Innovation Welcome Here

August 29, 2012

Innovation Welcome Here

August 29, 2012

Imagine an exciting sporting event featuring significant technologies that will soon find their way into your everyday life. Or a technology developers event that is extremely competitive and highly entertaining.

Welcome to the American Le Mans Series and the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge here at the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT.

While football, baseball and other sports are clearly entertainment, the role of motorsports can be, and in the American Le Mans Series, truly is more than that.

Working with the Green Racing group comprised of representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, SAE International and the sanctioning International Motorsports Association, the ALMS and MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge aggressively promote the development of new technologies and energies through the rigors of high-level international motorsports competition.

“Motorsports can be more than entertainment, it can be a tremendous platform for the development and introduction of new technologies and energies,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager.

While motorsports began as a proving ground for new technologies and innovations, in recent years most forms of motorsport have morphed into a collection of single specification series featuring identical or virtually identical cars. The rules expressly prohibit innovation.

The ALMS and the organizers of the fabled 24 Hours of Le Mans see that differently and celebrate competition featuring a wide range of different cars, engines, energy forms and tires, each trying to prove its advantages.

Held as the race within the race at every ALMS event, the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge scores each entrant based upon its clean, fast and efficient performance.

So far in 2012, Audi, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota prototypes have been joined by Production-based Aston Martin, BMW, Chevrolet Corvette, Ferrari, Lotus, Porsche and SRT Vipers in ALMS and/or Le Mans competition.

Audi’s turbo-diesel and turbo-diesel/flywheel hybrids, Toyota’s gasoline/ultracapacitor hybrid and the radically designed Nissan DeltaWing show the breadth of innovation. Fuels and energies also include E10, E85R, and Isobutanol, with LNG already proposed for 2013 competition.

The finish of the recent ALMS race at Road America, won by the smallest engine in the paddock, the four-cylinder turbocharged Mazda on Isobutanol by 0.083 seconds over the Honda Prototype, shows that exciting racing and high entertainment values are possible with an open formula.

“Getting that MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge award is more important to us than even winning the race,” said John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports after the team’s MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge win last year here at Baltimore. “As a small car company we work to do things efficiently. That includes producing highly efficient small displacement engines. Winning the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge is a huge deal for us.”

“It is also a big deal for us to score the first MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge award for Isobutanol,” said Doonan.

To date, 29 of the 70 MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge winners have also won their respective class on the track.

“Manufacturers, technology developers and energy providers are in a global race to develop and present new technologies, powertrains and efficient energies,” said Mammone.  The ALMS provides a place to accelerate development through the rigors of completion and the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge provides a scorecard to monitor their performance.”

Latest Photos

Latest Video

A memorable IMSA season ended with the excitement of Motul Petit Le Mans

Wednesday October 18, 2023