Michelin brings fuel concerns to the forefront at 12 hours of Sebring

March 15, 2011

“With oil over $105 per barrel as the season begins, the Michelin Green X Challenge is more relevant than ever,” said Scot Elkins, vice-president of the International Motor Sports Association, the sanctioning body for the American Le Mans Series.

Now entering its third season, the Michelin Green X Challenge recognizes the Prototype and GT category cars that prove “cleanest, fastest, most efficient” in the race within the race at every American Le Mans Series event. Similar Michelin Green X Challenge competitions are now also part of every Asian and European Le Mans Series event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.

Adding to the competition, the ACO is offering a significant reward for becoming the 2011 Michelin Green X Challenge champions. At the end of the season, the champions will receive automatic invitations for entry to the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans for 2012, an invaluable prize to any competitor in the American Le Mans Series.  

“The ALMS and Le Mans offer very progressive rules that encourage the development of new technologies, electronics and energy forms in competition,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager. “The Michelin Green X Challenge provides an incentive and a method to recognize the cleanest, fastest, most efficient cars and help accelerate the development of new technologies through motorsports.”

The 59th edition of the Sebring 12 Hour race will see manufacturers and teams unveil new cars to meet new Prototype category rules for the ALMS and Le Mans that focus on smaller engines, increased efficiency, and reduced fuel and energy use.  

Overseen by the Green Racing steering group composed of members of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, SAE International and IMSA, the scores for the Michelin Green X Challenge are determined by the amount and type of energy used; a well–to-wheel (WTW) analysis; race speed and distance; and overall efficiency.

During the 2010 season, seven manufacturers (Peugeot, Honda, Porsche, Lola/Judd, Ferrari, Chevrolet and BMW), ten teams and 12 different cars featuring three different energy sources (GTL, E10 ethanol and second generation E85R) scored Michelin Green X Challenge wins.