Toyota Gazoo Racing alongside Rookie Racing are two organisations exploring the future of motorsport fuels with both teams entering hydrogen and carbon-neutral-fueled cars in the Thailand 25H Endurance Race this weekend.
Its no secret that the automotive industry is shifting to an all electric future, leaving many of us questioning what will happen to fossil-fueled cars on the racing side of things.
There’s still hope for the internal combustion engine though, with research and testing of alternative fuels hoping to give it a new lease of life. And that’s exactly what Toyota and Rookie Racing’s mission is for the 25 hour race this weekend.
The cars of choice for the endeavor include the Toyota GR Corolla H2 concept which will run a hydrogen-burning combustion engine while a GR86 will be run on carbon-neutral fuel.
Both entries won’t race for the full duration though, opting to participate in the first and last few hours of the event instead.
The two team’s main objective is to continue developing the new fuels in the hope they will become widely used in motorsport as an alternative to the likes of petrol.
So what are these new fuels? In terms of burning hydrogen, the only byproduct that comes out of the tailpipe is water vapour. However, an engine would require multiple modifications to run this fuel.
On the other hand, there’s the carbon-neutral alternative which essentially recycles carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to be made. While it still produces emissions, it is considered eco-friendly and also means that an engine would require little to no modifications to be used.
Not only would these solutions allow for historic and present day race cars to continue to hit the track, the technology could also transfer to road cars once it matures.
Toyota is way ahead of the curve in this sense though as it has already put the hydrogen-fueled turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder out of the aforementioned GR Corolla into a road car for everyday use testing.
Other manufacturers like Porsche are also exploring the technology with the marque’s Mobil 1 Supercup cars already running its carbon-neutral eFuels.
Formula 1 is another race series that has begun to focus on sustainability with the organisation planning to run 100 per cent sustainable fuels in its cars come 2026.
So then, hydrogen and carbon-neutral fuels certainly put up a good argument for keeping the internal combustion engine ticking in motorsport for decades to come.
Main image: Toyota Gazoo Racing