Making Green History
Making Green History
The 2010 running of Petit Le Mans will celebrate an environmental milestone.
For the first time in the history of the American Le Mans Series and the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge, all five energy sources identified in the United States National Energy Policy are competing in the same event.
That is not a coincidence.
“The rules for ALMS competition and the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge are designed to accelerate the development of alternative fuels and energies through competition and to begin to help consumers understand these new energies and see that alternative fuels can still deliver outstanding performance and reliability,” said Doug Robinson, a member of the “Green Racing
working group” that oversees the program.
The ALMS has made E10 ethanol the baseline fuel for the series.
As the rules and technologies have evolved, a significant number of American Le Mans Series teams including: Corvette Racing, Flying Lizard Porsche, Risi Competizione Ferrari, BMW Rahal Letterman Racing, Extreme Speed Ferrari, and Drayson Racing have shifted to second generation Cellulosic E85R fuels.
The powerful turbocharged diesels from Audi and Peugeot, winners of the last five consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans races, both race with GTL (Natural Gas-to-Liquid) diesel fuel.
The Isobutanol-fueled Mazda Lola is here and so, with considerable fanfare, is the exciting new Porsche Hybrid.
Since its inception at the start of the 2009 season, MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge winners include; Audi, Peugeot, Acura/HPD, Porsche, Lola Judd, Chevrolet Corvette, Ferrari, and BMW.
Winners are the cars that go “farthest, fastest, with the smallest environmental footprint” in ‘the race within the race” at each American Le Mans Series event.
Efficiency on the track typically translates to efficiency in the environmental competition.”Sixteen of the 36 MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge winners to date also won their respective class in the race itself,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin Motorsports manager.
Recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the SAE International, the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge is now a premier global competition, including events in the European based Le Mans Series, the Asian Le Mans Series, the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans and the new Intercontinental Challenge.
“The race today and for the future is a race to relevance,” said Mammone.
“Manufacturers are looking to use motorsports to develop and connect their new technologies to consumers.”
Top manufacturers, new technologies, a variety of fuel and energy sources are all part of the story.
New rules for 2011 and beyond will accelerate the emphasis on innovative technologies, and that will make consumers the biggest winners of all.
This story appears in the Petit Le Mans issue of The Alley, Michelin’s trackside publication. It’s also in the “The Alley: In Print” section of michelinracingusa.com