The flag dropped this month on the first-ever clean, green motorsports racing series at Road Atlanta’s 11th Annual Petit le Mans. That’s right. Green racing. Eco-conscious and a hell of a lot faster than prototype solar-racers. The need for speed is satisfied by three ‘street-legal’ alternative fuels including E10 Ethanol, Sulfur-free diesel, like Sweden’s EcoPar, and mean, green(er) American corn-based E85.
The American Le Mans Series features two classifications of racer, GT1 and LMP:
LMP vehicles, or Le Mans Prototypes, are built to precise specifications used by both the European Le Mans and American Le Mans racing series. Custom-built and crafted for endurance, the 3.4-liter V-8 Porsche RS Spyder continues to stand out as teacher’s pet in this, the fastest in closed-wheel class racecar design. Penske Racing sponsored this year’s LPM class winner in their No 6 Porsche, placing first-in-class in the earth-friendlier competition.
The GT1 class, the time-honored superspeed race-purposed vehicle, counts a real celebrity in its ranks with the Corvette C6.R which topped all others at this year’s Green Challenge. This bad boy boasts the LS7.R 7-liter small-block V-8 engine with 505 horsepower. Translating gear-head to English, those are some major guts.
The overall winner was driver of nine-time champ Audi R10 TDI prototype, which came a respectable 5th in the Green Challenge, and along with green miles covered, lower carbon emissions and pure adrenaline the success of Petit Le Mans proved that eco-racing has a real future within the sport, and within the hearts of racecar fans worldwide.
We’ll even throw in a free album.