Thursday, October 02, 2008

Road Atlanta in fast-forward, Day 2

Just back from the "Green Challenge Round Table Forum" being held in the administrative offices here at Road Atlanta. I met one to one with representatives from the American Le Mans Series, General Motors, Sebring Raceway, Mazda, as well as drivers David Brabham and Lord Drayson - the latter of whom insisted I just call him "Paul." I won't bore the crowd with too much minutiae, except to say that the cars you will drive in just a few years' time, will be powered by the technology that's being proven right now at the track.

At this year's Petit Le Mans, Audi's unstoppable R10 turbo diesel seems like old news at this point. Peugeot is back with their fantastic and amazingly fast 908 HDi racer, also running on diesel.

Chevy's two-car Corvette Racing team will be running on cellulosic E-85, which is ethanol NOT derived from corn, but from other biodegradable waste. The exhaust fumes from a race car running on E-85 will give you a nice buzz, too.

Wait, trick fuels aren't enough? How about a hybrid race car? Zytek has brought out a racer with an electric pack that might not win this endurance outing, but is quite the laboratory on wheels. It's fast (everything from Zytek is fast), it looks good, and it's the first racer I've seen that uses a partial-electric powerplant. We will see many more of these in years to come.

I have to give a nod here to Mazda and their sponsorship of the Atlantic open-wheel series. The series is celebrating its 35th year. They also fed me a very nice lunch. I thank everyone who feeds me :)

More stuff later, probably after Night Practice.

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