When I made the decision to run carbon neutral in next year’s MX-5 Championship, I knew that the race fuel would be the biggest hurdle to clear. I’ve not yet calculated the exact cost of everything that goes into racing (that’ll come over the winter!) but I’d be willing to bet that the largest part of my carbon footprint is made by my race fuel. At Silverstone for the final rounds of the 2019 season, I burned my way through 130 litres of 99-octane fuel. Yikes.

So imagine my surprise – and delight – when I came across a scheme that would not only offset the carbon cost of my race fuel in full, but would also reward me for doing it. Step forward, Shell Go+.

It’s important to state at this point that I am not affiliated with Shell in any way, nor do I officially endorse their product. All of the views in this article are my own, but I just think their offer is so good that I have to shout about it.

Like many other race drivers and teams around the country, I run my race car on 99-octane fuel. It helps protect the engine and delivers better performance than standard road-going fuels. There are a few petrol suppliers operating in the UK who dispense 99-octane at their petrol stations, and Shell is one such company. I use Shell VPower in my race car and have been very happy with it. It is not, however, a very environmentally friendly way of running a car (though certainly better than diesel!)

Last year, I became aware of Shell Go+. On face value, it is a loyalty card scheme like many others. I buy my petrol, scan my card (or the app, in my case) and accrue ‘points’ that can go towards perks such as money off fuel, free coffee, etc.

However, under the hood is something far more valuable. In October 2019, Shell launched a scheme boldly entitled “Drive Carbon Neutral” that was available exclusively to Shell Go+ customers. Their promise? To counter the carbon footprint of every litre of fuel purchased at their petrol stations.

Naturally, this was of interest to me. So I got in contact with Shell directly to enquire about the finer details of the scheme. And – after initially being fobbed off with with generic customer services response – I persisted and got the facts about the ‘Drive Carbon Neutral’ scheme. I was informed that any fuel purchased using Shell Go+ will be offset 100% by Shell for carbon emissions from that fuel. This includes carbon emissions generated by the customer when the car is being driven as well as from the process before it gets to the forecourt, for example the extraction of crude oil as well as the refining and distribution of it.

What this means, as I alluded to at the start of my article, is that choosing to run Shell VPower in my race car, and purchasing the fuel using Shell Go+, means that 100% of the carbon emissions from my race fuel are offset by the vendor.

Go on, read that last sentence again. Pretty incredible, huh?

So, my pearl of wisdom this week is simple. Whether you’re a racing driver, team, or just a regular road user, if you are concerned about carbon emissions and want to reduce your carbon footprint, then get yourself a Shell Go+ card or download the app immediately, and start doing something about it!

I was so impressed by the scheme that I asked Shell for some Shell Go+ decals for my race car. They declined.