30 Classic Porsche 911s Powered By Synthetic Fuels Will Race At Goodwood

Goodwood Festival of Speed / 1 Comment

The future of synthetic fuels remains hazy as the EU's ban on CO2 draws closer.

This year's Goodwood Revival is shaping up to be one of the most memorable yet, as we now know that the event will feature the first all-synthetic fuel race featuring a grid of 30 pre-66 Porsche 911 models. As part of the Fordwater Trophy, a race of this kind has never before taken place in the 75-year history of the famous circuit.

The timing of this race that relies purely on e-fuels is pertinent as the debate rages on about the impending European Union's ban on CO2 and what that means for synthetic fuels.

While most automakers have not outright rejected this ban, many have taken issue with the fact that it did not make an obvious enough proviso for synthetic fuels beyond the 2035 deadline. After all, the ban is on CO2 specifically, not the process of internal combustion.


By hosting this race for the first time, Goodwood is serving another reminder to authorities that there is a very real future for synthetic or e-fuels, both on the road and in racing.

The rules regarding the 2035 CO2 ban were clarified a few weeks ago after pushback from countries like Germany, making clear allowance for synthetic fuels but with a major drawback. Even though cars will be allowed to run on carbon-neutral fuel after 2035, this will only be permissible if these cars run only on these fuel types. We outlined why this presents a major barrier to e-fuel adoption across the industry, as it will require more significant changes to existing gas-powered cars and infrastructure like gas stations.

However, it's clear that the ruling could be modified over time if major stakeholders can justify it. And, despite the EU's restrictive take on e-fuels, the technology is forging ahead right here in the USA. A global leader in synthetic fuels, HIF, will be opening a facility in Texas here in 2027.


While both synthetic fuel and fossil fuel are burnt by a combustion engine in an identical process, they're manufactured very differently. Gasoline is made by refining oil, whereas an e-fuel like the one made by Porsche is manufactured by harnessing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using electrolysis. There's a lot more to it than that, as well as a unique list of pros and cons for synthetic fuels, which we previously covered in greater detail.

Back to Goodwood, though. The all-synthetic fuel race should be quite a spectacle, and it comes in a year where Goodwood has much to celebrate. This year, the Revival will also pay tribute to Carol Shelby on what would have been his 100th birthday. The event also marks the 75th anniversary of the Motor Circuit, 25 years of the Revival, and 30 years of the Festival of Speed.

The 25th Goodwood Revival will be held from 8 to 10 September this year.


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