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Audi and Porsche win wet Michelin Green X Challenge

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Red flagged slightly before half distance, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta provided yet an unexpected range of tests for manufacturers and teams competing in the Michelin Green X Challenge. Facing a difficult variety of damp, wet, drying and dry conditions, the ninth race of the 2009 American Le Mans Series season was halted just before the mid-point of its scheduled 1000-mile/10-hour distance due to heavy rain and lightning.

Scoring its second Michelin Green X Challenge Prototype victory in as many appearances, the GTL low sulfur diesel Audi R15 TDI of Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello finished third overall on the track and narrowly prevailed over archrival Peugeot.

A late switch from E10 to E85R ethanol fuel for Petit Le Mans paid off handsomely with the GT category win in the Michelin Green X Challenge for the California based Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche of Darren Law, Seth Neiman and Johannes van Overbeek. The victory means that five different GT cars from four different manufacturers have now won the GT award, including all three regular Porsche GT entries. The victory secured the Michelin Green X Challenge GT Manufacturers Title for Porsche.

Although not yet eligible for awards, the BP Mazda Lola of Dyson Racing merits special mention. Competing for the first time with an ethanol and biobutanol blend fuel, the car finished first on track in the LMP2 Prototype class and seventh overall. The fuel is under consideration as a permitted ALMS energy for 2010.

“The competition to win the Michelin Green X Challenge continues to grow,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin Motorsport manager.  “Seeing manufacturers like Audi, Porsche and Mazda; energy producers like Shell and BP, and teams like Audi, Flying Lizard Motorsports and Dyson Racing bringing new technologies forward is exactly what the Michelin Green X Challenge was created to recognize and encourage.”

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