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Forze team to attempt Zandvoort lap record with hydrogen fuel cell racing car

On Monday 16 November, the Forze H2 Hydrogen Electric Racing team will try to break the official lap record at Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands, with its Forze VI fuel cell racing car.

Zandvoort lap record attempt

The Forze H2 Hydrogen Electric Racing team – based at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands – will try to break the official lap record at the famous Circuit Park Zandvoort, with its Forze VI hydrogen fuel cell powered racing car. The current record stands at 2:10:90 minutes, held by a Tesla Roadster.

Forze project

The Forze team was founded in 2007, and is the high-tech hydrogen racing team from TU Delft. The team consists of students and professionals who are engaged in the development, production, and implementation of hydrogen-powered racing cars, in order to combine motorsport with clean technology.

The team aims to promote the use of hydrogen in racing cars. Over the last eight years, Forze has released six vehicles and achieved many successes, such as building the fastest hydrogen-powered racing car so far.

The Forze VI car

After the successful introduction of the Forze VI in the summer of 2013, the team has reached many highlights. This car's power plant is six times more powerful and efficient than its predecessors. and is specially designed to compete against petrol powered vehicles. The Forze VI is the first hydrogen-powered racing car ever measured on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany.

Fuel cell power

The Forze VI is a hydrogen-powered racing car, with propulsion by an electric motor. But in this fuel cell racing car, the power is generated by an electrochemical process which only uses hydrogen and oxygen. The key advantage of this technology over battery-electric is that it is refuelable just like petrol vehicles, yet its only emissions are water.

The fuel cell within the Forze VI converts hydrogen into electricity and water with an efficiency of 60%. The electricity is used to power the electric motor, which has a power output of 190 kW (260 bhp), and gives the Forze VI racing car a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph).

Nürburgring lap record

The Forze VI is provided with a lightweight body and a diffuser for improved aerodynamics, and so it was ready to obtain a lap record on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife. With the help of the former Dutch race driver Jan Lammers, Forze set a lap record of 10:43:56 minutes on 7 May 2015, after two-and-a-half years of hard work – making it the fastest hydrogen-powered racing car yet.

Gamma Racing Day 2015

After setting the lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Forze has held many demonstrations, and participated in the well attended Gamma Racing Day in the Netherlands on 2 August. The Forze VI car participated in the pre-show events along with Formula One driver Max Verstappen.

With more than 100,000 visitors over the weekend, this was a great opportunity to once again demonstrate that hydrogen and motorsport is a great combination towards cleaner technology.

Supercar Challenge 2016

Currently Forze is in the early stages of building a new hydrogen-powered racing car, the Forze VII prototype racing car. This will compete against petrol-powered racing cars at the Supercar Challenge, during the Gamma Racing Day in August 2016, which will be held in the Netherlands.

It is expected that the Forze VII will accelerate from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) within 4 seconds, and be able to achieve a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph).

**UPDATE: 16 November**

Although the Forze team arrived at the circuit, and made their preparations as far as getting the Forze VI car out onto the track, @ForzeDelft then tweeted that 'Due to technical problems we unfortunately have to abort our official lap record attempt'. So we'll have to wait and see whether they will schedule another attempt...

The Forze team has posted a short video of the lap record attempt day (in Dutch).

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