GCK unveils hydrogen FC cross-country racer

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First announced at the 2021 Dakar Rally, a program from the Motorsport division of French company Green Corp Konnection (GCK) to develop a competitive hydrogen car for cross-country racing is said to have seen significant progress. The vehicle, GCK e-Blast H2, was presented with its fuel cell integrated at this year’s Dakar event.

The fuel cell system was under development throughout 2021, in collaboration with German engineering company FEV. Supplied with hydrogen at 700 bar, 30kg of which is stored in four, R134-certified tanks, the fuel cell is capable of a maximum 200kW output. The cell is connected to an in-house-produced lithium-ion battery with a 50kWh capacity, which acts as an energy buffer. A single, 320kW motor with a two-speed transmission drives the rear axle. The fuel cell and battery combination should enable the GCK e-Blast H2 to race a 250km-long special stage.

The GCK team has a comprehensive bench and full-scale testing program planned for the start of the year, and in the latter half of 2022, testing in real cross-country conditions with a focus on powertrain optimization is scheduled, ahead of the vehicle running select stages on the 2023 Dakar.

“We are very proud to be presenting the first ever hydrogen cross-country competition car with an integrated fuel cell,” said Eric Boudot, CEO of Green Corp Konnection and GCK Motorsport. “GCK Motorsport’s involvement in some of the most grueling and varied motorsport events globally provides an ideal platform and innovation lab for Green Corp Konnection to further develop and create industry-leading greener technological solutions.

“We are incredibly excited to see our involvement in the #DakarFuture movement evolve, and to create more milestones on the road to greener motorsport solutions,” Boudot added.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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