Michelin Green X Challenge - Baltimore

Michelin tire
Michelin tire

Photo by: Richard Sloop

BALTIMORE (Aug. 30, 2011) — Just 25 races into the history of the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge, significant new technologies and fuels have already appeared in American Le Mans Series competition. This Labor Day weekend, the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix hosts the 26th MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge event on Sept. 3.

Promoting motorsports as a catalyst to develop new technologies, the American Le Mans Series teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International in 2008 to become the first to earn a Green Racing designation.

In the 25 races since its 2009 launch, the ALMS and the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge have showcased such innovative technologies as direct injection, turbo-diesels, gas/electric hybrids, flywheel hybrids, electric-wheel motors, as well as low-sulfur gas-to-liquid diesel, E10, cellulosic E85 and isobutanol fuels.

Like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the ALMS rules encourage open competition and use of new technologies and alternative fuels. Vehicle manufacturers, teams and technical innovators have also presented reduced-energy air conditioning and lighting systems, zero-viscosity oils, and extended-wear tires.

Using the Green Racing steering group’s formula to recognize the Prototype and GT car that post the best scores for clean, fast and efficient performance, the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge is a race within the race at every ALMS event.

Ironically, 22 of the first 50 MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge winners have also won their respective class on the track. “People think that you can’t be clean, fast and efficient, but the racers and the manufacturers know that the most efficient cars usually win,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager.

Meanwhile, the Green Racing steering group reports that in 2011 competitions to date, ALMS teams have displaced 40-percent less oil than in 2006.

“As we look ahead to the next 25 races of the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge, it will be exciting to see what new technologies and fuels appear in competition,” said Mammone.

To date, 15 different car manufacturers have entered 2011 ALMS or the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011.

The 2011 ALMS MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge champions win automatic invitations to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012. Similar MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge competitions are also held at European and Asian series events and at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.