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WTCR Race of France

Pau Grand Prix hosts all-new green festival

Pau hosted its first Motors Festival as part of its historic Grand Prix weekend, designed to promote sustainability.

Atmosphere

The Pau Motors Festival is dedicated to introducing the idea to the public of alternative low carbon sustainable fuels.

The city is producing its own hydrogen to fuel the Febus, a tram-bus-style form of public transport, and the energy station called Tissie was parked in the paddock to fuel the electric cars. Hyundai supplied the hydrogen fuel cell storage that was connected to the electric charging station that the E-cars are charged from.

The festival hosted a special one-day conference on 6 May. The subject of sustainability continued with an array of guest speakers from the European Commission, industry and development. There was also a mobile village set up for companies to present their products.

As well as the renamed all-electric FIA ETCR series, 65% of the World Touring Car Cup field were powered by low-carbon hybrid fuel, while Adour-Ocean Cup competitors ran on biofuel.

Valerie Demangel, Director of European and International development for Pau, said: “After two years of COVID, we decided to take the opportunity to invent a new Grand Prix, we are the first in Europe to do this.

“We decided to have low carbon races and a range of distinct technologies. It was also important to use the festival to show inhabitants of Pau and spectators that there are alternative, sustainable low-carbon fuels.

Atmosphere

Atmosphere

Photo by: Kate Disken

“The mission is to achieve a better quality of life for our citizens. The Febus currently runs on hydrogen but we are also looking at developing biofuel to be used in our other buses as a cheaper alternative.

“We want our festival to be informative and we have had a lot of public interest for the Pau Motors Festival to be more sustainable.”

Alan Gow, the President of the FIA Touring Car Commission, attended the event and believes others could follow.

“It is a nice atmosphere, I am impressed,” he said. “They have introduced ETCR, there is the classic single-seater race and they are introducing ideas that will become the normal going forward.

“We are all working towards a more sustainable future. You have to introduce that to the public so they can see what it is.”

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