CLEAN, FAST OR EFFICIENT? MICHELIN GREEN X CHALLENGE WINNERS MUST DELIVER ALL THREE
Some people like fast cars; others are more interested in cleaner or more efficient cars. In the MICHELINGREEN XChallenge at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, fans will find that cars competing in the American Le Mans Series can be clean, fast and efficient.
In fact, the cleanest, fastest, most efficient Prototype and GT cars at Long Beach will not only win the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge race awards on Saturday, April 16th, they will also score points toward the season long prize; automatic invitations to compete in the 2012 running of the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"As gas prices in Southern California currently average more than $4.09 per gallon, the alternative fuels, smaller engines with comparable performance, technologies like direct injection, turbocharging, advanced electronics, improved aerodynamics, innovative materials, and advanced tire technology will all contribute to success in the ALMS race at Long Beach and in the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge," said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager.
"At the end of the day, racing is all about efficiency and what is happening in the marketplace.
Fourteen different major car manufacturers are currently participating in either the American Le Mans Series or the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011. The technical rules not only permit, but encourage the development of new technologies in competition and the use of alternative fuels, including E10, E85, Isobutanol, GTL diesel and hybrids.
Both an E10/electric hybrid and an E10/Porsche flywheel hybrid have participated in previous ALMS events. A first ever Peugeot diesel/electric hybrid is expected to participate in next week's official "test day" for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"At the end of the day, racing is all about efficiency and what is happening in the marketplace as energy prices rise and new regulations take effect is an aggressive push by everyone involved to improve efficiency," said Mammone.
Winning the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge is not simply a matter of cruising and saving fuel. To date, 16 of the 38 MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge winners in the ALMS have also won their respective classes on the track.
Both 2011 Twelve Hours of Sebring MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge winners (Highcroft/HPD and BMW Team RLL) finished second overall in their respective classes at the race.
According to Bob Larsen, director emeritus of the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Labs and a charter member of the Green Racing steering group overseeing the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge, the 2011 Sebring ALMS race represented a 28.4 percent reduction in oil use since 2005.