Motorsport

RAF motorsport reveals plans to have only cars in UK running on 100% synthetic fuel

The RAF Motorsport Association is on display at the Autosport International event to promote its move towards using 100% synthetic fuels in two of its racing cars this year. 

The event, which is being held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, is one of the biggest motorsport conventions in the world and is expected to attract more than 150,000 people across its four days. 

The RAF is on hand at the NEC across the four days to promote its 'Project Flywheel' scheme, an initiative that looks at the use of synthetic fuels in motorsport. 

Air Vice Marshall Paul Lloyd, Chief of Staff Support and Chief Engineer, hopes that the scheme will enable the RAF to monitor how synthetic fuel performance works and how they may use it across the RAF in the future. 

He said: "First of all it is a great test house, it is an internal organisation where RAF people get to work on it so they get to see it, so we have it in-house, and we can trial it. 

"It is where the motorsports are going, they want to go to e-sports, they want to go to synthetic biofuels, so we need to be ready for that."

Last year, an RAF Voyager completed a ground-breaking trial flight using only sustainable aviation fuel and the hope is that the RAF will be able to pull on that experience to be sustainable in a motorsport environment and lead the way in the motorsports across the UK. 

Group Captain Brian Watson, chair of the RAF Motorsport Association, said: "It is the first UK club chain to run synthetic fuel in motorsport, so in other words a UK first for the RAF.

"It's an innovation piece and it's pulling from the experience we gained running the first microlight on synthetic fuel and we are looking at the options for it with the Voyager.

"So, it is pulling from that skillset and that drive to be sustainable into a motorsport environment and actually we are leading the way from a motorsport UK perspective."

As the motorsport industry shifts towards a more sustainable future, the eMotorsports stand proved to be a popular attraction at the exhibition, with everyone wanting their turn at the wheel. 

RAF Motorsport's Corporal James King says giving people a more interactive experience "makes a massive difference" when attempting to gain people's interest. 

He said: "If anyone comes to an expo or anything like that, having something you can get your hands on is always a little bit better than just talking to people, and I think that's bringing a lot of people to come and have a look at us and just talk to us. 

"We have had people come up and asking, 'we didn't realise the military did all this sort of stuff', sometimes they are approaching at the age where they can join or they are eligible and then other times they are a bit younger, but they are still thinking about joining the forces and this is just one little bit that seems to trigger that bit of excitement about getting in."