At the Detroit Auto Show this past January the American Le Mans Series began promoting itself as the Global Leader in Green Racing. Since Audi debuted its R10 TDI diesel racers in 2006, the ALMS had been one of the few major league racing series that has had cars competing against each other using multiple fuels. The Green Challenge that series CEO Scott Atherton announced in Detroit will debut at the Petite Le Mans 10-hour race this October at Road Atlanta. In 2009 the Green Challenge will part of the full series.
ALMS has worked with the Society of Automotive Engineers, Departmant of Energy and Argonne National Lab to develop a formula that will calculate the full life cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of each competitor. The GREET model (GREET stands for Greenhouse gasses, Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation) developed by Argonne is the basis for calculated total well-to-wheels energy use and emissions based on whatever fuel is used. Because of the variety of cars and speeds (and thus distance traveled in each class) in the ALMS, the performance of each car will be normalized based on its weight and distance traveled. Each team starts the season with a maximum points total for the year. Points are awarded to each car after the race based on the total environmental footprint, the more energy used the higher the number of points. Those points are deducted from the total and whoever ends the season with the most points left is declared the Green Challenge champion.

[Source: American Le Mans Series]


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