Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Green Racing and the Detroit Auto Show Previous Next
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Peachlaser
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Username: Peachlaser

Post Number: 147
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 10:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some may say that 'Green Racing' is an oxymoron. I agree that it usually is, but in this case, the tide may be changing.

Years ago, I proposed that racing had a social responsibility to contribute positively to the automotive breed to justify its existence and the insane amount of money spent in racing. I was called a tree-hugging hippie wimp (and even some really nasty things) because of my views and opinions. And, I said that there was only form of racing that was meeting that goal and that was endurance prototype racing as seen in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

In this form of racing, you must be fast and you must last while being efficient. These cars drive day and night and in sun and rain and must be efficient in doing so. The longer you can stay out and run without coming in for fuel, the farther along the path you are. Currently, this series is dominated by the Germans, English, Italians and Japanese.

Some of you know that I was very vocal in my support of the Belle Isle Grand Prix with the ALMS cars. In my opinion, this form of racing is what Detroit needs to serve as an impetus to make changes to a more efficient post-petroleum future and to have a focal point to measure progress. And, the goal is to revive Detroit for a more promising future.

Yesterday, at the Detroit International Auto Show, it seems Detroit is beginning to go Green and see a new future. I really think it is a historic day in Detroit. At yesterday's news conference with the ALMS, EPA and SAE, new green initiatives were announced. Here is a comment from Scott Atherton, President of the ALMS, ""The opportunity to formally align with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and SAE International makes our platform very special and unique - to auto manufacturers and ultimately to consumers. At a time when nearly all of motorsports has lost its relevance regarding progressive technology or any connection from the race track to the showroom floor, the American Le Mans Series stands alone in providing a platform of solutions for our nation's automotive, transportation and energy needs." The ALMS is introducing new rules to allow Ethanol E85 and other bio-fuels to be used.

http://www.americanlemans.com/ News/Article.aspx?ID=3879
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Irish_mafia
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Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 1180
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 11:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.detroitgp.com/
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Craggy
Member
Username: Craggy

Post Number: 294
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 1:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Peach...

the series is dominated by those countries you mentioned...but the Corvettes have been incredibly successful in their division, including being the series champion last year.
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Peachlaser
Member
Username: Peachlaser

Post Number: 148
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 3:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^ Craggy, you are very correct. Corvette has and is still dominating the GT1 class and they have an incredible record. They are the bright spot for the U.S. manufacturers. And the home of Pratt & Miller Corvette Team is located near Detroit. There is a rumor that Corvette may go to E85 next year. And there is another rumor that a new Corvette will be based upon the Volt. These are rumors, but Corvette is generating a lot of buzz.

My apologies for the omission. If you visit an old website we created, then you will see that I have a great deal of respect for the Corvette accomplishments. http://www.lasersol.com/heartl and_5.html

It will be interesting to see if the Corvette team goes the Green directions that have been rumored.
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393bird
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Username: 393bird

Post Number: 17
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 9:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I recently read that NASCAR announced that they would be looking into all aspects of going green. It would be a big boost the the acceptance to E85.

I am a old car nut, and use to spend almost every weekend at some sort of car event, either as a spectator or participant. I still enjoy them, but nothing serious now. I recently converted my weekend play car over to E85 so I do not need to use high octane racing gas. This stuff is great for high compression engines, and engines with any type of superchargers or turbochargers. Here is my project car

http://members.tccoa.com/392bi rd/

http://members.tccoa.com/392bi rd/e85.htm

http://members.tccoa.com/392bi rd/carbtech.htm

I think we will see several racing groups going to Ethanol over the next 2 years.
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Nainrouge
Member
Username: Nainrouge

Post Number: 610
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 9:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How about electric?

http://www.nedra.com/
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D_mcc
Member
Username: D_mcc

Post Number: 128
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 9:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Look at the Tesla...its an electric supercar, and absolutely gorgeous:

http://www.teslamotors.com/des ign/gallery-body.php
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Peachlaser
Member
Username: Peachlaser

Post Number: 149
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 10:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

393 Bird - nice conversion.

Nainrouge - I did not know about the electric dragsters. Thanx

D_mcc - yes, the Tesla is a phenomenal car. Silicon Valley is the leader in battery technology so interesting seeing this car come out of the Valley.

Here is another interesting piece of news. It seems Toyota has its eyes on being the first to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans using hybrid technology. They saw Audi win Le Mans with advanced diesel technology and they want to be the first with hybrids. I would love to hear if Corvette is moving to LMP1 and if they will be going hybrid or electric. Here is the Toyota story... http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/bu siness/20080120TDY01304.htm
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Peachlaser
Member
Username: Peachlaser

Post Number: 151
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 11:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Talking of Green Racing, I've been proposing a hybrid combination between the ALMS prototypes and the Solar Raycers for almost 10 years. I started a web page to show the similarities and differences but have never had time to complete it, but I will... http://www.lasersol.com/CyberM otor/comparison/prototypes_sun .html

The Solar Raycers are mostly college engineering students learning how to design, construct and race these cars using advanced technologies. Sometimes they will have cross country races powered only by the sun. Solar may be impractical as the sole means of power, but it can still be used to charge batteries and serve as auxiliary power. The ALMS has already had a gas/electric hybrid racecar and will be having more.

So, I think it would be interesting if the two series could be merged in some way or hold events and have the other series' technology on display. I would like some of the solar technology to enter into the ALMS. For example, all electrical power for the car must be generated by either solar or wind and it would be neat to see some high-tech solar panels integrated into the panels of the prototypes. Or, how about small wind-driven generators that could pop up to supply a recharge? I think there are all sorts of ways these two groups can work together and provide benefits for everyone through R&D and practical applications.

I saw my first (and only) solar race back in 1999 and documented it with some web pages...http://www.lasersol.com/air_wa ter/sunrayce_99/Sunrayce.html

As you look at the photos of the Sunrayce, notice that GM, Ford and some really big names in U.S. technology were sponsoring the solar raycers.

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