ALMS Looking to Electric, Natural Gas Cars in the Future

ALMS Looking to Electric, Natural Gas Cars in the Future
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Auto racing and environmental consciousness normally do not mix, however, the American LeMans Series has been working on changing that, and hopes to improve on its already green track record.

This is the only race series around the world in which four different types of fuels are being used, namely E10, E85, diesel and isobutanol. Also, apart from the result of championship points given to teams and drivers respective of their finish in the race, ALMS also awards a championship within a championship to the greenest team on the grid.

Now the series is looking to go greener still by hoping to soon introduce natural gas powered race cars. In an interview with Fox Car Report, ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton said he wants to “demonstrate the competitiveness of natural gas, and the ease and convenience of refueling, because right now that’s seen as one of the impediments. If you can take away some of what the consumer would describe as downside issues, and demonstrate its competitiveness and the fact that you don’t have to sacrifice anything, I think it would go a long way toward mainstream acceptance of natural gas as a fuel for any type of vehicle.”

When asked about electric race cars, Atherton said this technology might play in this series in the future, but not at the moment, saying electric drivetrains cannot handle the stress of such a race series, however he is looking at other electric race series to bring in as part of their support festivities. Nissan has already hinted at an all electric series using spec versions of the NISMO Leaf RC race car.

Atherton is also excited about introducing the Delta Wing racer, a concept that was originally intended for the IndyCar Series. This racer would weigh half as much as current race cars and also consume half the energy. He hopes to have the Delta Wing racer ready for the 2012 season opener in Sebring, Florida.
In addition, look for hybrids to join the series in the future, with rumors that Porsche’s 2014 Le Mans entry will use both gasoline and electric technology.
[Source: Fox News]