Detroit Grand Prix To Feature Added 'Green Racing' Initiatives The term “going green” is a common one in motorsports vernacular used to indicate the official start of racing, but the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is taking it to a whole new level in 2008.
With momentum building for the August 29-31, 2008 celebration of family fun and world-class racing on Belle Isle, the Grand Prix isn’t just preparing for the roar of high-performance engines on Labor Day weekend. Through many of its official partners, including the actual racing leagues competing on Belle Isle – the American Le Mans Series, the IndyCar Series and the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship, new to the event in 2008 – the Grand Prix is ready to “go green” like never before with a number of ecologically-friendly initiatives.
“With the celebration of Earth Week across the nation, we’re excited that the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix can do its part to help the environment,” said Bud Denker, Event Chairman of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “Working in conjunction with our event partners, we will continue to enhance the Grand Prix’s ‘green’ focus moving forward.”
Key Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix “Green” Programs in 2008:
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) has established itself as the “Global Leader” in green racing. In a unique partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy as well as the Society of Automotive Engineers International announced at Detroit in January, the ALMS has set the standard for the use of alternative fuels in racing. All of the exotic sport cars in the series compete on either diesel fuel or E10 or E85 ethanol blends. In addition, the series will host a Green Racing Challenge among its competitors later this year rewarding teams on overall performance as well as fuel efficiency and ecological impact.
In 2007, the IndyCar Series became the first motorsports series in the world to utilize 100% fuel-grade ethanol in competition. At the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and throughout the 2008 season, all of the high-powered open-wheel cars of the IndyCar Series will once again compete on 100% fuel-grade ethanol.
Bosch, the presenting sponsor of the American Le Mans Series race at the Grand Prix – the Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch – is using its partnership with the event to promote and showcase its unique clean diesel power technology for the second consecutive year. Bosch’s clean diesel fuel system is a key innovation that’s race-proven on the Audi R10 diesel-powered cars driven by the championship-winning Audi Sport North America team in American Le Mans Series competition.
The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix continues its primary goal of improving its home on Belle Isle Park in 2008. Working in conjunction with the Downtown Detroit Partnership and the City of Detroit Recreation Department, the Grand Prix made over $5.5 million in improvements on Belle Isle last year including the renovation of historical island landmarks Scott Fountain and the Belle Isle Casino, repairing damaged lighting and drainage systems, road improvements, installing pedestrian bridges, new picnic tables and a children’s playscape. The Grand Prix will make further enhancements this year including planting trees on the island and numerous other landscape and beautification projects, while continuing to work with the Clean Downtown initiative to keep Belle Isle clean.
The Grand Prix does its part to conserve fuel and cut down on fuel emissions throughout race weekend encouraging all fans to take advantage of the public transportation to Belle Isle. Through its park-and-ride locations in the suburbs to its thousands of parking spaces in downtown Detroit, the Grand Prix provides shuttle service to the island for event attendees, helping the environment in the process.
The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) utilizes the Grand Prix to highlight the benefits of ethanol. Through its unique “Pump Tour” promotions at local filling stations with both American Le Mans Series and IndyCar Series drivers, EPIC promotes the use of alternative fuels. A tour stop is planned in Detroit during race week at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
The Motorsport Industry Association will host a Sustainable Motorsport Conference at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle just prior to the Grand Prix. Featuring motorsport companies, racing leagues, automakers and technology suppliers, the August 28, 2008 conference will focus on energy efficient technologies and innovations.
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