The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environment Canada host this year’s event, which features direct involvement from nearly all of the major automobile manufacturers and leading suppliers. The American Le Mans Series is the only motorsports organization involved with the event.
On Wednesday, Atherton will lead a forum entitled, “The Race to Future Technologies,” which will address collaboration with government and industry to accelerate solutions to the future of sustainable transportation. Joining him on the panel will be Mazda North American Operations Director of Motorsports John Doonan, Audi Motor Sports Head of Engine Development Dr. Ulrich Baretzky, General Motors Director of Racing Mark Kent, Michelin North America Executive Vice President Scott Clark, and DeltaWing Concept Originator and race car designer/engineer Ben Bowlby.
The panel’s discussion will center on motorsports’ increasing role as a research and development laboratory for technology transfer to the consumer automobile industry. Atherton also will address how the American Le Mans Series spearheads that role in today’s racing environment and maintains its position as the recognized Global Leader in Green Racing.
“Being at the global forefront in the development of Green Racing initiatives is at the very core of what the American Le Mans Series represents to its teams, manufacturers, marketing partners and fans,” Atherton said. “The Series is fully invested in the development and promotion of consumer-relevant alternative fuels and related green automotive technologies. It is incumbent upon us to not only lead the way in the entertainment value we bring to sports car racing enthusiasts, but to be in a key leadership position to encourage and enable the development of more sustainable transportation solutions.”
Atherton will address how the ALMS has consistently welcomed ideas and environmentally friendly involvement with the series – including cellulosic and biofuels as well as cleaner-burning diesel fuels; gas-electric hybrid prototype race cars; smaller, turbocharged engines operating on alternative fuels; flywheel energy storage technology; and the visionary Nissan DeltaWing prototype race car.
At this summer’s prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans event in France, the DeltaWing delivered a competitive, proof-of-concept performance. It continues to draw rave reviews for its innovative racing platform that features half the weight, horsepower, aerodynamic drag, fuel consumption and tire wear, yet produces all the performance of a conventional international prototype sports car.
The IEFV panel will provide expert insight into sports car racing’s future development of bio-based renewable fuels, reduction of total energy consumption, hybrid power trains and electric engines. Discussion topics will also include future technical guidelines which will focus on energy allocation as the primary means for managing performance – an ideal situation for manufacturers to develop breakthrough technologies focused on maximum energy efficiency, high performance and sustainability.
The next round of the ALMS championship is the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón VIR 240 from Virginia International Raceway. The four-hour race is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 15. ESPN2's broadcast begins at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 16. Full, live coverage starts at 2:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.
The Series' website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the VIR round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
Visit ALMS.com for current and future event information including tickets and area accommodations. Follow the Series on Twitter (#ALMS, #VIR), Facebook and YouTube.
Courtesy American Le Mans Series