The NTT IndyCar Series continues its quest for environmentally friendly racing by announcing Friday that its new partnership with Shell Pennzoil will see the creation of a fully renewable fuel for use in the 2023 season. This will make the series the first major North American motorsport to use such a type of fuel.
Shell Pennzoil became the new official fuel supplier for IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, with the deal set to begin in 2023 and replacing Speedway. The company is a longtime sponsor of IndyCar head Roger Penske‘s Team Penske in both IndyCar and NASCAR, and the combination has resulted in two Indianapolis 500 victories with Rick Mears (1983 and 1988) and a NASCAR Cup Series championship with Joey Logano (2018). In 2021, Shell was named IndyCar’s official oil and lubricant provider.
“The fuel and lubricant, and energy solutions developed through our strategic relationship with IndyCar and Penske Corporation can ultimately help accelerate reduced carbon emissions from transport in many sectors of the economy,” commented Carlos Maurer, Shell’s executive vice president of Sectors and Decarbonisation. “Shell’s motorsports technical alliances around the world provide a testing ground for fuel and lubricant technologies and products in demanding road conditions.”
Shell’s new concoction for 2023 will be a blend of ethanol and various biofuels. The ethanol, which comes from the remains of sugarcane, is provided by Brazilian company Raízen. By being fully renewable, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by at least sixty percent.
“This race fuel development for IndyCar is a great example of how fuels technology is pivotal in helping decarbonize the sport,” commented Shell Global Solutions president Dr. Selda Gunsel. “Today’s development takes us one step closer to that goal.”
The new fuel is another step in IndyCar’s experimentation with greener racing products. For the Music City Grand Prix in August, the series and Bridgestone will introduce a new alternate tyre made from guayule, a shrub that is widely found in North America.
“Motorsports has always been at the forefront of innovation and technology, and today IndyCar is furthering this tradition in a very important and transformational way,” stated Penske Entertainment Corporation president Mark Miles. “We are proud to become a leader in sustainability and decarbonization as we work towards becoming the first U.S. motorsport series to run on renewable fuel. With industry-leading organisations like Shell and Penske sharing the same ambition for a cleaner energy future, remarkable progress can be made.”