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Atherton addresses SAE UPDATE Addressing a noteworthy group of government and automobile industry executives at SAE International’s Government Industry Meetings in Washington, D.C., American Le Mans Series President and CEO Scott Atherton today encouraged manufacturers “to compete in the great race of the 21st century - a race to new technology that will result in better cars with unprecedented efficiency by utilizing renewable bio fuels, generating fewer and cleaner emissions.”

Scott Atherton
Atherton had been invited to Washington, D.C. by the EPA and DOE to participate in a press conference at the Washington Auto Show as well as to speak at SAE International’s Government Industry Meetings. His remarks as the keynote speaker at the Government and Industry Meeting breakfast focused on the unique relationship formed a year ago between Washington (D.C.) and the American Le Mans Series as the government agencies and SAE International declared it the only racing series to meet the green racing protocols.

“Over the last 10 years, the relevance of auto racing has come full circle,” declared Atherton. “Since its launch, the American Le Mans Series has been providing a platform of world-class racing for manufacturers to showcase technology that is cutting edge, relevant and that has a direct link back to the production line. In addition, we now stand together with these government agencies and SAE International to work toward educating consumers that being green doesn’t mean being boring. Our collective goal is to get to the technology of tomorrow, faster.”

Atherton also hinted that additional fuel sources may be on the horizon for the world’s top sports car series.

“Going forward, we will continue to focus on the three alternative fuels (clean diesel, E10, cellulosic E85) with the possible addition of a fourth - if it becomes commercially viable and relevant as a consumer option,” he revealed.

He added that the American Le Mans Series expects to add at least one gas-electric hybrid, competing in the prototype category. This would represent a next-generation hybrid using the very latest in lithium-ion battery technology from Zytek, a leader in hybrid technology and supplier for major OEM applications.

“We could not be more proud to be working with both government and industry to encourage and develop real solutions to some of the most pressing automotive mobility and environmental challenges of our time,” Atherton concluded.

01/30/09 Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series, will be the featured speaker and give the Opening Address in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, February 4 at the SAE International’s Government Industry Meeting breakfast. Atherton’s address will focus on the cooperative efforts of the American Le Mans Series with government agencies, SAE International and the automobile industry to develop alternative fuel solutions and new automotive technologies to create more fuel-efficient vehicles and reduce harmful emissions.

The American Le Mans Series, in which all race cars compete with various types of alternative fuels or energy sources - clean sulfur-free diesel, E10, cellulosic E85 ethanol or gas-electric hybrid - has become recognized as the global leader of green racing. The Series has been praised by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy for its commitment to innovation and cooperation with automobile manufactures to utilize auto racing to accelerate solutions for some of the world’s most pressing energy and environmental challenges. The American Le Mans Series encourages auto manufacturers to develop race technologies that ultimately transfer to the production cars of tomorrow.

“Motorsports is an excellent avenue to educate the public about alternative fuels and the newest technologies available,” said David L. Schutt, PhD, executive vice president and chief operating officer for SAE International. “It truly is a global sport, and that global aspect makes it a key component as the automotive industry seeks to balance transportation needs with energy concerns. We at SAE International consider our partnership with the American Le Mans Series to be an important part of that process, and we are pleased to help move this initiative forward.”

Last year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy in concert with SAE International created the Green Challenge Award which was given to two race teams - a prototype and GT class competitor - that demonstrated the best overall on-track performance along with superior fuel efficiency while creating the least environmental impact. The worldwide debut of the Green Challenge occurred in October 2008 at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans, the Series’ 1,000 mile signature race. Corvette Racing, using cellulosic E85 ethanol, won the Green Challenge award among GT class entries while Penske Racing’s Porsche RS Porsche Spyder captured honors among the prototypes using E10 with an innovative and very fuel efficient direct fuel injection system.

The breakfast, slated for 8:15 a.m. at the Washington Convention Center, will also see the presentation of the InterRegs Award and Barry D. McNutt Award. The InterRegs Award annually recognizes a practicing engineer under the age of 40 who is involved in standards, regulations or conformity assessment systems which improved safety or reduced emissions in a ground vehicle mobility product. The Barry D. McNutt award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of improved federal automotive policy.

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