The American Le Mans Series is going a little greener next season. Teams are developing Le Mans Prototype Challenge cars that use natural gas in place of traditional race fuel. According to The Washington Post, Patrick Racing is already working on a natural gas 430-horsepower Chevrolet LS3 V8 to power a 1,985-pound ORECA FLM09 chassis. Rated at 130 octane, the fuel is ideal for high-compression race engine applications.

ALMS has made it clear the series is pushing to become one of the world's most efficient by following the Environmental Protection Agency Green Racing protocols. Last year, organizers started researching both natural gas and electric systems for race teams, and while ALMS is keeping details on the Prototype Challenge program quiet at the moment, The Washington Post says that the natural-gas racers should be ready in time for the 2013 season.


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  • 27 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      so a fossil fuel is green. who knew
        Elmo Biggins
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        It has to be. Otherwise hydrogen is just a repackaged fossil fuel.
          goodoldgorr
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo Biggins
          Don't try to put added taxation on upcoming hydrogen fuel. This fuel is perfect and should be subsidise and publicize by goverments to erase completly air pollution.
      Turbo Froggy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I read that story too, and don't agree, should be the same size tank for gas and same size tank for diesel. If they go to CNG or LPG, tank should be volumetrically the same size. Here is the quote from the gas2.org article: "Each car will get an energy allotment per lap, with diesel-powered cars getting 3.99 liters per lap and gas engines capped at 4.95 liters per lap. That equates to 1.05 gallons per lap for gas cars, and 1.3 gallons per lap for diesel engines. The fuel tanks will be 12% smaller, and currently range in size from 16.5 gallons for petrol cars to a just 14.3 gallons for diesels." Bah BS, same tank size for all. And no restriction on the size of the flywheel or batteries that can be onboard.
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Most of the things they've done in the past for "green" have been pretty good efforts. For example, they use cellulosic ethanol and bio-butanol for some teams. I'm hoping they'll "go the extra mile here" and use methane from land fills or something like that. (pun intended). And as they're head quarters are only about 30 miles from that land fill in Dekalb county where they are producing all the methane and looking for uses....it would be a natural source for at least the Petite Le Mans at Road Atlanta. :-) I'll give them the benefit of the doubt based on their track record (again, pun intended) lol
      Turbo Froggy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Really ALMS? Then stop all restrictions on hybrid technology usage and have all the fuel tanks the same size. Whoever can go furthest the fastest on the least amount of fuel wins.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Turbo Froggy
        TF, Actually, they are doing that at Le Mans on the European side, and ALMS usually follows suit to make it possible to homolgate and drive in the shared series events. So I suspect that ALMS will do the same: http://gas2.org/2012/06/22/new-le-mans-rules-make-efficiency-more-important-than-power/
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Rules should keep diesels Audi away.
      wardialer
      • 3 Years Ago
      forget the billions of gallons of contaminated fresh water that results from hydraulic fracturing and the toll that takes on the environment. autoblog GREEN says "clean" "natural" gas is CLEAN, so does the obnoxious lady in the tv commercials. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32VgYHuj_mk three cheers for ignorance!
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      But TF, that wouldn't make sense. The fuels have different BTU's per volume and weight. They are trying to make it fair as they can....at least is seems that way to me.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      When you put natural gas in a V8, that makes it green. ( make sure you don't mention the extreme environmental atrocities of how that natural gas is obtained ) Tadaah!
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        You've either not heard of fracking, or basically disagree with every bit of evidence presented. OK, i get where you're coming from ;) You'll probably believe what's going on 40 years dow nthe road when our government finally admits it. Until then, that drinking water is totally safe!
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Meanwhile you can find stories about drinkable water being the next gold rush! Only fueled by using a good fraction of America's water supplies that could be drinkable ( if processed ), mixing it with unnamed and never tested chemicals. I'm not an extremist, i just know how to read, and i don't apologize for corporations which have unjust legal advantage over the general public, tax favoritism by my govt, and politicians in their pocket. Extremism is watching an environmental disaster, turning a blind eye, and pretending that everything is a-ok.
          Marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          2 Wheeled Menace 2WM, I watched Dr Strangelove too! This thing is Brig-Gen J. Ripper's idea's were meant to be laughed a,t not believed ! As usual, you are either just wrong, or hysterically exaggerate. Most natural gas production, has nothing to do with ' fracking' , ! It's often a by product of oil drilling that used to be burned (flared off) and discharged into the bio-sphere. Even where the ' fracking' process is used, the process occurs hundreds, even thousands of metres below the water table with millions of tons of rock between the gas and the water table. Some NG deposits (like oil) are close to the surface and natural contamination occurs. (that's how mankind first discovered oil/gas) Often this is confused with swamp gas. Obviously, the ability to read is of no use to you, if you only read conspiracy theories written by cranks ! The same people don't vaccinate their children against rubella etc, oppose fluoride, and would have prevented Dr Jenner's dangerous use of Cow-pox vaccine to eliminate small-pox ! Nobody is opposed to ensuring that NG extraction technology is not carefully regulated and monitored to ensure a minimum of environmental harm. Nor should the issues surrounding land right's be ignored. But these measures don't mean you abolish the whole industry ! What really annoys me about people like you, is you waste your time on crank science and distorted issues of no value, while all around you people are really getting ill, and dying from the effect of the massive pollution created by the use of Bunker Oil, and you don't say a peep ! Every one of your cheap PRC battery imports, came at the cost of your neighbour's illness and death. Bunker Oil really contaminates the food chain. But you have nothing to say about that do you? Carcinogenic pollution from shipping is real science, not conspiracy nonsense ! No one denies it, it's just ignored, while you waste your energy on half-baked nonsense, lacking in any real evidence.
          Marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @LTW, Very true, but I'm afraid such information is of little value to 2WM. His sources of information are secret to only a select few 'in the know' , who are also the keepers of the truth about Kennedy, Roswell, and the Mayan calendar. Just you wait 40 years, and he'll prove it all to you ! (by that time, you'd think I'd be too old to care, but I'm in with a secret and ancient group with the power of the Ponce de Leon, that's really why I'm not worried about the well that feeds my fountain......)
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @ 2 Wheeled Menace Oh, c'mon, surely after witnessing the excellent example set by LTW, Kris, Dave Mart and Joeviocoe, you have at least some reputable information to back up your claims? Or would you rather admit that your prejudice is based on highly questionable conspiracy theories, and very little else ? (as they say in America, an adverse impression can be interpreted from your silence : ) .
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Often times the methane that is found in well water comes from natural sources. This natural methane can be concentrated as the wells begin to produce less water. Older wells are especially liable to this sort of methane concentration due to water loss. http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/uic/pdfs/cbmstudy_attach_uic_ch06_water_qual_incidents.pdf
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        2 Wheeled Menace You are becoming an extremist. not all natural gas is created by "extreme environmental atrocities" ! In fact, the natural gas industry is environmentally positive. Of course it's still a fossil fuel, but a far less harmful fossil fuel. Most of the 'horror' stories about natural gas represent only a tiny potion of a huge industry, that has been operation all over the world for a long time with an overall commendable safety and environmental record. Opponents of the natural gas industry, point to hysterical anecdotes, without any scientific basis, or the activities of small breeches of industry practice. Obviously no major resource is without downsides, but the critics never suggest any realistic alternatives. If the US had developed the natural gas (LPG) industry, in the same way as other NG rich countries, the Us would be able to cut all it's oil imports except those from Canada and Mexico !
      EV News
      • 3 Years Ago
      How is a fossil fuel like Natural gas generating power via a reciprocating internal combustion engine GREEN? lol
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EV News
        EV News Perhaps not green with capitals (for those without reading glasses) but 'greener' than gasoline and diesel.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EV News
        No, not greener...
          Marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          2 Wheeled Menace, Natural gas is not less pollutant that gasoline or diesel ? Of all the outrageous claims you've made, that's got to win the prize ! But, hey if you've discovered a new branch of chemistry, please enlighten the world ? Hell, I'll even put your name forward to Nobel committee in Stockholm !
      • 3 Years Ago
      For the present moment, however, we depend on the technology we have. Motorized vehicles and machines are crucial to your industry – there's no way to sidestep this fact. One thing you do have control over, however, is the industrial liquids you use to service your vehicles. Envirosafe Solutions produces industrial liquids that achieve total results - without the common pitfalls and environmental risks.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      It is a nice move toward green mobility, at least we have to admit that farts are green. Im still interrested to buy a natural gas conversion but nobody is advertising anything in my area and there is not a single natural gas station anywhere even if gasoline prices are high, this is a pity and big tractor trailers trucks and buses are exhausting smelly carcinogenic diesel fumes right before my face. If it continue like that i will sue the town and the goverment for polluting the air.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        So, I take it you are interested to buy farts?
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Remember this moment Gorr.. this is what you'll be saying about Hydrogen cars.
        Marcopolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        @ Gorr Gorr, you should leave the cold of Canada, and come to the sunny climes of Australia ! The Australian government will give you a rebate on purchasing an LPG powered vehicle. Or you can buy an EV powered by a NG electric power station. In WA, you can ride on NG powered buses, trucks and taxi's. All that, and no snow shoveling !
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