Motorsports – an experience-focused industry undergoing transformation

Many of the elements we traditionally associate with motorsports are also those that cause concern. When you think about the future of the planet and the...

The sounds. The smells. The dirt under your nails and the smouldering exhaust gases. Anyone who’s ever been to a motorsports competition knows that it’s a very special experience.

However, many of the elements we traditionally associate with motorsports are also those that cause concern. When you think about the future of the planet and the wellbeing of humans, animals and plants, you can’t help but feel some anxiety over the exhaust fumes of roaring engines, leaking fluids, and the pungent smells hanging over the race track.

When Aspen’s founder, Roland Elmäng, began working on his creation, health was his number one priority. The forestry workers using chain saws, clearing saws and other motorised machinery all day long were often affected by severe headaches. They fell ill, and far too many saw their lives shortened by the exhaust fumes they were subjected to whilst hard at work. This all changed with Aspen’s newly-developed alkylate petrol.

Users also quickly noticed that this new fuel was less harmful to the environment, as well as being better for the engines.

 The old, toxic motorsports industry

It is for these same reasons that Aspen is working hard to make further inroads into the motorsports industry. If Aspen’s fuel were to be used in more competitions and categories within motorsports, it would change the sport for the better. The drivers, the mechanics and the spectators would all experience the benefits.

"A few years ago, I visited a go-karting hall in Norway, where they were still using traditional petrol. There was a notice there stating that if you vomited in the car, you would have to pay a NOK 500 cleaning fee", explains Sonny Bäck.

”A few years ago, I visited a go-karting hall in Norway, where they were still using traditional petrol. There was a notice there stating that if you vomited in the car, you would have to pay a NOK 500 cleaning fee”

Sonny Bäck works in Aspen’s sales department, and is responsible for contact with the motorsports industry, amongst others.

Today, that Norwegian go-karting hall has made the switch to purchasing its fuel from Aspen, and the sign about the cleaning fee has gone, as have the employees’ headaches.

In Sweden, alkylate petrol is used in all go-karting halls, which has opened up whole new market opportunities. Children’s parties are held in the halls, and companies can book them out for team-building days with food and social activities – which they can now do without having to go home and throw their clothes straight into the laundry.

Stable fuels

Within the motorsports industry Aspen’s fuels have become popular for a number of reasons, one of which is their stability. When an engine is adjusted to run on an Aspen fuel, it allows the users to focus on other things. No further adjustments are required, as the fuel will behave in exactly the same way all the time, even when you move on to the next container. This is not the case with other fuels.

‘When you use our fuels, it’s also very easy to spot instances of fuel cheating. We have a measuring device to check the weight of the fuel, and this is accurate down to a thousandth of a gram. As we know exactly what our fuel weighs, we can tell straight away if there are any discrepancies,’ states Sonny Bäck.

These kinds of measurements have been carried out at the likes of Swedish Touring Car Championships (STCC) competitions.

‘Initially, no one believed that we could be so precise in our measurements, but in recent years no one has even tried to cheat with our fuel. They know that we’ll find out.’

The major motorsports associations hold a great deal of sway in these matters, and they are often the ones to decide which fuels are to be used in different competitions and series. For example, in Formula One, only fuel from one specific supplier may be used.

‘A few years ago, the international associations invited the fuel companies to a meeting in Switzerland to discuss environmental aspects of motorsports. They invited a selection of multinational giants – and Aspen,’ explains Sonny Bäck.

”A few years ago, the international associations invited the fuel companies to a meeting in Switzerland to discuss environmental aspects of motorsports. They invited a selection of multinational giants – and Aspen”

Four huge multinational giants, and a 60-person company based in a clearing in the forest outside Gothenburg. This is a clear indication that Aspen’s work has resonated in the international motorsports world. And in Sonny Bäck’s view, this must be the right path for the future.

‘It’s a little like turning a supertanker. But we’re working on it, bit by bit,’ says Sonny, giving another example of the positive impacts better fuels have had in motorsports:

‘You meet people who come to watch these competitions in a go-karting hall, for example, and they say things like “The autofocus on my camera works now!” or “Look, you can see the ceiling now.” That’s got to be a positive sign.’