Sponsors interest is already active
Patrick Racing will develop CNG-powered cars for the American Le Mans Series
The legendary team has entered into an agreement with the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), sanctioning body for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron (ALMS), to identify development and testing opportunities for the fuel system to power the Series' Prototype Challenge class beginning in the 2013 season. Patrick Racing aims to demonstrate that advanced automotive technologies and eco-friendly fuels can meet the performance requirements of even the most demanding endurance racing conditions and can be readily transferred from raceway to driveway.
"Natural gas is destined to become a major player for everyday passenger vehicles, and not just fleet operations. It is abundant, domestic, affordable and ecologically responsible. For more than a century, racing has been at the tip of the spear in developing new technology for the transport industry. This is in line with and in the spirit of that history," said U.E. "Pat" Patrick, whose teams have three times visited the winner's circle of the Indianapolis 500 and have claimed multiple IndyCar series championships.
Moreover, Scot Elkins, COO of IMSA and the ALMS said the use of CNG is a significant next step in the series' positioning as the Global Leader in Green Racing. "We are the only racing series recognized to comply with the Green Racing protocols developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International," he said.
The Prototype Challenge class features the Oreca FLM09, a race car with a minimum weight of 1,985 pounds, without driver, and powered by a 430-horsepower LS3 engine. According to Ralph Hansen, president of Pegasus Marketing Group, which represents Patrick Racing exclusively, interest in the new technology has been extremely active. "Natural gas-powered cars will provide a new and broad spectrum of sponsors who have never been involved in racing before. And, why not? They all have a compelling story to tell, and we have the ability to tell that story at 200 mph," he added.
Source: Patrick Racing.