The American Le Mans Series Green Challenge At The Long Beach Street Grand Prix
There is no reason for fans not to attend at least one GP in their lifetime. American Grand Prix in particular allows you to get up close to paddocks and chat with racing teams, something Formula 1 no longer offers.
The Appeal Of Sports Prototype. I love Sports Prototype for good reasons. The appeal of Formula 1 and Indy Cars is great, but they are still a too far away from the everyday driver. I bumped into Rubens Barrichello going into his KV Racing truck, but it was a fleeting moment. Nothing compares to the busy hum of an LMP or GT pit, busying fine tuning these ultra racers while the crowd of onlookers stare, transfixed. Sports Prototype and GTs offer is a glimpse of technologies that will soon in every day consumer cars.
Technically Speaking. The LMP1 have 475-575hp racers, weighing approximately 1,985 lb that can sprint 0 to 60 in about four seconds with top speeds of around 200 mph. The smaller and less powerful LMP2 are more purpose-built prototypes. They also have multiple manufacturers supply like the LMP1 in both open-top and coupe chassis, such as Lola, Honda Performance Development and Oak-Pescarolo. While the LMP2 flirt with similar horsepower to GT cars but only weigh about 1,984 lb.
LMP Challenge. This class uses the ORECA FLM09 prototype and weighs a minimum of 1,984 lb without driver and fuel. They produce 430 hp. Sporting full carbon fiber chassis, carbon brakes, and an Xtrac sequential gearbox with paddle shifting, they race on single-supply Michelin tires.
GT Class. These production-based, slightly modified and mostly rear drive race cars are the realm of Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M3 GT, Corvette C6.R, Ferrari F458 Italia, Lotus Evora and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. They share many similarities to their production versions but reach speeds of up to 180 mph and produce between 450-500 hp with a minimum weight of 2,745 lb.
GT Challenge. The GT Challenge class features three specifications of Porsche’s 911 GT3 Cup car based on the road-going Porsche 911 GT3 RS. These GT3s reach top speeds of up to 150 mph with a minimum weight about 2,655 lb.
How ALMS Is Challenging Green. So how is the American Le Mans Series challenging the eco-consciousness of racing teams? With its Global Leader position in the Green Racing scene, ALMS is the only racing series recognized to comply with the Green Racing protocols developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA and SAE International, SAE. Another thing is the 24hrs of Le Mans has challenged manufacturers to race as frugally as possible. This gave birth to fascinating little engine cars, from 750cc to 1.3 liters sipping fuel while achieving great performance as far back as the late 60s when “green” wasn’t in.