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Mazda Looking at Hydrogen Powered Rotary Racer
Submitted by Berny Herrera on Monday, May 8, 2006 - 4:25pm

A hydrogen-powered Mazda rotary engine could be raced in the American Le-Mans Series as early as next year.

Mazda North America is looking at converting its three-rotor LMP2 powerplant, used last year in the works backed B-K Motorsports team, from gasoline to zero-emissions hydrogen, It would employ technology already pioneered in Japan by its parent company on a special version of its RX-8 rotary engined sportscar.

Robert Davis, the Mazda North American executive who looks after motorsport, said:

"We have been investigating this for one and a half years and the arrival of the Audi R10 turbo-diesel prototype has generated a lot of publicity for alterative fuels. We see a big benefit to going racing with a zero emissions power plant".
" There is a road car running in Japan and the transformation of technology for a racing application would be relatively straightforward. Many of the internal parts on our race engines are the same as standard."

The biggest obstacle Mazda and B-K must overcome is storing the fuel in the prototype race car.

"Clearly there is a bigger volume required with a hygrogen gas than a gasoline", Davis explained, "We haven't cracked the code for how to store the fuel yet".

"We are looking at many options, we want to keep the tank between the engine and the driver because that is the safest place, but we are also looking at other areas of the car. Storing hydrogen in liquid form could be another option, but that presents its own problems due to the low temperatures required".

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This is an absolutely unfound
May 11, 2006 - 10:50pm
This is an absolutely unfounded article with no basis on fact. I spoke to BK Motorsports, John Doonan, Carlos Lopez, etc here in Houston at the Houston Grand Prix today. I brought up this topic. They laughed at it and named all the reasons why it's not a workable idea and definitely not practical for a race car. Just consider it someone else's wishful thinking. Forget you ever read about it. You'll never see it.
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Unfounded Article :
May 17, 2006 - 10:06pm
Rotarygod :

While it is common practice to use "Name Dropping" as a form of gaining credibility for a rumor or story,
It is not credible for You to mention specific names for origen on what are otherwise unfounded statements.
Though we spoke with many a fan that came by & visited with us at the B-K tent, on the weekend of the Houston GP. I don't recall the subject of altenate fuels ever arrising as a topic of conversation.
That been said, I ask You refrain from using us as a source for inaccurate information.
As to the validity of the subject, Mazda is always looking at new technologies and ways to push the envelope, and improve the brand. At this time, I can only say, we are presently engulfed in development of the package we currently run in the ALMS.

Carlos Lopez
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Carlos, While I did say I
June 10, 2006 - 6:05pm

While I did say I talked to you, Doonan and others, I never directly said that you or Doonan mentioned anything about hydrogen next year. I didn't talk to either of you about the topic which is why it is obvious that you are oblivious to the conversation. I definitely was not trying to put words into your mouth. Keep in mind that there are many people on the team and when I asked a BK person about it, don't know his name, he was an older gentleman, he laughed at it, knew where the info came from, and said it would never happen as it was nothing more than a PR wish. I most certainly heard it from BK directly which is why I posted it. Neither you nor John Doonan was asked about the subject. I am no more spreading flase info than this entire article is. Bernie was told by a Mazda person that it was going to happen. I was told by a BK person after this article came out that is wasn't. We are both correct in that we are telling what we were told. If one of us was given misinformation, find the person saying the wrong thing and deal with it there. I'm just passing it on.

I don't want anyone to think I have some issue against Mazda, BK, Carlos, Bernie or anyone else. I don't I am very appreciative for all of your efforts and have always been a supporter of the race team and it's efforts. I have no intention of making enemies and didn't try to here. Like Bernie, I am passing along what I was told. I just don't necessarily do it in a nice way sometimes and that part is my error.
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hold on sec..
May 12, 2006 - 2:04pm
Fortunately we spoke to Robert Davis, the man above all those you mentioned, and he confirmed what you read. So the story is absolutely with basis and does have credibilty. We don't put this type of story up without checking. John D., Carlos, and the rest of the gang are all great people, but we checked higher up the food chain. It is interesting what they said though.
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First of all Bernie don't thi
May 13, 2006 - 12:48am
First of all Bernie don't think that I am ragging on the site or trying to discredit you. Not at all. I enjoy the site and am glad it's here. Saying that though, this is a Mazda/rotary news and rumors website. Some things are news. These are the facts as to what is, was, or will definitely happen. Then we have the rumors. These are the things that someone would like to see happen, or something that someone heard may happen. It is not fact. This is a rumor. It's not news and not fact.

I understand that Robert Davis said it. He did that much was confirmed. By that virtue alone the story is technically real and credible. I never said you made it up. When was the last time you saw a person higher up in a car company actually design and implement an idea? That's what engineers and technicians are for and get paid to do. Maybe instead of talking to someone higher up who has ideas without the know how, you should talk to someone lower down that actually understands what it takes to make things work and why. You'll find two different stories this way. One side is what someone would like to see happen. Robert Davis would like to see a hydrogen rotary racing in ALMS. Can't deny that and I'm not saying that isn't a nice goal to have. That doesn't mean it's feasible though. See the issue? He told you what he wants to see happen. It doesn't mean it can be made to effectively work. That's why I say it isn't based on fact or credible. It's the difficulty of implementation that makes this so.

Until it does happen, this is a rumor and not news. How many times have we seen rumors pop up from time to time only to go nowhere? Don't say never! If they find a way to make it happen and actually do it, then it's news. Right now, it's not practical and several technicalities don't allow it, namely the rules, space available for a gas tank, the several minutes rather than seconds required to fill a hydrogen tank, availability of space in the car (or the new Lola IF they get one), and a lack of power. There's alot going against it which is why the guys who actually do the work don't consider the idea anything we'll see any time soon. You never know, they might have some miracle breakthrough in the next year but right now, it's not worth doing and they know it.
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Hydrogen racer
May 9, 2006 - 1:23am

"Again it is the legend"
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