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Hydrogen on the hill

11 months ago

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Andrew English | Journalist


19 July 2023

‘What are you driving?’ asked the scrutineering marshal. I told her and her lips formed a little round O before she scrupulously checked every single piece of my fireproof gear. Hydrogen does that to people. ‘What’s the registration, R101?’, texted a friend.

To be honest, the Toyota Mirai tank in the back of the little Toyota GR Yaris Hydrogen is no more dangerous than a half-filled petrol tank if you chose to pile it up at Molecomb, the first left-hander on Goodwood’s Festival of Speed hillclimb course and graveyard of many a race driver’s ego.

In fact, where petrol has a habit of sulkily burning for hours, a pierced hydrogen tank tends to vent quickly and dissipate into the air. Besides, as I said to my co-driver, Kazuki Nakajima, former Formula 1 driver for Williams, works Toyota endurance racer and triple winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, ‘we’re going to have a very gentle and safe run up the hill.’ To which he nodded and grinned.

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