St. Pete: Michelin Green X Challenge preview

MICHELIN® GREEN X® CHALLENGE TAKES TO THE "STREETS" AT ST. PETERSBURG New Winners Guaranteed for Unique Awards Made from Recycled Tires ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (March 30, 2009) - The MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge makes its street...

MICHELIN® GREEN X® CHALLENGE TAKES TO THE "STREETS" AT ST. PETERSBURG
New Winners Guaranteed for Unique Awards Made from Recycled Tires

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (March 30, 2009) - The MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge makes its street course debut at the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg, April 4th.

Developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International, the MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge is a race within the race at all 2009 American Le Mans Series events. Teams win by delivering the best overall performance, fuel efficiency, and smallest environmental impact throughout the race.

The first MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge event to be held on a street course creates a new batch of challenges for the teams of the American Le Mans Series. The 1.8 mile, 14 turn temporary street course at St. Petersburg is considerably shorter; the event time is just 1-hour, 55-minutes, compared to the 12 hours on the 3.7 mile permanent circuit at Sebring.

The nature of the street circuit presents very different challenges for teams and drivers. "Street circuits are much more like real world driving," said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin ALMS technical team leader. "The race is run on actual streets closed for the event. There are sharper, slower turns and more braking and acceleration points than on a permanent circuit. Sebring is a very fast track with an emphasis on horsepower and aerodynamics; here it is all about downforce and acceleration."

The 1-hour, 55-minute race distance means far fewer pit stops, likely just a single stop for many competitors.

The wild card is expected to be the yellow caution flag. Since several cars may finish the race on the same lap with nearly identical race times, the timing and duration of caution flags and the number of laps spent at slower speeds behind the safety car may well be a deciding factor in the MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge results.

With Audi and Corvette having claimed both the race wins and the inaugural MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge awards at the opening race of the 2009 ALMS season before heading off to begin preparations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, new winners at St. Petersburg are guaranteed.

All ALMS entries compete using either E85, E10 ethanol, low sulfur diesel fuel, or hybrid power.

The bases for the unique MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge trophies are made of rubber recycled from MICHELIN® Green X® consumer tires. MICHELIN® Green X® tires are optimized for fuel economy by reducing their rolling resistance and weight without compromising other key performance factors such as traction, grip and tread wear. Each tire is marked with Michelin's "Green X®" symbol on the sidewall, indicating to consumers a level of increased fuel-efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. Since the first fuel-efficient tire was introduced in 1992, MICHELIN tires have saved their owners more than 2.6 billion gallons of fuel and avoided CO2 emissions by more than 27 million tons worldwide.

The MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge trophies are presented to the respective ALMS Prototype and GT winners.

-credit: michelin

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Series ALMS