The Infineon Raceway in Sonoma California has recently displayed an ambitious amount of green initiatives. Starting off with the most obvious, 1,652 high efficiency solar panels from Panasonic's Sanyo division have been installed in plain sight on the raceway. This was deliberate to promote green solutions to all the attendees. Panels were strategically placed at the Turn 10 Sound Wall, the Main Grandstand, the administration office and the Raceway Cafe, as well as the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School building. The solar panels are estimated to handle 41% of the track's energy needs with the cumulative 353 kilo watts of power generated.
Panasonic also has swapped out the Infineon video board, which used traditional bulbs, with low-energy LEDs. Which turn out to be brighter than what was used before. 7,000 traditional bulbs were replaced with 57,600 LEDs, but the new board consumes 50% less power than before.
Other initiatives include, plans to recycle tires into new asphalt. Reduce water usage by 36%. Zero carbon and carbon neutral bio-fuel based races have been held. The first all electric motorcycle race in the USA was held recently, with an electric vehicle drag race planned for later this summer. And the most interesting, they brought on a full-time flock of 3,000 sheep to graze on the surrounding hills of the track. No need for lawnmowers at all with the heard from the Rocky Mountain Wooly Weeders. And finally, they will plant 10 trees for every green flag raised at the part from now on.
Raceways are historically known for reveling in the pleasures of excess. The days of cheap oil are over. I hope the race tracks of the world follow Infineon's example, it would be shame if the fun of the raceway ends too.