SmartWay's new Affiliation with International Motor Sports Association
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2019) – The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced further expanded initiatives for its IMSA Green Racing program.
In the on-going 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 U.S. 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.
IMSA announced earlier this year it became an affiliate of the EPA's SmartWay program. This vital initiative assists companies in using more efficient transport modes, equipment and operational strategies. IMSA's new trailers and nine Mack Anthem tractors use SmartWay technology to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and save money within the transport sector.
There are several ways IMSA is serving as a high-profile Affiliate. They include using Michelin fuel-efficient truck tires, aerodynamic features on the tractors and trailers and the tractors use of the MY engine.
MICHELIN SmartWay verified tires have been determined by the U.S. EPA to provide an estimated fuel savings of 3 percent or greater, relative to the best-selling new tires for line haul trucks, when used on all three axles. These fuel-efficient truck tires offer low rolling resistance and can be used with lower-weight aluminum wheels to further improve fuel savings.
Tractor aerodynamics include an aero profile and aerodynamic bumpers and mirrors. The MY engine features significant improvements in fuel efficiency, power and productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A SmartWay tractor and trailer annually save 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of fuel and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20 percent as compared to similar trucks on the road.
The EPA recently bestowed a 2019 SmartWay Excellence Award on Michelin for outstanding environmental performance and leadership. IMSA’s “Official Tire Supplier” was one of 17 shipper and logistics companies – and the only tire company – to receive this distinction. The award is the EPA’s highest recognition and acknowledges the best environmental performers among SmartWay’s 3,700 partners.
IMSA has shared these improvements with its partners with the hope they will incorporate these technologies and protocols.
“These EPA SmartWay initiatives are an important component of the ever-evolving IMSA Green Racing Program,” IMSA President Scott Atherton said. “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.”
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.
Discoveries in the areas of off-track solarization and electrification are evolving for IMSA as new technologies become available.
IMSA has been working closely with a number of companies to explore the use of available technologies to transform energy into opportunities. By implementing these technologies, IMSA Green can continue to develop its sustainability and innovation strategy.
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. Today this technology is on display at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta with the 455 horsepower Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid SUV up to the task of serving as the safety car for this year's Motul Petit Le Mans. 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.
The performance of this vehicle was on display earlier today at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta with it being driven for a demonstration lap on full electric power by Atherton along with passenger, Karl Simon, the EPA’s Director, Transportation and Climate Division.
“It is no secret the mobility field is focused on alternative forms of energy with most of these efforts revolving around electric and hybrid technologies,” Atherton added. “IMSA’s conversations with top companies in this sector have led to more innovations on how we can better utilize these advancements throughout our paddock.”
IMSA's partnership with the EPA and SAE International has been invaluable for these evolving initiatives. The United States Department of Energy has been involved in IMSA Green, and the sanctioning body continues to have discussions with the agency for its return as an affiliate in 2020. The EPA has a display area here at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Midway this week as part of the Motul Petit Le Mans festivities.
Earlier this summer, IMSA announced it was focusing on ways to return to the Green Challenge Level. It hopes to become the first racing series to attain Green Racing Cup status, which is the highest level of environmentally responsible racing. IMSA continues to seek ways to implement innovative engine and fuel technologies to help obtain this status.
“There are new ideas in this space daily and IMSA is keeping track of these advancements,” he added. “The collaboration between the EPA and SAE International has been instrumental in being able to make these announcements today. The anticipated return of the U.S. DOE can only help us advance the IMSA Green program further ahead.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship concludes its 2019 season with the 22nd annual Motul Petit Le Mans on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Coverage of the race begins on the NBC Network Saturday at 12 noon EDT. The broadcast then shifts exclusively to the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com from 3:00-5:30 p.m. EDT. NBCSN takes over the broadcast from that point until its dramatic conclusion on Saturday night. As always, the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com will have live flag-to-flag coverage.
IMSA Radio will have live coverage throughout the race week on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with a live race broadcast airing on SiriusXM Radio.
Fans can visit roadatlanta.com for ticket and hospitality options including tickets to the all-new Podium Club located in the Michelin Tower.