ALMS - Global leader, Green racing

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ALMS - Global leader, Green racing

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SERIES ANNOUNCES GREEN RACING INITIATIVES IN DETROIT
Article quoted in its entirety from americanlemans.com (link), I've taken the liberty of "bolding" a few key statements.

The American Le Mans Series reaffirmed its position as motorsports' global leader in alternative fuels today by announcing that it is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International to incorporate "green racing" principles into its 2008 racing season. The American Le Mans Series will be the first motorsports series to meet the criteria for green racing being developed by these groups.

In conjunction with the history-making EPA, DOE and SAE partnerships, the American Le Mans Series announced the creation of a first-ever, Series-wide "Green Racing Challenge." This new competition will encourage manufacturers to introduce and develop their "green" technologies and will be an incremental element of the Series' signature event - the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans race to be held Oct. 4 at Road Atlanta. Protocols and criteria for the Green Racing Challenge award are being developed by the EPA and DOE along SAE International and the Series, and will be announced later this spring.

The unprecedented association of the United States' environmental and energy government agencies, along with the industry's premier automotive society dedicated to advancing global technology and information worldwide, creates a landmark moment for the world's premium brand of motorsports.

"The auto manufacturers competing in the American Le Mans Series have made it very clear that this is a direction and an overall initiative that is important to them," said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the Series. "The opportunity to formally align with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and SAE International makes our platform very special and unique - to auto manufacturers and ultimately to consumers. At a time when nearly all of motorsports has lost its relevance regarding progressive technology or any connection from the race track to the showroom floor, the American Le Mans Series stands alone in providing a platform of solutions for our nation's automotive, transportation and energy needs."

With a direct link to the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, the American Le Mans Series features exotic prototype and production-based sports cars competing in four different classes on the track at the same time. The Series has more automobile manufacturers competing head-to-head than any other series in the world. All race cars in the Series compete on alternative fuels. For the last two seasons, Audi has competed with a revolutionary clean diesel-powered race car. Last year, the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) and fuel supplier VP Racing Fuels introduced E10 (10 percent ethanol, 90 percent gasoline) to all other manufacturers who raced in the Series. E10 is virtually the same blend that most consumers are able to buy at their local service station. This season, the Series in conjunction with EPIC will introduce E85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) as one of its fuel options.

American Le Mans Series rules also support the introduction of an electric hybrid race car and encourage manufacturers to develop new technologies (through racing) that can be applied to improve the automobiles being built for consumers. In addition to Audi, other auto marques that currently participate in the American Le Mans Series include Acura, Aston Martin, Corvette, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Mazda, Panoz, Porsche and Saleen.

The American Le Mans Series, with technical rules that not only allow but encourage manufacturers to develop cutting-edge innovations, has played an active role in the development of alternative automotive fuels. The competitive use of multiple alternative fuels such as bio and cellulosic ethanol, and zero-sulfur clean diesel has been achieved in conjunction with the automotive manufacturers that race in the American Le Mans Series.

The criteria set forth by SAE in concert with the Environment Protection Agency and Department of Energy to qualify as a Green Racing series requires that certain elements in a series be present. These elements focus on three vital characteristics that measure performance, fuel efficiency and ecological impact. They include:

The use of renewable bio-based fuel or fuels
The use of multiple engines, fuels and powertrain configurations
The use of regenerative energy powertrain technologies
The use of well-to-wheel energy analysis and GHG analysis
The use of emission control strategies and systems


"This partnership between government and industry to use the American Le Mans Series as an incubator to accelerate the development of new, relevant and practical automotive technologies that will use less fuel and emit fewer greenhouse gasses and air pollutants further emphasizes the American Le Mans Series as the global leader in this important area," said Atherton. "This support by EPA and DOE in conjunction with the SAE comes at a time when manufacturers and consumers alike are looking for 'green' solutions. We are the only series in which manufacturers can aggressively develop breakthrough technologies for automobiles that consumers will ultimately buy and drive, reinforcing the American Le Mans Series as the most relevant racing series in the world."

