IMSA expands initiatives for its IMSA Green Racing program
International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) have announced further expanded initiatives for its IMSA Green Racing programme.
In the ongoing effort to pursue Green Racing Protocols, these initiatives include the continuing expansion of the sanctioning body’s own IMSA Green program. This includes increased involvement in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Program, discovery and implementation of solar energy within its paddocks and progress in the current move to electric and hybrid technologies in the mobility field.
Earlier this summer, IMSA announced it was focusing on ways to return to the Green Challenge Level and announced that it had become an affiliate of the EPA’s SmartWay program. It hopes to become the first racing series to attain Green Racing Cup status, which is the highest level of environmentally responsible racing. The EPA recently bestowed a 2019 SmartWay Excellence Award on Michelin for outstanding environmental performance and leadership.
IMSA has been working closely with a number of companies to explore the use of available technologies to transform energy into opportunities, and continues to seek ways to implement innovative engine and fuel technologies to help obtain this status. Initiatives include the use of Michelin fuel-efficient truck tyres, aerodynamic features on the tractors and trailers and nine Mack Anthem tractors’ use of the MY engine using SmartWay technology to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and save money within the transport sector.
Michelin SmartWay verified tyres have been determined by the US EPA to provide an estimated fuel savings of three per cent or greater, relative to the best-selling new tyres for line haul trucks, when used on all three axles. These fuel-efficient truck tyres offer low rolling resistance and can be used with lower-weight aluminium wheels further to improve fuel savings.
Tractor aerodynamics include an aero profile and aerodynamic bumpers and mirrors. A SmartWay tractor and trailer annually save 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of fuel and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20 per cent as compared to similar trucks on the road.
The goal of these collaborations is for IMSA to have electric production vehicles from its manufacturer partners serve as hot lap and pace cars at its events. IMSA foresees using solar-powered stations to charge these vehicles in the future. This technology could be used in the IMSA paddock to charge generators or possibly have a racecar use this plug-in feature,” said Atherton.
With the mobility landscape moving swiftly to electric and hybrid technology, IMSA has already announced the next generation of its top racing class – Daytona Prototype international (DPi) 2022 – will have a hybrid powertrain. The sanctioning body also continues to explore the possible adoption of ETCR (fully electric TCR) and ePrototype platforms in the future.
“These EPA SmartWay initiatives are an important component of the ever-evolving IMSA Green Racing Program,” said IMSA president Scott Atherton. “It is easy to see the monetary savings SmartWay provides and by adding in the reduction to our environmental footprint makes this something every team in our paddock should be exploring for their use.
“There are new ideas in this space daily and IMSA is keeping track of these advancements. It’s no secret the mobility field is focused on alternative forms of energy with most of these efforts revolving around electric and hybrid technologies. IMSA’s conversations with top companies in this sector have led to more innovations on how we can better utilise these advancements throughout our paddock.”