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Can motor racing ever be green?

30 November 2007

Two University academics are to debate whether motor sports can ever be any good for the environment.

In a world where we are now all reminded to reduce our own car use and to look for alternative sustainable solutions, can the world of motor sports justify lap after lap of fuel consumption in the name of entertainment alone? Or can the technology developed with the vast amount of funding invested in motor sports help develop more environmentally friendly cars?

Professor Karen Holford, from the Cardiff School of Engineering and Dr Paul Nieuwenhuis from Cardiff Business School will discuss the issue at the next Cardiff Science Café on Tuesday.

Professor Holford, who set up the University’s Formula Student motor racing team, said: "I have a passion for motorsports and as an engineer, we are always looking for ways to solve problems – and that includes problems about the climate. I believe research into more sustainable fuels may provide benefits to all of us."

Wendy Sadler, director of Cardiff University spin-out science made simple which promotes public engagement with science, will be chairing the event. She said: "Motorsports are big business so it will be interesting to hear the perspective of an engineer versus that of a business expert to see whether all that excessive fuel use can ever bring any benefits to the planet. I’m sure the debate will be quite lively!"

The Café will take place on Tuesday December the 4th at 7.30 pm in the Café Bar at The Gate Arts Centre in Keppoch Street, Roath. Science Cafés are an informal way of finding out more about science. They provide an opportunity for anyone to question an expert on things they are curious about. For more information see