Tag Archives for AlmsGreenChallenge
As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, there will be plenty of motorsports going on: NASCAR at Charlotte, IndyCars at the home base and Formula One in Turkey. The only big series taking the weekend off is the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) which has a number of teams preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans just a couple of weeks from now.
Since early 2008, the ALMS has been touting itself as the “Leader in green racing.” We decided to take a look at the biggest series in North America and compare the efforts of each when it comes to alternative fuels and drivetrains. In many respects, NASCAR is actually the most alternative series around right now, but not necessarily in a forward looking way. After all, NASCAR still uses carburetors and just switched from leaded to unleaded gasoline a couple of years ago.
Similarly, while IndyCars switched from methanol to ethanol a few years back, there isn’t much else about open wheel race cars that can be called relevant to manufacturers. ALMS GT class cars, on the other hand, are actually derived from production models. The combination of GT and LMP cars are now or have recently been running on five different fuel/drive combinations including diesel, E10, cellulosic E85, biobutanol, and E10/hybrids. Later this season, the Porsche 911 GT3 R hybrid that nearly won the recent 24 hours of Nürburgring is expected to join the ALMS ranks and ALMS communications director Bob Dickinson told us that he hopes to see Peugeot’s 908 diesel-hybrid join, perhaps as soon as the next Sebring race in March 2011. Check out the full chart after the jump.
Gallery: Geneva 2009: Peugeot 908 hy
Gallery: Corsa Motorsports Ginetta-Zytek 09HS
Episode four of the Corvette Racing video series is out now and it focuses on the Michelin Green X Challenge and how it is helping to make the C6.R both faster and more efficient. We already knew that the Corvette C6.R has been running on cellulosic E85 for the past two years, but that is just the beginning of the improvements to these race cars.
The engineers and technicians that create and maintain these cars have been working for a decade to make them better. When the original GT1-class C5.R started racing 10 years ago, it would get about 10 laps per tankful at Le Mans. Today, the cars get 15 laps per tank, meaning they spend a lot less time sitting idle in the pits and more time out running for position.
Reducing friction and parasitic losses throughout the car has helped tremendously. The team has worked with its air conditioning supplier to reduce the compressor power draw from five horsepower to just 1.8 hp. Similarly, going from traditional steel wheel bearings to ceramic bearings has added three miles per hour of straightaway speed and improved durability. The next big change that could eventually make its way to road cars is zero viscosity engine oil to cut internal engine friction. Check out the video after the jump.