Michelin Green X Challenge reaches for the sky

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The highest elevation of the 2009 American Le Mans Series season, over 4,300 feet, awaits teams in the MICHELIN Green X Challenge at the Utah Grand Prix, May 17 at the Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City.

“Racing at this elevation provides new tests for manufacturers and teams,” said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin ALMS technical team leader. “To be efficient at this elevation requires different solutions than at sea level. The air density is not as high, making the aerodynamics less effective. Engines do not breathe as well at elevation, so teams will remap engines and will tend to make less power.  The thinner air also impacts cooling capacity for engines, brakes and tires,” said Koenigstein.   

Since its 2009 series debut, the Michelin Green X Challenge has seen six different winners, representing five different manufacturers and three alternative fuels (Diesel, E10 ethanol and E85 cellulosic ethanol). Series officials expect the competition debut of the first ALMS hybrid entry (Corsa Motorsports ethanol/electric Ginetta-Zytek) here at Salt Lake City, adding to the already impressive list of advanced technologies being tested on the track through the Michelin Green X Challenge.

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