ALMS joins with Quimera, IMSA to prep global electric racing series

The idea of electric vehicle racing isn't exactly new, whether you're talking about two-wheeled thrills in the TTXGP or attempts to start up an electric car speed league (see here and here). The idea that the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) wants to get a little less energy intensive has also been heard before: remember the ALMS Green Challenge, which put cellulosic E85-fueled race cars on the track? Nonetheless, the new announcement about a joint venture between Quimera, IMSA and ALMS to "develop the next generation of sustainable motorsport" has us excited. Specifically, the idea is to bring electric vehicle racing to tracks around the world.

When Quimera showed off a video of its EGT01 electric race car last fall, Quimera's Azhar Hussain told AutoblogGreen that his company wanted to move "beyond the race track and beyond motorcycles." The just-announced partnership sounds like that move, as it should see all-electric cars competing some time in 2013 and will be open to and "OEMs eager to showcase and develop their own green credentials in a cost-controlled environment." To prepare, the EGT01 will go on demonstration drives at some ALMS events in 2012. TTXGP racers and representatives will also be involved in the new series, which will have multiple categories, including an all-electric GT (525 kw – 700bhp) and an Open Wheel F3 type (300kw – 390bhp). Details on these can be found after the jump.

There are other ways to green up a race, as ALMS president and CEO Scott Atherton told AutoblogGreen at the DC Auto Show last year. The idea was to turn the Baltimore Grand Prix into the "greenest motorsport event in the U.S." by adding solar lighting, hybrid support vehicles and clean water runoff projects. Of course, the future of the Baltimore Grand Prix is in doubt, so let's hope that the global EV series gets off to a better start.
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GOING GREEN: International Electric Vehicle Racing Championships Envisioned
Joint venture between Quimera, IMSA and ALMS to spearhead next generation of green racing


Strategic sustainability project specialists Quimera, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) will combine their respective areas of expertise in 2012 at the start of a new global initiative to develop the next generation of sustainable motorsport.

Working strategically, both IMSA and Quimera have immediately begun to define their objective of organizing a global, non-fossil fuel based championship.

Working together closely, initial steps will be taken to prepare investors, the general public, media, sponsors and other interested parties for motorsport's impending embrace of clean technology. By 2013 this joint venture will be ready to launch its new international Electric Vehicle (EV) series, the first clean technology professional motorsport championship that will include various categories and remain open to any OEMs eager to showcase and develop their own green credentials in a cost-controlled environment.

Initially, a version of the Quimera AEGT All-Electric GT car is expected to debut in demonstration runs at selected American Le Mans Series race events in 2012. While the championship is expected to begin in the U.S., at races run in conjunction with the ALMS, a clear international scope has already been outlined with the intention to invite any national governing body, promoter or country from around the world to join this ground-breaking motorsport project.

By embracing the "cleantech concept", the championship is also looking to include motorcycles as part of its event roster. Indeed, Quimera can already count on the support of the TTXGP World Championship, currently the world's leading international electric series, as evaluations continue into the possibility of hosting joint-race weekends. For the first time ever this will ensure an event that features clean technology on two wheels as well as four, helping significant commercial and technical benefits to be realised for all stakeholders concerned.

IMSA and Quimera's partnership is expected to develop further by empowering R&D activities with both new and existing technologies, therefore emphasising motorsport's essential role as a test bed for the automotive sector, technology transfer and other key potential applications. A key goal of this joint venture is to establish a series operating at the very forefront of motorsport's clean technology development.

Initial categories under consideration:
AEGT (525 kw – 700bhp): The world's first and most powerful all-electric GT racing car has already been designed, built and tested in extreme conditions by Quimera. Powertrain up to 600kw with carbon fiber chassis. Homologation requires no minimum cars to be manufactured while the category will also allow for inventive bodywork design. Complies with all sanctioned safety regulations.

Touring GT (300kw – 390bhp): Prototypes currently being constructed by Quimera. This is an open category with all OEMs invited, although multiple single class OEM championships will be considered (discussions taking place). Powertrain up to 350kw with carbon or tubular chassis. Homologation requires no minimum cars to be manufactured. Complies with all sanctioned safety regulations.

