The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón unveiled its “Green Dream Team”, a collection of five drivers who will serve as ambassadors for its green racing initiatives. ALMS believes the announcement is the first of its kind in sports addressing the concerns of the global warming, the environment and reducing dependence on foreign fuels and energy sources.
The drivers comprising the Green Dream Team represent five distinct voices of varying initiatives in a movement that began in 2006. It has resulted in the sports car series approving and racing five alternative fuels by all competitors in its field.
Paul Drayson drives and operates Drayson Racing. Lord Drayson serves as the UK’s Minister of Science and Innovation. Prior to that post, he was Great Britain’s Minister of Defense Procurement. He is a leading voice worldwide on environmental issues as they pertain to alternative fuels and energies. His Lola-Judd prototype competes on cellulosic E85, a second generation bio-fuel.
David Brabham is often considered the founder of the AMLS’ green movement via a letter he wrote to Founder Don Panoz and President/CEO Scott Atherton in 2004, suggesting the Series seriously consider alternative fuels as a strategy. Brabham, who is the Series’ reigning champion for Patrón Highcroft Racing, also was a member of the overall winning team last year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Patrón Highcroft races using E10, virtually the same fuel that consumers purchase at the service station.
Johnny O’Connell races for Corvette Racing, a team that was the first to announce in 2008 that it would compete using cellulosic E85. It not only won a GT1 class championship that season, but it also was the inaugural winner of the Green Challenge, an award created by the US Department of Energy, the US Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International for teams that scored best in fuel efficiency, environmental impact and overall performance. O’Connell has started more American Le Mans Series races than anyone in its history, 103. He has a collective 14 wins in the world’s top endurance classics: the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Petit Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Chris Dyson drives for and is a principal of Dyson Racing. The BP-supported team that races a Mazda-powered Lola prototype made history last fall when it became the first race car ever to race (unclassified) using isobutanol. The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón made isobutanol its fifth officially approved energy source at the beginning of the 2010 season. Dyson is a former Series champion (2003) in LMP2.
Gunnar Jeannette at 18 became the youngest driver ever to complete the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This season, he drives for G-Oil’s Green Earth Team Gunnar in the new LMP Challenge class. His ORECA FLM09 competes using Green Earth Technologies’ G-Oil, a biodegradable fuel made from beef tallow. G-Oil is also the official motor oil of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the International Motorsports Association (IMSA), the Series’ sanctioning body.
As members of the Green Dream Team, the drivers will represent the Series at events promoting its position as the Global Leader in Green Racing. These will include Green Tech Talks to fans at track, promotional events and media messaging outlets such as in-broadcast telecasts, blogs, Twitter and various website initiatives. The group will also collaborate to devise various opportunities for additional teams and fans to become involved and embrace the concept of green racing.
Green Racing does not mean boring. It’s high tech, high drama racing with the latest technology in cars, engines, fuels, and tires competing in the frantic class battles of the American Le Mans Series. It’s an extreme speed R&D lab where we learn how speed and efficiency on track translates into better cars on the street.
The Green Dream Team was announced by Series President and CEO Scott Atherton at the Race Goes Green conference in Long Beach hosted by SEMA and the Motorsport International Association as part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
In the American Le Mans Series—in the tradition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans—multiple classes of cars (Prototype and Grand Touring) race on the track at the same time to create compelling race action and constant passing. The Series has more automobile marques involved than any other major race series in the world as manufacturers develop relevant technologies on track that transfer directly to the customer showroom. All cars in the Series race on one of five alternative fuels or energy sources (earlier post). It operates a nine-race schedule in top markets throughout North America.