Press release

CLAAS supporting ACO and “24 Hours of Le Mans” with HVO-driven SCORPION telehandlers

Starting in early 2024, CLAAS became an Official Supplier of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the organizer of the popular “24 Hours of Le Mans”.

The three-year agreement between two companies includes the provision of CLAAS SCORPION telehandlers as recovery vehicles for car and truck races at the Le Mans racetrack and is in line with the ACO's CSR commitments and its desire to work with local partners.

Thanks to its long-standing relationship with Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the organizer of the world's greatest endurance motor race “24 Hours of Le Mans”, CLAAS has been chosen as a solution provider for the safety of motor racing at the Le Mans racetrack. With the support of CLAAS France and the CLAAS Material Handling division, CLAAS will supply SCORPION telehandlers for each of the races organized by the ACO for the coming three years. The main “24 Hours of Le Mans” race enjoys a worldwide audience of not less than 146 million viewers through TV and streaming providers.  “CLAAS is very proud to have been chosen as a supplier by the organizer of the world's greatest endurance race for the benefit of track and driver safety”, says Dr. Martin von Hoyningen-Huene, CTO CLAAS Group. “Being extremely manoeuvrable as well as powerful with its high-performance hydrostatic transmission, our SCORPION telehandlers will be an excellent solution to support vehicle recovery and keep the racetrack safe.”

The link between the “24 Hours of Le Mans” circuit and CLAAS Tractor has long existed, through events and visits by thousands of visitors of all nationalities to the CLAAS tractor assembly plant, thus contributing to the international reputation of both ACO and CLAAS. “But there are even more links between us”, resumes von Hoyningen-Huene. “The competitive nature and sportsmanship of racing fit to our own engineering values and help accelerate technical progress and R&D in many ways.”

Reducing carbon footprint with sustainable HVO fuel

Different types of powerful, dynamic and efficient SCORPION telehandlers will be provided to support all races held in 2024, with a peak of 22 machines for the legendary “24 Hours of Le Mans” (12 – 16 June 2024; main race on June 15/16). The SCORPION machines made available will run on HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) fuel to limit the race's carbon impact. “One of our current challenges in agricultural machinery business is to offer alternatives to fossil fuels to help our farming customers reduce their carbon footprint”, adds von Hoyningen-Huene. “By supporting ACO and especially the legendary 24 hour-long main race, the international audience will see for themselves both the reliability and productivity of sustainable technical solutions in farm machines put to a test of endurance.” This solution enables the machines to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent using HVO100, yet always offering maximum flexibility by enabling HVO and fossil fuel to be mixed in all required rations or for only diesel to be used when no HVO is available. Energy density and fuel consumption of HVO are competitive to fossil fuel. Another advantage of HVO, which consists of residues from vegetable oils and - depending on the supplier - sometimes animal fats as well, is the immediate effect to the environment.