The first Green Challenge race was held recently at the Americas version of the Le Mans endurance race, and GM's Corvette Racing Team took home the gold.
The Green Challenge award is the result of a collaboration between the US EPA, the Department of Energy and the SAE.
The Corvette "had the best score in class for overall performance, fuel efficiency (petroleum displaced) and environmental impact (greenhouse gas emissions) in the 1,000-mile race around the 2.54-mile road course. Corvette Racing's entry had the low score of 20.391 among the GT cars."
Perhaps foreshadowing a move by the auto racing community to a post-petroleum fuel portfolio, the cars in the Series race on three different fuels: clean sulfur-free diesel, E10 and cellulosic E85. An electric hybrid prototype is also scheduled to make its debut this year.
Eleven automobile marquees take part in the Series - Audi, Acura, Aston Martin, BMW ('09), Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Dodge, Mazda, Panoz and Ford. According to the Series site, the American Le Mans is viewed as "the most sophisticated and technical racing series in the world whole showcasing advanced technologies that transfer directly from the race car to the customer showroom car."
Hats off to GM. Now if they can just bring this type of efficient and flexible technology to the showroom in a timely fashion, they might also win the race for consumer dollars.