Michelin Green X Challenge at Lime Rock
As America celebrates the July 4th holiday with parades and fireworks, manufacturers and teams competing in the Michelin Green X Challenge - the race within the race at Saturday’s (July 7th) American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park - are helping to accelerate the path to cleaner fuels and energy independence.
The Michelin Green X Challenge and the ALMS approach to “Green Racing” provides manufacturers and energy providers an opportunity to evaluate new technologies, including energies, in the rigors of competition and shows consumers that with these new technologies performance and clean energy are not mutually exclusive.
Unlike other forms of motorsports competition featuring a single specification car or fuel, the American Le Mans Series
and the Michelin Green X Challenge in the ALMS and a companion program at the 24 Hours of Le Mans have seen competitors use E10 (ethanol), second-generation E85R, gas-to-liquid diesel, isobutanol and at the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans – Audi flywheel diesel hybrids and Toyota gasoline capacitor hybrid power.
In addition, the ALMS has recently announced that natural gas may fuel the ALMS Prototype Challenge class in 2013.
“New technologies like direct injection, advanced electronics and lighter weight designs, together with the permitted use of new energies in the Michelin Green X Challenge competition, allow the manufacturers and teams to learn a great deal about the energy content, operating and refueling considerations and environmental impacts of various energies,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager.
“The Green Racing steering team captures the data and uses it to assess the cleanliness, efficiency and performance of each. The more diverse the energy portfolio, the more independent the energy needs. The manufacturers, teams, fans and the environment all win.” said Mammone.
Now in its fourth season of competition, the Michelin Green X Challenge recognizes cars that complete the two-hour 45-minute race on the picturesque 1.54-mile circuit with the best scores for “clean, fast and efficient” performance. The program is overseen by the Green Racing steering group comprised of representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, SAE International and the sanctioning International Motor Sports Association.
Twelve different manufacturers have claimed Michelin Green X Challenge honors to date, including: Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford, HPD Honda, Lola/Judd, Mazda, Peugeot and Porsche.
Twenty-eight of the 62 Michelin Green X Challenge winners in the ALMS have also won their respective classes on the track.