The Corvette Racing team went down in history as the inaugural winners of the Green Racing Challenge. The 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans win also cinched the American Le Mans Series GT1 championship for two team members.
The No. 3 Corvette C6.R also had the best score in the Green Challenge, securing the team award in the GT class for Corvette Racing and the manufacturer award for General Motors. Powered by cellulosic E85R ethanol made from waste wood, the winning Corvette had a score of 20.391, the best overall score in the competition based on based on performance, fuel efficiency, and environmental impact.
“The Green Challenge is not only a revolutionary concept in motorsports, but it is also providing a valuable testing ground for new technology that will ultimately benefit the average motorist,” says Toni Nuernberg, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC). “This race demonstrates the performance and environmental benefits of using ethanol-enriched fuels which is something we can all do today to make an impact.
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), EPA, EPIC, and SAE International, the “Green Challenge” put the spotlight on emerging fuel technologies, including the international debut of a hybrid electric prototype race car utilizing E10. Cars were measured on performance, fuel efficiency, and environmental impact.
Since the second race of the season, the Jan Magnussen-Johnny O’Connell team, in addition to the Corvette team of Oliver Beretta and Oliver Gavin, have raced on cellulosic E85 racing ethanol produced from waste wood. According to DOE studies conducted by the Argonne Laboratories of the University of Chicago, one of the benefits of cellulosic ethanol is that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent over reformulated gasoline. Cellulosic ethanol also yields roughly 80 percent more energy than is required to grow and convert it.
The American Le Mans Series can now boast that all its race cars compete using one of four alternative fuels: clean sulfur-free diesel, E10, cellulosic E85 racing ethanol, and electric hybrid.