Dawson Racing is taking a leading role in the pursuit of alternative fuel technologies for motorsport
Houston, TEXAS, January 19, 2022 – Motorsports have long been a hub of automotive innovation. The need for race cars to be faster and safer has resulted in the introduction of mainstream inventions like the rearview mirror, disc brakes, push-button ignition, paddle shifters and more. It has made involvement in the motorsports industry an essential destination for major automotive manufacturers and suppliers to test their ideas in real time.
Today, with a greater sense of corporate responsibility and in recognition of consumer demand, many of these companies are turning their attention to not just automotive performance, but also to global energy stewardship.
“We recognize the importance of motorsports in generating ideas and pushing technology in ways that could have a significant impact on how we approach energy consumption in the future” said Ian Dawson team owner of Dawson Racing and Energy Division lead for StemGen, Inc. (OTC: SGNI) the parent company of D3eSports, a virtual-to-real motorsports social gaming enterprise. “Fuel efficiency is obviously an important part of motor racing, as is performance. It’s an exciting challenge to find alternative ways to power the cars that burn cleaner and more efficiently while still providing enough power to take the checkered flag. Additionally, we must explore all ideas. It’s equally important to be frank about the pros and cons of each new technology and to be open-eyed about the down-stream consequences of each.”
Two racing series have made taking up this challenge a primary focus. Both Formula E and Extreme E race with all electric vehicles (EVs), and the enthusiasm among fans is evidence of the increased public interest toward a more sustainable future. Yet, it has also created conversations around the viability of EVs, in particular, the raw materials needed to produce the lithium batteries required to power the cars, the output of electricity needed to charge EV batteries, the cost of replacement, and how to dispose of them when no longer viable. This is an evolving space with the recent announcement of Le Mans Prototype seeking to create a one-make series in the future [https://bit.ly/3fGm7Ja].
Dawson should know. For nearly two decades he has worked to build more eco-friendly and energy efficient racers. He developed and delivered the first production-engine diesel fueled Le Mans car in 2004 and worked with Roush Racing in testing and developing the Ford 3.6-liter EcoBoost Turbo engine that debuted at Daytona in 2012 and raced at the famed Laguna Seca racetrack in Monterey, Calif. in 2013.
Although, hydrogen/electric with the use of sustainable materials is not new, in racing and road cars, development is being delayed as downsizing of components is required, and investment in EV technology is only just being realized. Because of the disruptive nature of these technologies, in many ways, smaller groups are better equipped to undertake the challenge.
For Dawson, hydrogen fuel technology holds a greater promise for interrupting global reliance on fossil fuels. “Hydrogen can be a game-changer among alternative fuels, but it’s going to require significant coordination and investment to make it happen,” he commented.
Although there are several different methods for extracting pure hydrogen for use in fuel cells, electrolysis through renewable sources such as solar or wind, which is referred to as “green hydrogen,” is seen as the most promising as it results in zero emissions in both the production and consumption of hydrogen fuel. Yet, challenges remain.
“We’re suffering from the proverbial chicken-and-egg dilemma,” commented Dawson. “For instance, investment in hydrogen fueling stations is low because there are currently not enough hydrogen-electric vehicles (HEVs) to justify the expense, yet greater production of HEVs is low because there are no fueling stations to service them. The same can be said for the electrolyzers needed to extract pure hydrogen. They’re expensive right now because demand is low, but demand is low because they are expensive. This supply and demand gridlock can only be addressed through comprehensive, coordinated investment from across a multitude of economic sectors.
For their part, Dawson Technologies hopes to use their platform to demonstrate the value of hydrogen through development of a concept hydrogen-powered Hypercar. What began collaboratively in 2019 with a CAD model on Autodesk and full-scale design work, based on an LKMP2 chassis, coupled with a system partners evaluation, has developed into a full-scale real car currently about 50-60 percent complete and waiting to move to the next step.
“Our goal is to develop a race car that is lighter and burns cleaner as proof of concept as to what’s possible,” commented Dawson. “It’s important to start somewhere, and the great thing about motorsport is the number of innovative companies and dynamic people that are already involved in the project, from engineers and CEOs to the blokes in the paddock, everyone has ideas about how to do things better. If we can get everyone working with a singular focus and draw the resources together to make it happen then I think we can really make a difference.”
Although it’s unlikely the concept car will be highly competitive at first, the real value is in the process of developing and gathering valuable data for the future.
About Dawson Racing:
Dawson Racing is a highly competent manager, owner and operator of an international sports car racing team. It’s principals, Ian and Simon Dawson, have over 60 years’ experience with factory and private global racing teams including engineering, technology, infrastructure, and marketing resources.
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