The American Le Mans Series' 2008 season begins with the 56th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 15 at Sebring International Raceway. For the first time in history America's premier sports car endurance classic will feature teams that will all use clean diesel, E10 gasoline, or E85 ethanol.

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IN THEIR OWN WORDS: GREEN RACING
Article quoted in its entirety from americanlemans.com (link).

Tuesday's announcement of the American Le Mans Series' official partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International to incorporate "green racing" principles into its 2008 racing season was greeted by praise from government agencies and prominent figures in motorsports alike.

"Like never before, America is confronting a nexus of concerns relating to climate change and energy security - among the greatest challenges of our time. There's no reason why the motorsports community should not be a part of the dialogue. My office, which is concerned with pollution from mobile sources, is all about putting clean, efficient technologies on the 'fast track', and that's what this initiative literally seeks to accomplish."
Margo T. Oge
Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality,
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY


"The American Le Mans Series represents a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate and educate consumers about alternative fuels and innovative, efficient automotive technologies in an interesting and dynamic way that captures the public's attention. These subjects are driven home and made real and pertinent when consumers see some of the fastest racing cars on the circuit competing with E85 or clean diesel. The fact that manufacturers are already actively competing with these alternative fuels makes our association with the Series a natural fit. We also hope that other automotive manufacturers will enter and compete with exciting new technologies they have developed - technologies that will not just make them competitive on the race circuit, but in the consumer automotive market, as well."
Ed Wall
Program Manager, Vehicle Technologies Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


"Partnering with the American Le Mans Series will further allow SAE International to challenge the future of global mobility engineering and the way we all use energy. We look forward to working with the Series to create protocols for a Green Racing Challenge that will encourage the development of alternative-fuel technologies and other related innovations by automobile manufacturers - and we're pleased to know that many of these manufacturers already are involved in the American Le Mans Series."
David L. Amati
Ph.D., Director of Global Automotive Business,
SAE International


"Racing is an integral part of Corvette's history and heritage, and Corvette Racing's unprecedented success in the American Le Mans Series has reinforced Corvette's standing as a performance icon that is recognized around the world. Since its inception, Corvette has been a platform for Chevrolet and GM to introduce and develop new technology. The use of E85 ethanol fuel by America's premier production sports car racing team in a high-profile, high-tech racing series like the American Le Mans Series shows that Chevy is continuing to lead by example. By showcasing the capabilities of E85 ethanol before an audience of knowledgeable and technically astute race fans, we can demonstrate the benefits of a renewable fuel that helps to reduce dependence on petroleum, helps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and helps to create greater diversity in energy supplies."
Ed Peper
General Manager Chevrolet, GENERAL MOTORS

"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. 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 Racing Challenge."
John Mendel
Senior Vice President, AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO., INC.

"Since its inception, Porsche has strived to improve fuel efficiency as a major part of the overall performance of its sports and race cars. Achieving better fuel economy in its production vehicles, most recently evidenced by the incorporation of direct fuel injection for the 2008 Cayenne and the ULEV-certified engine with VarioCam Plus in the 2008 Boxster, is as important to us as is the optimum fuel efficiency of our RS Spyder. Running on E10 fuel both on and off the race track has been a logical step for Porsche, and we are committed to continue to invest considerable resources in the search for alternative fuels. We applaud the leadership of the American Le Mans Series for its Green Racing Challenge, which has the potential to add a most timely and forward-looking environmental component to the industry's race for optimum performance."
Peter Schwarzenbauer
President & CEO, PORSCHE CARS, NORTH AMERICA

"We applaud the American Le Mans Series for this latest green initiative. It is this type of innovative thinking that attracted Mazda to the Series as we seek to challenge our engineers to push the boundaries of what is possible. This program is an ideal complement to the Mazda 'Sustainable Zoom-Zoom' plan announced last year. The Mazda goal is to develop vehicles that address our shared global climate and energy concerns while still being exciting from a driver's perspective. The ability to showcase some of that technology in a series like the American Le Mans Series is a fantastic opportunity."
Robert Davis
Senior VP Marketing & Product Development, MAZDA NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS

