PETIT LE MANS' GREEN CHALLENGE REPRESENTS MILESTONE FOR SAE INTERNATIONAL MEMBERS

A landmark event that represents years of commitment by SAE International members will come to fruition when the circular-shaped trophy representing sustainability is awarded Saturday night at the American Le Mans Series' Petit Le Mans Green Challenge.

The Petit Le Mans Powered by the Totally New MAZDA6, set for Road Atlanta, will be the first motorsports event to use the Green Racing Protocols developed by SAE International, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Le Mans Series.

The overall inspiration was developed almost five years ago by a group of SAE International members, led by noted auto-racing executive Herb Fishel. In 2006, DOE, the EPA and SAE International automotive-industry leader- members formed the Green Racing Working Group to further develop the program. Then, at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the American Le Mans Series announced it would become the first sanctioning body to put the environmentally focused competition on track.

Essentially, the new competition encourages manufacturers to introduce and develop "green" technologies and promote them through auto racing.

"While many industries are involved in 'green' concepts, SAE International views auto racing as one of the most viable avenues to educate the public about alternative fuels and cutting-edge technology," said David L. Amati, SAE International director of Global Automotive Business. "As a global sport, auto racing is second only to soccer in popularity. The global aspect is integral, as the automotive industry worldwide is seeking to balance transportation needs with energy concerns through technical innovation."

"The auto manufacturers competing in the American Le Mans Series have demanded this type of initiative," said Scott Atherton, ALMS president and CEO. "The platform goes a long way to restore auto-racing's relevance in promoting the progressive technology of its auto manufacturers to consumers."

SAE International is a global association of 115,000 engineers and related technical experts in the automotive, aerospace and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World in Motion(R) and the Collegiate Design Series.

-credit: sae/alms