A great location on the grounds of Manhattanʼs central park it may have, thus eye candy is not uncommon in the parking lot of the Tavern on the Green restaurant. Still, six American Le Mans racecars are a rare sight outside of any ALMS series track, which didnʼt go unnoticed by joggers, nannies, homeless guys and other passers by, when top ALMS teams brought both car and driver to a press conference held at the establishment last week.
The message of the day from the racing series was energy independence, and Manhattan the perfect backdrop to spread the word. Lowering energy consumption is an ongoing reality in Manhattan, with the President Bill Clinton forming a coalition to lower energy use by older buildings, the Mayor Bloombergʼs push for hybrid taxicabs, as well as recent blackouts experienced on various sections of the island just the day before the press conference due to a combination storms and high summer energy demands.
The idea of racing and being green donʼt always go hand in hand. However, changing our attitude toward energy consumption is something the American Le Mans Series finds important, and thatʼs precisely why they called this meeting just one week prior to the seriesʼ local event in Lime Rock, Connecticut.
Audi Sport North America, now in its second year campaigning the diesel-powered Audi R10, was certainly among the first the series asked to be part of the presentation. Having just returned from a victorious campaign at Le Mans, Audiʼs three-time (in a row) Le Mans winner Marco Werner helped present the car and represent the brand at the lunchtime event.
Though the R10 dueled with Peugeotʼs diesel-powered prototype racecar in Le Mans, the Audi is the sole diesel entry in the American series. That said, Audi isnʼt the only team that will race powered by alternative fuels in Connecticut this coming weekend. The rest of the ALMS field is now powered by Ethanol E10 fuel.
Cars on hand representing the Ethanol camp included Highcroft Racingʼs Acura P2, Panoz Team PTGʼs Panoz GTLM, Penske Racingʼs Porsche RS Spyder, Dyson Racingʼs Porsche RS Spyder, and Rahal Lettermanʼs Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Bobby Rahal, racing mogul and partner-owner of the latter team, has been a huge proponent of Ethanol in racing. Having gotten the fuel accepted in American open-wheel racing , Rahal was on hand with Tom Slunecka, executive director of the Ethanol industry group EPIC, to help promote the fact that the ALMS is pushing hard to do its part in raising awareness of the fuel and the need to gain more energy independence while being responsible global citizens.
These diesel and Ethanol-powered cars take to the track this Saturday, July 7 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT. CBS Sports will televise the race on Sunday, July 8 from 1-3PM EST in case you want to catch the race and wonʼt be traveling to Lime Rock.
Edited by VaTRaXoΣ, 09 July 2007 - 02:08 PM.