"Penske Racing decided to compete in the American Le Mans Series not only because we saw its growth and potential as a racing series, but because it clearly was not afraid to forge into areas such as alternative fuels and other technologies. Innovations like alternative fuels are at the forefront of the racing industry and they can also help reshape the entire automotive landscape. Finding economic and ecologically-sound alternatives to fuels is critical to all of us in the racing and automotive industries. We applaud the Series for its ability to gain support from these pivotal government agencies. Penske Racing looks forward to participating in the Green Racing Challenge this year at Petit Le Mans."
Roger Penske
Team Owner, PENSKE RACING

"When I heard that the American Le Mans Series was going even more green in 2008, I just had to be a part of it. Having championed green racing at the national level in the U.K. - and secured the first ever outright victory for a bio-fuelled car last year in British GT - it's great to have the opportunity this year to race against the best in the world. The American Le Mans Series' Green Challenge is a brilliant idea. Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our generation and motorsport has its part to play. Our sport doesn't just spur innovation, it changes perceptions, particularly GT racing which is relevant to what people see on the roads. We can show how cool, fast cars can be green too - expanding consumer demand for green technology and making sure that motor racing stays relevant in the 21st century. It's a great initiative and I'm delighted to compete in it."
Lord Paul Drayson
Team Principal & Driver, DRAYSON-BARWELL MOTORSPORT

(Paul Drayson is formerly Parliament's Minister of State for Defense Procurement and Defense Minister in Great Britain's House of Lords. An Aston University graduate with a PhD in robotics and former founder of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals, Drayson will race a bio-ethanol fueled Aston Martin Vantage in the Series GT2 class this season.)

"An authentic American classic, the Corvette is now positioned to showcase its power in the alternative fuels arena with the switch to E85. In partnership with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC), the American Le Mans Series and Corvette Racing have once again demonstrated their commitment to a cleaner, renewable fuel in one of the most demanding proving grounds in racing,"
Reece Nanfito
Senior Director of Marketing, EPIC

"Shell's commitment to motorsport at the highest level is an integral part of our extensive Research & Development program and is essential to continually delivering better fuels for our customers. In partnership with the ACO we have developed an advanced racing diesel for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series to pioneer the next generation of diesel technology for road cars. Shell GTL Fuel is an important part of the race fuel, made from natural gas that can be used in conventional diesel engines. This clear, odorless, synthetic fuel has outstanding cetane quality, so that it burns more cleanly and efficiently than conventional diesel."
Richard Karlstetter
Technology Manager Racing Fuels, SHELL GLOBAL SOLUTIONS

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GREEN RACING: DETROIT COMMENTARY AND REACTIONS
Article quoted in its entirety from americanlemans.com (link).

Reactions and commentaries to the American Le Mans Series' partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International to establish Green Racing principles into the 2008 season are rolling in. Many prominent mainstream, automotive and technology Web sites offered praise to the Series for strengthening its leadership position in the area of alternative energy sources.

Here is just a small sampling of what was said in the 24 hours after Tuesday's announcement:


"The announcement by the American Le Mans Series that it was partnering with the Department of Energy, the Society of Engineers and virtually everyone else who cares about regulating and creating vehicles that will go a long way with various propulsion devices is a game changer. And you know what - it is the logical and only big time race series that can take the point."
Dutch Mandel
Autoweek.com


"A platform for cleaner, greener auto racing in 2008 was outlined (Tuesday) in Detroit. Listening in were American Le Mans Series, Chevy and SAE International executives and government agencies in town for preview week for the North American International Auto Show.

Leading the way was Corvette Racing, who will use a blend of 85 percent ethanol (E85) and 15 percent gasoline in their two canary yellow Compuware-sponsored C6.R race cars in the Series this season. Mazda North America, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. (Acura) and Porsche Cars North America were among a list of other manufacturers to jump aboard what Series president and CEO Scott Atherton dubbed the 'Green Racing Challenge,' an initiative involving the series, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and SAE that would promote the use alternative fuels and other related innovations in the Series, starting at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring endurance race at Sebring International Raceway in Florida on March 15."
Mike Brudenell
Detroit Free Press


