AUDI DIESEL AND E85 PORSCHE CLAIM TOP HONORS IN WET MICHELIN® GREEN X® CHALLENGE AT PETIT LE MANS
BRASELTON, GA (September 26, 2009) - Red flagged slightly before half distance, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta provided yet an unexpected range of tests for manufacturers and teams competing in the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge. Facing a difficult variety of damp, wet, drying and dry conditions, the ninth race of the 2009 American Le Mans Series season was halted just before the mid-point of its scheduled 1000-mile/10-hour distance due to heavy rain and lightning.
Scoring its second MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge Prototype victory in as many appearances, the GTL low sulfur diesel Audi R15 TDI of Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello finished third overall on the track and narrowly prevailed over archrival Peugeot to earn the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge Prototype honors.
A late switch from E10 to E85R ethanol fuel for Petit Le Mans paid off handsomely with the GT category win in the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge for the California based #44 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche of Darren Law, Seth Neiman and Johannes van Overbeek. The victory means that five different GT cars from four different manufacturers have now won the GT award, including all three regular Porsche GT entries. The victory secured the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge GT Manufacturers Title for Porsche.
Although not yet eligible for awards, the #16 BP Mazda Lola of Dyson Racing merits special mention. Competing for the first time with an ethanol and biobutanol blend fuel, the car finished first on track in the LMP2 Prototype class and seventh overall. The fuel is under consideration as a permitted ALMS energy for 2010.
"The competition to win the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge continues to grow," said Silvia Mammone, Michelin Motorsport manager. "Seeing manufacturers like Audi, Porsche and Mazda; energy producers like Shell and BP, and teams like Audi, Flying Lizard Motorsports and Dyson Racing bringing new technologies forward is exactly what the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge was created to recognize and encourage."
ABOUT THE MICHELIN® GREEN X® CHALLENGE The MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge, developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International is a race within the race at all 2009 American Le Mans Series events.
All ALMS entries compete with E10 ethanol blended gasoline; E85R gasoline blended ethanol, GTL (natural gas to liquid) biodiesel or E10-electric hybrid power.
Teams win by delivering the best overall performance, fuel efficiency, and smallest environmental impact throughout the race. Using a formula developed by the Argonne National Labs that includes over 30 different factors, real time standings are posted on timing and scoring screens throughout the race. The American Le Mans Series is the only series currently recognized as "Green Racing" by the U. S. Department of Energy; Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International.
The MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge trophies are presented to the respective Prototype and GT winners. The bases for the unique MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge trophies are made of rubber recycled from MICHELIN® GREEN X® labeled consumer tires.