NB: Series organisers are currently negotiating an initiation series to be based on slightly modified road legal cars with a powertrain up to 150kw. This is intended as an OEM showcase for current EV consumer technology and provides a dynamic platform for the introduction to non-fossil fuel-based race series.

F3 type (300kw – 390bhp): Formulec has spent the past two years designing, developing and testing its EF01, the world's first 100 percent electric single-seater racing car which will lay the foundations for an open category adhering to rules and regulations. Powertrain up to 350kw with carbon fiber chassis. Complies with all sanctioned safety regulations.

NB: Shortly an F1-spec car will be launched offering a full compliment of categories.

LMP type: Currently in discussion with two potential partners. Specifications to be finalized.

Drifting (170 kW-220bhp): Prototype of the Quimera/Letteriello All Electric Drift Car-AEDC01. Powertrain up to 250kW. Complies with all sanctioned safety regulations.

TTXGP: The TTXGP World Championship will expand its format to include more classes and different race formats. With its unrivalled experience in electric racing, the series already boasts technology, knowledge and an exciting team line-up to provide thrilling competition and an enthusiastic fan base from the start.

Javier de Rocafort, Quimera Chairman of the Board: "For Quimera, this project is not simply confined to developing environmentally friendly cars that will offer an insight into the future of motorsport. It also concerns encouraging the dramatic shift soon to occur in the way the industry has operated up until now. More important than the act of car racing is how we actively evolve and prepare the future for coming generations. In this regard, our partnership with IMSA and the American Le Mans Series allows us to investigate and better understand the potential applications of these new technologies in the toughest possible environment – and in one of the largest automotive consumer markets in the world, the USA."

Scott Atherton, President & CEO Panoz Motor Sports Group – IMSA/ALMS: "We have often quoted the fact that the most important race in the world is the race among automobile manufacturers to develop new sustainable transportation solutions. Our alliance with Quimera is the embodiment of that race. It enables us to continue our leadership in green racing and truly takes us to the next level. We have been actively seeking a practical and viable opportunity to develop EV motorsport and we believe Quimera's technologies and plans are absolutely on target. As the Global Leader of Green Racing, the opportunity to link these events to our American Le Mans Series weekends provides an ideal fit for all involved.

Eric Barbaroux, Formulec President: "Formulec is delighted to be associated with IMSA and Quimera's new EV series, which is dedicated to enhancing electric motorsport's image amongst younger generations. Together we will propose new 100 percent electric-powered racing categories while also identifying race promoters, teams, drivers, partners and media equally eager to develop this new approach to racing. We will draw up an innovative and attractive concept that is geared towards fans of motorsport and technology, but one that also appeals to a new, younger audience."

Azhar Hussain, TTXGP: "Electric motorsport represents an opportunity to drive innovation beyond the technology. We have to look at the delivery and fabric of how we provide for the sport. Nobody is immune to the tremendous socioeconomic and geo-political forces at work around us today. Nothing stays the same, and nor can we. This partnership is part of our shared vision for the next generation of motorsport. We invite you all to be part of it."

About Quimera:
Quimera on Facebook

About IMSA: Established in 1969, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) is an American auto racing sanctioning body based in Braselton, Ga.

About ALMS: Since 1999, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) has been North America's premier sports car championship with 10 endurance and sprint races making up the 2012 schedule. Teams compete in one of five classes: LMP1, LMP2 and LMPC Le Mans Prototypes, and GT and GTC Grand Touring cars while race lengths vary from two hours to 12 hours. The championship is also recognised as the Global leader in green racing.
ALMS on Facebook
ALMS on Twitter

About Formulec: Developed by Electric Formula, the Formulec project is based on an initial prototype, the EF01, which has been demonstrated in France and abroad as part of a promotional campaign dedicated to establishing the first international 100% electric single-seater series that will use the EF02.
Formulec on Facebook
Formulec on Twitter

About TTXGP: TTXGP is the world's leading electric motorcycle championship. Established in 2009, TTXGP now races in North America, Europe and Australia with plans in development for Asia and South America. Nations across the globe are represented in the series. TTXGP is currently broadcast to 100 million homes with coverage also available online.
TTXGP on Facebook
TTXGP on Twitter

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