"This creative partnership promotes the use of alt fuels and new technologies that may find their way into your next car or truck."
Anita Lienert
Edmunds.com


"There's evidence (that) series like the American Le Mans Series influences automakers, as well as everyday drivers: Audi, which has raced a diesel car in the American Le Mans Series for the last two years ... unveiled a diesel-powered R8 concept road car at the Detroit show."
Jennifer Kho
greentechmedia.com


"Competing manufacturers ... are required to develop and produce a virtually unlimited array of energy-efficient technologies. While biofuel and other alternative fuels represent the first step in the series, which will start at Sebring in March, the Series should eventually result in the cars racing against each other with hybrid, fuel cell, energy retrieval and other CO 2 -reducing power systems."
John Griffiths
London Financial Times

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Is F1 losing

its focus and initiative? It certainly looks that way and it's a shame since no-one comes close to the resources at F1's disposal. Contacts within the American racing community are such that this approach will quickly find its way from prototypes and endurance racing to open wheel series as well - either new or established ones. I applaud ALMS for making this happen and taking the effort. I pledge to follow ALMS with at least as keen an interest as I've devoted for F1 from this day on.

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Good initiative. It seems more logical for sportcars to move into green racing rather than an open wheel racer. I'm sure the level of competition will remain nearly the same as well - in F1 there is none. It might be hard to convince the hardcore traditionalists like Ferrari and Porsche, however. For example, I can see Corvette going into alternative fuels, especially since they have been advertising Ethanol for a while.

There was another team that tried to run ethanol at Le Mans in 2003, and Taurus sport ran a diesel before Audi did, and they disappeared off the map. Maybe they can come back again
Bring back wider rear wings, V10s, and tobacco advertisements

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Hi, this is my first post so :D
Anyway regarding your post West about Taurus sports they are planning a come back very shortly, and not only did they beat audi to running a diesel but were also running a biodiesel since 2006, and the crop this bio fuel is being created from is from a non food crop so it has even less effect than bio fuel to developing countries especially

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ALMS announce specifics of Green Challenge - F1Technical

Well, finally! I guess

it's natural that it took some doing and it will be interesting to see how this translates to the racing audience - and within car industry and professionals. This is of course being reported on the ALMS site itself as well in "Green Challenge™ rules and regulations set" and "What they are saying about the Green Challenge™", while the key formulas for calculations are also offered in a separate PDF. In addition to this, Argonne Nat'l Labs seems to have a pretty comprehensive website detailing their Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) Model on which the ALMS Green Challenge™ is based on to such a large extent. My initial perception is that it seems to be a respectably comprehensive model and perhaps we'll get to understanding it, and the issues that necessitate such efforts, better in time.
"In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." - Yogi Berra

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Fantastic news, and hat's off to the ALMS for acting so quickly. =D> =D> =D>

I'm a big fan of F1, its engineers, drivers, and its many personalities. Like many (all) here, I am also marvelled by the pace of technological development in F1, and its ability to constantly adapt and over come performance cut-backs. However, in today's world where natural resources are quickly diminishing, the ultimate formulae needs to reflect the changing times. KERS is a start, but I dare say that the ALMS has beaten everyone to the punch. How will the F1 world react to this fundamental shift in thinking?

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I still don't think that putting a biofuel into a racecar and running it for 4-24 hrs is green racing at all. They are still consuming more of the earths resources than say an F1 car that uses a 2.4 litre engine, weights 1100 lbs and races for only 2 hrs.
On top of that, those bio fuel racers are fueled by something that requires a great deal of inputs (from fertilizers to tranporting the product) to run.
This gives the impression that we can still drive our SUVs and not feel guilty. All the while our natural ecology suffers and CO2 levels don't decrease.

We need to consume less, whether it be petro based or bio based energy and that will come about with less weight and less power (just like F1)

All HAIL F1 as the Green leaders in motorsport!!!
--------------------------------------------------------

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G-Rock wrote:I still don't think that putting a biofuel into a racecar and running it for 4-24 hrs is green racing at all. They are still consuming more of the earths resources than say an F1 car that uses a 2.4 litre engine, weights 1100 lbs and races for only 2 hrs.
On top of that, those bio fuel racers are fueled by something that requires a great deal of inputs (from fertilizers to tranporting the product) to run.
This gives the impression that we can still drive our SUVs and not feel guilty. All the while our natural ecology suffers and CO2 levels don't decrease.

