Isobutanol gets ALMS approval There is more energy than ever before in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. BP announced Monday the introduction of a new advanced bio race fuel utilizing isobutanol and ethanol in the 2010 championship. The blend is the fifth energy source for the Global Leader of Green Racing and the world’s most relevant and technically advanced motorsport championship.
Dyson Racing, with cooperation from partners BP and Mazda, will campaign its Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 LMP2 coupe on isobutanol for the full 2010 season. Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Andy Meyrick will drive Dyson Racing’s Lola-Mazda coupe with isobutanol power at the season-opening 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 20.
BP is a leader in research and development of biofuels and is using the world’s leading sports car series to test cutting edge fuel blends in high performance engines. Experience gained on the race course could influence how biofuels are developed for broader transportation use by everyday drivers.
Scott Atherton: Announcement "also serves as another example of our participating manufacturers, teams and partners working hand-in-hand with the American Le Mans Series to develop, produce and display tomorrow’s automotive advancements and innovations in today’s motorsports environment."
“Once again, the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n continues to stand alone in the leadership of green racing,” said Scott Atherton, series president and CEO. “The experiment by BP, MAZDASPEED and Dyson Racing to compete at the end of 2009 with isobutanol was an unqualified success on a number of levels. It also serves as another example of our participating manufacturers, teams and partners working hand-in-hand with the American Le Mans Series to develop, produce and display tomorrow’s automotive advancements and innovations in today’s motorsports environment. The race to energy independence and sustainable, clean transportation solutions is one that involves all of us – and ultimately we will win together.”
The isobutanol fuel component is of particular interest to BP and its development partner DuPont who, through their Butamax™ Advanced Biofuels joint venture, are developing commercial facilities to manufacture isobutanol for mainstream use. Though numerous biofuel options exist, BP is focusing on isobutanol, which offers high octane and greater energy density than other biofuel options. BP has partnered with Mazda to develop a viable bio race fuel for the Mazda-powered entry in the 2010 season.
“The smaller turbo-charged engines of the American Le Mans Series offer a valuable test-bed for evaluating fuels that can offer the best performance, and Mazda brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help us develop the best fuels,” said Tim Hayes, vice president, strategic accounts for BP. “BP sees this as a great opportunity to test and learn about the performance and capability of these advanced fuels and their respective components like isobutanol and ethanol.”
This effort is based on extensive research by BP and the Mazda team which together ran the fuel in the final two races of 2009 as a demonstration program. The fuel performed flawlessly in those two races and in fact was laps ahead of all LMP2 entrants at the Petit Le Mans event in Atlanta. Now, for the entire 2010 season, the effort will focus on race wins, points and a championship.
“We’re pleased to take the technical relationship between Mazda and BP to this next step,” said Robert Davis, senior vice president, Product Development and Quality for Mazda North American Operations, and the man responsible for the company’s North American motorsport programs under the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development banner. “This is a great opportunity to combine learnings from advanced fuels with a production-derived 2.0-liter turbocharged MZR-R engine. It shows the commitment that both Mazda and BP have to understanding advanced clean, efficient, and environmentally sensitive technologies, and leveraging the learnings to bring relevant technologies to the public in the future.”
BP is also pleased to be working with its partners from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and American Le Mans Series as an official fuel provider to the Series in 2010. This race series, with its endorsement from the EPA and DOE, and focus on the Green Challenge performance is an ideal test bed to understand new fuel and vehicle technologies.