THE FOENIX H2 ON TRACK AT LE MANS

21/05/2024

On Saturday, June 15, after a year of development, the Foenix H2 will take to the track for the very first time in public… and what a public! The Le Mans 24 Hours. The French GT, designed, manufactured, and developed by Solution F, a subsidiary of the GCK Group, will run alongside other hydrogen-powered cars.

 

  • Foenix H2 on track at Le Mans on June 15 at 12:30
  • Press conference on June 13 at 14:00
  • Important announcement to follow…

 

The Foenix H2, which was presented in a static display at the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours, has evolved significantly over the past 12 months to become a “real” race car. Although the car was already running at that time, its performance was still far from the levels it was destined to reach. To achieve the targeted engine power of 450 kW (612 hp), the Solution F team had to find ways to drastically reduce the air intake temperature, an essential prerequisite for achieving the supercharging rate required for good hydrogen combustion.This work, which focused in particular on optimising aerodynamic flows, has resulted – among other
things – by the appearance of a large air scoop on the roof. Less visible, modifications have been made to the engine environment, including the addition of water injectors that prevent any abnormal hydrogen combustion in the cylinders, a particularly destructive phenomenon. All these developments have been validated on the test bench at Solution F (one of the few equipped for hydrogen in France), and on several circuits, including Charade (the only one in France equipped with a hydrogen refuelling station) and Lurcy-Lévis, where the car reached 280 km/h. All that’s left now is to take care of the decoration, and the car will be ready for the presentations…

 

FROM COMPETITION TO OTHER APPLICATIONS

When the Foenix H2 takes to the track on Saturday, June 15, with development driver Jean-Philippe Belloc at the wheel, spectators at the 24 Hours of Le Mans will undoubtedly be surprised to find that a “green” engine can retain some of the sound characteristics that are so dear to their hearts.
After all, at 6,500 rpm, it will be impossible for anyone to tell the difference between the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 running on hydrogen and a traditional equivalent running on gasoline. This is the strength of this technology: it is not very different from what has powered our vehicles for over a century. Thus, it is possible to convert an existing gasoline or diesel engine with minimal internal modifications (tanks, injectors, control unit, etc.). After conversion, the vehicle no longer emits carbon dioxide, just water and a small amount of nitrogen oxide.

And it works perfectly, as the Foenix H2 will demonstrate in front of more than 200,000 spectators and media from around the world. Serving as a technological laboratory, isn’t that the very purpose of motorsport in general and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in particular?

 

Éric Boudot, chairman of the GCK Group

«

As a major player in transport decarbonization, we are proud to participate in this historic demonstration alongside other vehicles from the MissionH24 program. Our Foenix H2 will demonstrate that an existing engine, retrofitted with hydrogen, can deliver world-class performance. It is the first V8 engine in the world to achieve this level of performance. In fact, it will be the most powerful H2 engine on track at Le Mans. And this is just the beginning! Because the efficiency of a hydrogen combustion engine developed from scratch will be even better. That’s the next step. The experience gained with the Foenix H2 is very useful to us in the design and optimization of our 100% in-house engine, a project we will be coming back to during the 24 Hours of Le Mans press conference.

»

Hugues Baude, deputy General Manager of Solution F

«

Running a car on the big Le Mans circuit will be a great
moment for the staff at Solution F, who have not officially taken part in the 24 Hours for 25 years. The Foenix H2 benefits from all the experience of our company, both in terms of chassis and powertrain. For now, our teams have focused on the aerodynamic efficiency of the CFD-designed carbon bodywork and on the efficiency of the V8, which offers an exceptional cost/performance ratio. We can still gain in performance and range by storing hydrogen in liquid form. This car is a forerunner of the GT and prototype cars of tomorrow.

»

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