We need to consume less, whether it be petro based or bio based energy and that will come about with less weight and less power (just like F1)

All HAIL F1 as the Green leaders in motorsport!!!
Well, I'm still struggling

to understand the ALMS approach in any detail, but their model is interesting in trying to determine the potential for a certain vehicle's sustainability comprehensively. This contrasts quite a bit with F1 developing specific components only, agreed upon by the TWG. Both approaches have their merits and failings. The fertilizers and such that you're worried about are at least partly incorporated in the GREET model's "upstream" CO2 calculations. Running the actual racecars itself is a drop in the ocean compared to road car emissions - the relevance comes from what racecars can do for road cars, don't you think? The nice thing about the Green Challenge is that it potentially allows for any fuel imaginable being assessed. That is something F1 seems unprepared to do, so there's even room for fruitful co-opertaion between the two, F1's "pinnaclism" allowing.
"In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." - Yogi Berra

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checkered wrote:
G-Rock wrote:I still don't think that putting a biofuel into a racecar and running it for 4-24 hrs is green racing at all. They are still consuming more of the earths resources than say an F1 car that uses a 2.4 litre engine, weights 1100 lbs and races for only 2 hrs.
On top of that, those bio fuel racers are fueled by something that requires a great deal of inputs (from fertilizers to tranporting the product) to run.
This gives the impression that we can still drive our SUVs and not feel guilty. All the while our natural ecology suffers and CO2 levels don't decrease.

We need to consume less, whether it be petro based or bio based energy and that will come about with less weight and less power (just like F1)

All HAIL F1 as the Green leaders in motorsport!!!
Well, I'm still struggling

to understand the ALMS approach in any detail, but their model is interesting in trying to determine the potential for a certain vehicle's sustainability comprehensively. This contrasts quite a bit with F1 developing specific components only, agreed upon by the TWG. Both approaches have their merits and failings. The fertilizers and such that you're worried about are at least partly incorporated in the GREET model's "upstream" CO2 calculations. Running the actual racecars itself is a drop in the ocean compared to road car emissions - the relevance comes from what racecars can do for road cars, don't you think? The nice thing about the Green Challenge is that it potentially allows for any fuel imaginable being assessed. That is something F1 seems unprepared to do, so there's even room for fruitful co-opertaion between the two, F1's "pinnaclism" allowing.
If they are only looking at C02 my solar car should clean up

but I don't consider this racing. Its a neat competition but we shouldn't need a calculator to tell who won

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flynfrog wrote:If they are only looking at C02 my solar car should clean up

but I don't consider this racing. Its a neat competition but we shouldn't need a calculator to tell who won
Hey, maybe it

would; an interesting proposition, putting something as unlikely as a solar car through the equations and seeing what can be made of it. I agree that the Green Challenge isn't racing as such, the teams still get on the podium the traditional way, don't they? It's a platform of another kind for the engineers/manufacturers to be able to highlight vehicles the energy and materials cycles of which are being considered from the perspective of sustainability. In a sense everyone's just beginning to really look into this, so if we're not being offered "plug and play" solutions yet, that's not such a wonder. I'm not advocating this as "the" solution, but I appreciate the ALMS for making the effort. We'll be the wiser for it and perhaps the series itself will reap some benefits.
"In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." - Yogi Berra

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I think the biggest benefit is the thousands of pages in auto magazines devoted to this breakthrough story, and increasing the interest of sponsors to jump on the "green" bandwagon.

If they want to add this, they should just make a different catergory for it. Like LMP-G and GT-G instead of lumping them in with the 4 established catergories.

If/when in a few years that it takes off, then they could simply delete the green catergories, and move the tech into the 4 that are there now.

But, maybe that would simply be a waste, since by giving the advantage to the current catergories you will see most teams adopt it immediately, and that is a GREAT thing!

Chris