Given the current economic difficulties, automakers are finding it increasingly difficult to justify participation in motorsports. Series such as NASCAR and Formula 1, in particular, are finding their relevance questioned. One area that seems to be doing OK, for now, is sports car racing such as the American Le Mans Series. Scott Atherton, CEO of the ALMS, recently sat down with Green Fuels Forecast to discuss the current status of the sport.
Recently, Corsa Motorsports had its first run with its new hybrid prototype and will resume running this week at Lime Rock. Currently, hybrid drive is only allowed in the prototype classes, but Atherton expects that upcoming rules changes for 2010 and 2011 will open the door for hybrid and KERS systems to be adopted in the GT ranks. Multiple manufacturers have expressed interest in running hybrid GT2 cars the first could debut in 2010. Atherton believes the openness of the Le Mans rules makes it a great platform for developing alternative powertrain and fuel technologies, and he intends to keep it that way.