What they are saying about ALMS Green Challenge On Wednesday, the American Le Mans Series announced the competition rules and regulations for its Green Challenge™ that will debut at Road Atlanta on Oct. 4 for Petit Le Mans. The Green Challenge™ has been developed in association with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Representatives from these entities along with those from Argonne National Laboratory and the American Le Mans Series collectively have spent thousands of hours developing the formula for its race car competitors to win the Green Challenge™. That formula involves more than 30 pieces of data and measurements. The criteria measures race car performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact using a formula that ranks each car by the amount of energy used, greenhouse gasses emitted and petroleum displaced.
So what do energy, automotive and motorsport leaders think of the Green Challenge™? They share their reactions below.
“Automobile racing spurs innovation in safety, performance and now, we are happy to say, clean technologies. Racing is the ultimate test track. If clean efficient technologies can survive the extreme driving of the American Le Mans Series, then they can certainly work for the morning commute. The American Le Mans Series Green Challenge™ is a pioneering effort to help move green technology from the track to the street.”
- Margo T. Oge, Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, United States Environmental Protection Agency
“Motorsports has always enjoyed the distinction of being at the forefront of advanced automotive engineering and has been a primary catalyst for moving new technologies to the showroom floor. The leadership role the American Le Mans Series has taken by embracing open and diverse alternative fuel technology platforms has not only set the bar for automotive racing, but it has helped redefine the future of the transportation sector.”
- Andy Karsner, Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, United States Department of Energy
“Following our announcement that Corvette Racing would use E85R ethanol racing fuel in the American Le Mans Series, Chevy made motorsports history by becoming the first manufacturer to win an American Le Mans Series event using cellulosic E85R made from wood waste. Chevrolet’s factory road racing team has demonstrated to the world that E85R is a powerful, renewable alternative fuel. Corvette Racing’s innovative E85R program reflects GM’s commitment to developing alternative energy sources for our customers. GM leads the automotive industry with more than three million E85-capable cars, trucks and SUVs on the road in the United States, and Chevrolet now offers seven E85-capable production models. E85 is not the only solution to our nation’s energy needs, but it is definitely part of the solution.”
- Ed Peper, GM North America Vice President, Chevrolet
“Michelin is encouraged by the American Le Mans Series’ efforts to make racing increasingly relevant by promoting new technologies, innovation and the Green Challenge™. Tires play an important role in energy efficiency as one in five tanks of fuel goes to keeping tires rolling. Michelin has presented similar Energy Efficiency awards at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the past two years and at all of the 2008 Le Mans Series races in Europe. These awards have been very well received and we expect that the Green Challenge will enjoy similar success.”
- Parmeet Grover, Michelin Brand Director
“Honda has long enjoyed a reputation in the marketplace as an environmentally conscious company and, under its Acura brand, is fully supportive of and enthused about the Green Challenge™. Honda and Acura have always competed in racing for the primary purposes of developing our people and advancing the technology of the sport. The diverse technology platform embraced by the American Le Mans Series was what led us to launch our inaugural Series effort in 2007.”
- John Mendel, Senior Vice President, American Honda Motor Company
“The subjects of energy and environment are globally profound. At SAE International, we are committed to making sure that dialogue on these related subjects is amplified and carried forward. We believe that the Green Racing Initiative, and the American Le Mans Series’ entrance into this project, is significant because of Series’ overall recognition with the public.”
- Dr. David L. Amati, PhD, SAE International’s Automotive Business Director
“Penske Racing looks forward to participating in the Green Challenge™ at the 2008 Petit Le Mans. The leadership role that the American Le Mans Series has taken into the areas of advanced engineering including alternative fuels and cutting-edge technologies should be applauded. There is a lot to learn about fuel efficiency, environmental impact and alternative powertrains, and the American Le Mans Series is taking steps to help automotive manufacturers not just look at the future of racing, but the future of transportation worldwide.”
- Roger Penske, Team Owner/Penske Racing
“Last year, the American Le Mans Series became the first in motorsports to run a street-legal blend of E10 in their vehicles, which is the same fuel you can buy at your local gas station. This season, the American Le Mans Series is also offering cellulosic E85 to its racing teams. From both the perspective of performance and publicity, the transition to renewable fuels in racing has been an unqualified success. Ethanol has passed the test with flying colors in the most demanding environments in motorsports. The message that we are sending to consumers is a powerful one - performance and environmental responsibility can coexist.”
- Bobby Rahal, Team Owner/Rahal-Letterman Racing (former Indy 500 champion)
“The American Le Mans Series is a trailblazer in its use of alternative fuels. The Green Challenge™ is not just a race, but a commitment toward a cleaner, more secure energy future in this country.”
- Toni Nuernberg, Executive Director/Ethanol Promotion & Information Council