DC 2011: Baltimore Grand Prix wants to be "most sustainable" race in U.S.

dc auto shoThe American Le Mans Series calls itself "the global leader in green racing," and it's got over five years of working with the DOE, EPA and SAE to earn that title. Currently, there are eight manufacturers racing with the ALMS, all trying to "improve the breed" by increasing efficiency in a harsh environment before the technology hits the production line, as ALMS president and CEO Scott Atherton said at the DC Auto Show. The yellow Corvette pictured above, for example, was a test-bed for green technology on the track before it moved over to road-going cars (orange infused tires, for example). The Mazda Dyson LMP1 (which stands for LeMans Prototype 1, also pictured above) ran on isobutanol fuel, and ALMS has also used ethanol (made from corn and cellulosic sources).

The latest addition to the green race track will be the Baltimore Grand Prix, which announced in DC that it has signed a five-year contract to host ALMS races starting this Labor Day. BGP President Jay Davidson said that the BGP is shooting to be the "greenest motorsport event in the U.S." The broad steps BGP will take to reach that goal – including solar lighting, hybrid support vehicles, clean water runoff and more – will take time, but by the end five years, that's the goal. See the full list of announced green efforts in the press release after the jump. Davidson said that, since the Grand Prix races through the heart of downtown Baltimore, being sustainable is even more important than it would be on an oval somewhere.

[Source: Baltimore Grand Prix]
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Program part of announcement at Washington DC Auto Show

WASHINGTON, DC – The Baltimore Grand Prix today announced at the Washington Auto Show a strategy that would result in it becoming the most sustainable racing event in the U.S. Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, introduced BGP President Jay Davidson who made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Energy display at the show.

The ALMS, which races in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix on Sept. 2-3, is recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing. All race cars compete using alternative fuels and energy sources as manufacturers develop innovative, fuel-efficient technologies that ultimately transfer to consumer vehicles.

Dyson Racing, which competes in the ALMS, had its Mazda-powered Lola prototype on display and was lauded as of the type of car that fans would see race at the American Le Mans Series' event along Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The Dyson LMP1 class race car uses isobutanol as its fuel and G-Oil, a non-petroleum animal-fat based lubricant, for its oil. Dyson announced G-Oil as a new corporate partner earlier this week.

Davidson indicated that the strategy has made the BGP attractive not only to corporate partners but has created a lot of goodwill in the community, as well. Among the sustainability elements included the customary recycling, composting, public transportation initiatives, but Davidson indicated the BGP has taken some additional steps that should allow the event to achieve its goals over the next five years.

Other initiatives include:
• Creating a Green Improvement Zone that will concentrate on putting solar panels on the Baltimore Convention Center; replacing LED street lights with solar lighting; replacing steel light poles with aluminum ones; and creating charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV)
• Using hybrid vehicles to transport fans
• Developing a system for cleaner runoff from the city streets, including the possible use of bio-swales
• Bundling parking by ticket-holder zip codes, eliminating the fans' arduous and energy-wasting search for parking
• Retaining a world-class arborist, Scott Rykiel (Mahan Rykiel Associates), regarding a vegetation and tree regeneration program
• Developing a "green team" of local corporations such as Constellation Energy and Under Armour, who have taken sustainability leadership positions in other Baltimore events
• Engaging Strategic Services International (SSI) that affiliated with a carbon "war room" in association with the U.S. Department of Energy to find ways for companies to become carbon neutral.

Ticket information for the Baltimore Grand Prix – and other ALMS events – is available at americanlemans.com.

The first race for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 19. The race, set for 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 19, will be shown in its live and in its entirety on ESPN3.com and americanlemans.com. ABC will provide coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 20. Visit the American Le Mans Series' schedule page for information on tickets and area accommodations.

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