Bert Longin launches 3forTree, a green racing philosophy
Bert Longin has some great motorsport plans up his sleeve. In 2011 the Leuven based driver will once again be competing in both national and international motorsport events, however this year his ambitions are extending far further a field than purely on the race track. "I also want to help in developing the image and evolution of motorsport. From the constructors side enormous efforts have been made these last few years to make motorsport far more energy efficient and therefore also greener; for example just take engines with direct injection, hybrid race cars, more economical engines and so forth. From my side as a driver I also want to play my part and this is how the '3forTREE' project was born. For every three laps I complete on a track this season I will plant one tree. Besides this self commitment my major ambition is to develop this project internationally, and with the assistance of fellow race drivers bring it up to a European level."
Where, what and how?
For more than one year Bert Longin brooded on the idea, as compensation to the environment to give something back via his favourite sport. The question was what, how and where. The idea was hatched thanks to a spontaneous freak of nature and he had to look no further than the back garden of Circuit Zolder. There lies, or there was, the splendid Bovy recreational domain. The domain is known as the "kabouterbos" and is visited annually by more than 5,000 persons per week, mainly school children. Unfortunately last year the forest was irreparably damaged by severe hail storms. All the trees in the forest, some 2,000 in total, need to be cut down and replaced with new trees. And this is how the "3forTREE" concept saw the light of day...
1 tree per 3 laps
Bert Longin: "For every three laps I complete this season we will therefore be planting a tree in the domain, and we're kicking off with all this in February, as from the moment I'm back on the track. I want to give nature a helping hand and more especially give the children their forest back. I will certainly call in there regularly to see how everything is growing and blossoming."
Tress without frontiers
But Bert Longin would not be Bert Longin, if he didn't see everything in a broader context. "3forTREE must turn into something far more than a local initiative. The project is a formula whereby each and every fellow driver can be a part. For that reason I will be promoting this green label amongst my fellow drivers and this abroad also. Nobody needs to pay a joining fee. The most important is that they join in. Exactly where the forests are planted is immaterial. I truly hope that we can give this project a European dimension and at the same time place motorsport in a green context. I have already spoken to several fellow drivers about the project and they are all extremely enthusiastic. "