfect laboratory for new and innovative solutions, that after proven in race environment could transit to everyday use.  
 
We have no doubts about electricity looking like the best solution for the future, but especially the speed of change some people want could offer some big challenges to teams and organizers of cross-country rallies and surelly to most other motor sports.   We are a bit affraid that this sudden "wish to be electric" is motivated by the wrong reasons.  Are we following a path to change from one monopoly to another?  Who will gain the most with the change to electric?
 
And for the ones thinking that electric is the best of all, with no residues or problems we say that things aren’t so bright as they look. On the production side, we invite you to have a look on what is happening in the countries where lithium, cobalt, nickel, and other metals that are part of an electric vehicle lithium-ion battery pack are being extracted. Just because it is far from your sight, doesn’t mean it’s good, and there are many examples of poor work protection, abuse and child exploitation.        And, on the other end of the cycle,  when the batteries finish their useful life, another big environmental problem shows up: recycling.  In the middle of this, a complicated life cycle of many components means that an electric vehicle at the moment causes more CO2 than a combustion engine during its useful life.    Not to speak in the exponential increase in the price of electric components when the raw materials start to be harder to find and more rare.
 
There is no perfect solution, but there is one. But that isn’t to simply cut one technology and force the introduction of another. A wise leadership will start to introduce incremental changes to the point where no one else will ever remember the old technology and will be using the new one.
 As for us here, we already said that we will really miss the loud sound of a petrol engine passing close, shaking even the smallest bone of our body. We can even feel sorry for the diesel engines that sound like “vacuum cleaners” now considered pollution daemons,  when in fact have a much lower fuel consumption and can be more efficient than the petrol engines.  We aren't not even talking about some more "exotic creatures" like the Wankel Rotary engine and it's amazing sound and power, but all of them will go.
 
King Oil is not dead yet, but we should face the fact that  his final days are close, so maybe it’s time to start saying goodbye to him and welcome the new Queen Electricity or the Hydrogen Prince.

 

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.