14th Dec, 2019

THE INSIDE TRACK - Rednal driver Owen on 2020 preparations

Ben Tyler 9th Nov, 2019

REDNAL-based driver Tobias Owen recently completed his debut season in motorsport, he writes for the Standard on why he is deciding to race carbon neutral in 2020.

Having completed my debut season of racing this year, I now have more of an appreciation about what goes into running a race car.

The bit that the fans see – the 20-minute stints when cars tear round the race track – is only half the story.

There’s the business of towing the cars to the track, the fuel-powered generators that need to run throughout the day at certain venues, the consumables that we go through every weekend – brakes, tyres, oil, and of course food and drink, much of which is packaged in single-use plastic.

Planet Earth is not an unlimited source of energy and we humans are putting it under great strain.

I worry about the world that my daughter will grow up in. Will it still be in a fit state to sustain human life when she reaches my age?

Although I do my my best to do my bit for the planet by reducing waste, reusing and recycling, every so often I go motor racing, something that sits at odds with my principles.

I am currently putting everything in place to race again in 2020, but this time I am undertaking something quite ambitious – I will be running carbon neutral in the 2020 MX-5 Championship.

To my knowledge, such a thing has never been attempted before at club level, I’d like to set an example to my fellow racers by proving it can be done.

I feel I will only be comfortable continuing my hobby if I know I am taking active steps to reduce the impact on the environment of my activities.

There are two facets to this.

One, I will look to reduce my carbon footprint on race weekends by being smarter about logistics such as transporting cars and equipment to minimise electrical usage, and reducing or recycling paper and plastics used over the course of race weekends.

Reducing carbon will only go so far as I’m still getting behind the wheel of a petrol-powered racing car and pounding it round the track for several hours.

So there needs to be some kind of trade-off, a carbon offsetting plan that redresses the balance and gives back to the environment.

I’ll be working closely with companies and individuals who are experts in this field over the winter to develop a strategy and look at adjusting the way I go racing.

Ultimately, I hope to set an example to others by creating a blueprint of carbon-neutral racing that drivers can adopt, it will help our planet out and enable us to enjoy our hobbies whilst not polluting the environment for future generations.

That’s got to be worth a try, right?

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