Lime Rock Park
Michelin Green X Challenge Lime Rock
Many manufacturers of passenger cars and light trucks are turning to motorsports to test and develop new fuel-saving technologies, in response to recent federal proposals to raise standards for fuel economy from the current 27 miles per gallon (mpg) to 35 mpg by 2016 and to 56 mpg by 2025.
Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager, sees the escalating standards for fuel economy as a great opportunity for sports-car endurance racing and the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge.
“Significant changes are in store for nearly every aspect of vehicle design, architecture, powertrain, energy sources, materials, electronics and tires,” said Mammone. “Motorsports competitions like the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), which permits relevant technologies, will be the proving grounds for accelerating the development of many of these new technologies.”
The MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge is a key motorsports benchmark to track gains in performance, improvements in fuel efficiency and reductions in emissions at all ALMS races.
INNOVATIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES
“Here in the ALMS and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, innovative technologies applied already include lightweight materials, turbocharging, clean diesels, direct injection, hybrid technology, flywheel hybrids and electric wheel motors. There is much more in the pipelines, as manufacturers push to meet these new demands,” said Mammone. This past week, Porsche announced plans to return to Prototype competition at Le Mans, noting the decision was driven in part by the opportunity to integrate its hybrid technology.
Now in its third full season of competition, the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge — which was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International — recognizes the cars that go farthest and fastest with the smallest environmental footprint at each event.
The global program is now an established part of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and every European, Asian and American Le Mans Series event.