AUTOMOBILE

Toyota Will Run Hydrogen and Synthetic Fueled Race Cars Next Year

Motorsports are, by and large, a fairly small contributor to global emissions, if one ignores logistics and measures at the tailpipe of the average racecar. However, as everyone else is being asked to clean up, the world of racing will also be asked to do its part. Toyota is only too happy to jump on board, and has committed to running more sustainable motorsport programs, according to its 2022 team announcement. 

The big news is that Toyota GAZOO Racing will continue its push towards greener motorsport through the use of sustainable fuels in the Super Taikyu series. It all kicked off this year, with the company entering a Corolla Sport in the 24-hour race at Fuji International Speedway, featuring a hydrogen-burning 3-cylinder combustion engine

The Corolla H2 went on to complete the race in its first year, though spent a significant amount of time refueling due to the limited range of its hydrogen tank. The team was later able to reduce refueling times from 5 minutes down to 2 minutes from experience gained competing at later events throughout the year. 

In 2022, Toyota will again contest the series with the Corolla H2 concept, running in the ST-Q class for special vehicles and wearing the number #32 in competition. Listed amongst the registered drivers is one “Morizo,” the pseudonym under which Toyota President Akio Toyoda has competed in the past.

Toyota will also expand its efforts to run a second car. A Toyota GR86 running on synthetic fuel produced from biomass will also compete in the ST-Q class. The #28 car will be driven by, among others, Daisuke Toyoda, son of Akio Toyoda himself. 

Both cars will be campaigned by ORC ROOKIE Racing, with which Toyota partnered for the 2021 program. The team has historically also competed with the GR Supra and GR Yaris in previous events, running a variety of professional and “gentlemen” drivers in its cars. 

Synthetic fuels are an active area of research, and if produced correctly, could help combustion-engined vehicles get closer to carbon neutrality. At the end of the day, two Toyotas running on hydrogen and synthetic fuel aren’t going to save the planet. However, they may yet serve as useful testbeds that help automakers and motorsports series learn how to run combustion engines in a more environmentally friendly way. 

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