American Le Mans Series CEO Scott Atherton visited the Detroit Auto Show last week and talked about the successes and challenges the series faces in 2009. Racing series' around the world are losing teams this year as a result of the worldwide economic slump, and the American Le Mans Series is no exception. In spite of both Audi and Porsche withdrawing as full-time participants in the prototype classes, Atherton is optimistic. Audi won't be racing full-time, but its new R15 TDI will make its world debut at the season opener in Sebring.
Also coming at Sebring will be the announcement of a new manufacturer joining the series, possibly as soon as the race at Long Beach. Mazda is also expanding its involvement its involvement through a tie up with Dyson Racing. Hoping to take advantage of the Green Challenge that will be a full season aspect of ALMS this year, an energy company has approached Atherton about introducing a fourth fuel to the current mix of E10, cellulosic E85 and diesel. Yet another manufacturer is hoping to introduce a new type of hybrid technology as well. Check out the whole story at Green Fuels Forecast.