The American Le Mans Series reports it reduced its petroleum usage by nearly 50 percent in its most recent race.

Series president Scott Atherton delivered the message today to journalists and government officials in Washington at the National Press Club. "Ten days ago at Road America, renewable fuel use by our race cars reduced petroleum consumption by 48 percent compared to traditional all-petroleum racing fuel," Atherton said. "According to the Department of Energy, if such a result was translated to the U.S. vehicle fleet, the nation could decrease imported oil dependency by half, saving $175 billion every year inside our economy."

With a platform allowing auto manufacturers to develop and test energy-efficient technologies for tomorrow's wave of consumer vehicles, the ALMS and its partners in the auto industry and government are now looking toward pursuing development of new standards for what it terms "Green Racing."

Green Racing was developed together with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International. In order for a racing series to qualify as "Green Racing", it must allow for three criteria:

  • Use of renewable bio-based fuels
  • Multiple engine, fuel and powertrain configurations
  • Regenerative energy technologies

Green Racing is also backed by MICHELIN® through the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge - a competition within all ALMS races that rewards teams that go the farthest, fastest with the smallest environmental footprint for energy consumed.

According to Atherton, "In order to remain Global Leader of Green Racing, the ALMS will keep moving forward. We expect to soon have manufacturers and teams competing with new alternative fuels, both bio-based and Compressed Natural Gas. Our rules makers are actively working with auto manufacturers and government officials to reduce the total energy consumed by the cars. Among the options are percentage reductions in fuel allocations over time and total energy allocations as early as 2014. We intend to work with our partners, teams and manufacturers to move toward turning these goals into reality.

"The automotive industry's most important race today is not Daytona, Indy or Le Mans. The new race is defined by global concerns for energy supply and climate change. The great race of the 21st Century is for economic, socially responsible, sustainable transportation solutions, and we are proud of the role we have in that race."

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