ALMS »

Atherton criticises 'back flip' racing.

American Le Mans Series CEO Scott Atherton has claimed that motorsport appears to have lost the plot when it came to focusing on what should be important, preferring instead to concentrate on theatre.

Speaking at a press conference that the ALMS shred with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy, Atherton declared that 'green' issues still did not command a large enough proportion of the attention of series, manufacturers or teams - before going on to underline his own competition's efforts to address environmental issues.

"Racing has become better known for back flips and soap opera-like drama," Atherton claimed, "And, while there is nothing wrong with entertainment-based motorsport, the role of the automobile in the equation has been reduced to that of an irrelevant appliance of parity.

"Through our alliance with the EPA, DoE and SAE International, we defined the protocols and standards for green racing. Within the auto racing industry, there is a lot of self-proclaimed leadership in this area, but not a lot of substance."

Atherton had been invited to attend the Washington Auto Show, as well as SAE International's government industry meetings, by both the EPA and DoE, and his remarks at the press conference focused on the unique relationship formed a year ago between Washington and the American Le Mans Series which, the CEO insisted 'is the only true form of green racing'.

"Over the last ten years, the relevance of auto racing has come full circle," he declared, "Since its launch, the American Le Mans Series has been providing a platform of world class racing for manufacturers to showcase technology that's cutting edge, relevant and has a direct link back to the production line."

While the criteria for any form of motorsport to be described as 'green' is understandably very complex, Atherton says it boiled down to the inclusion of technology such as renewable bio-based fuels, multiple engine, fuel and powertrain configurations, regenerative energy technologies that embrace the full range of on-board energy storage for light-duty vehicles, and, ultimately, a Green Cup Competition that meets the protocols of the government agencies.

The theme of the press conference focus on the perceived importance of new US president Barrack Obama's directive to continually develop sustainable energy sources through alternative fuels for the transportation and automobile industry and, while Atherton's participation provided valuable insight into the ALMS' direction and position on green matters, it was Margo T Oge, director of transportation and air quality for the EPA, who provided the biggest endorsement for series efforts.

"You know, when racing was first brought to me as an opportunity to expand our important message of sustainable energy, I said 'Racing? Are you serious?'," she admitted, "But I now understand.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
US Environment Protection Agency director Margo T Oge (right) and ALMS president/CEO Scott Atherton (left) declared the Series` position as the global leader of green racing.
Audi`s Dindo Capello, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen win Sebring 12 Hours   [image courtesy Audi Motorsport]
David Brabham - Sumo Power GT
Sumo Power GT team-mates David Brabham and Jamie Campbell-Walter at Paul Ricard
David Brabham - Sumo Power GT
David Brabham watches the action while waiting for his turn in the cockpit of the Sumo Power Nissan GT-R at Navarra
David Brabham and Jamie Campbell-Walter (Sumo Power GT) celebrate on the podium at Navarra
David Brabham and fellow Aussie Mark Webber meet up at the Tourist Trophy at Silverstone
David Brabham - Sumo Power GT
David Brabham - Sumo Power GT
David Brabham and Jamie Campbell-Walter celebrate third place in the FIA GT1 World Championship race in Portugal
Sumo Power GT`s David Brabham and Jamie Campbell-Walter celebrate their double FIA GT1 podiums in Portugal
David Brabham - Sumo Power GT
David Brabham - Sumo Power GT
The Highcroft Racing team celebrates second place at the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring just seven days after taking delivery of its new HPD ARX-01e   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
The Highcroft Racing team celebrates second place at the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring just seven days after taking delivery of its new HPD ARX-01e   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
The Highcroft Racing team celebrates Michelin Green-X Challenge victory at Sebring   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
David Brabham and Marino Franchitti celebrate second place at the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.