Posted on September 10, 2012

MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge Competitors Face New Tests at Inaugural VIR Race

ALTON, VA (September 10, 2012) – A new venue and new challenges await the manufacturers, teams and drivers of the  American Le Mans Series and the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge as they head to new territory, Virginia International Raceway for the VIR 240, September 15.

“Racing at a new venue is always about finding efficiencies,” said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin motorsports technical leader. 

“At any given point on the track, race cars are typically either grip-limited or power-limited,” said Koenigstein. “To be efficient, you want to use all of the power available in the most appropriate manner. That means aerodynamics, engine mapping, gearing, tires  and handling are important. Power that you cannot use is wasted.”

“In a four-hour race, you can’t paper over your weak points,” said Koenigstein. “To win the race and the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge, the cars are going to need to be fast and consistent, which means highly efficient.”

Overseen by the Green Racing steering group comprised of representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, SAE International and the sanctioning International Motor Sports Association, ALMS Prototype and GT teams are scored on a “race within the race” based on Fast, Clean and Efficient performance factors.

Leading the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge season championships heading into the four-hour race at the 3.27-mile circuit near Alton, VA, are the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD /Honda Prototype with driver Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr and the Corvette Racing #3 Corvette C6 ZR1 driven by Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia.


The American Le Mans Series is the only series currently recognized as “Green Racing” by the U. S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International.

Earlier this year, the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans was won for the first time by a hybrid-powered prototype, the turbo-diesel/flywheel hybrid Audi R18 e-tron Quattro.

In 2010, the season-ending Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta marked the first time that all five energy sources identified in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy policy were represented in competition. The five energies are E10 ethanol-blended gasoline, E85R second-generation cellulosic ethanol, GTL (natural gas to liquid) biodiesel, E10-electric hybrid power and Iso-butanol gasoline. The ALMS is currently evaluating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as an option for 2013 competition.

The MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge trophies are presented to the respective Prototype and GT winners. The bases for the unique MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge trophies are made of rubber recycled from MICHELIN GREEN X labeled consumer tires.


MICHELIN GREEN X labeled consumer tires are optimized for fuel economy by reducing their rolling resistance and weight without compromising other key performance factors such as traction, grip and tread wear. Each tire is marked with Michelin’s “GREEN X” symbol on the sidewall, indicating to consumers a level of energy-efficiency that reduces CO2 emissions.

For over 20 years, Michelinhas been dedicated to the research and development of energy-efficient tires and now, a complete line of fuel-efficient tires is available to fit the most immediate consumer needs. Please visit for a complete list.


For more information, visit or contact:


Sachin Deshpandé                                                             John Love

MichelinNorth America                                                     EMC Strategic Communications

office: 1 416 576 0226                                                      office: 1 248 816 0106                              mobile: 1 313 506 2114



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About Michelin North America

Michelin, the leading mobility company, is working with tires, around tires and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility and sustainability, Michelin designs and distributes the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs. Michelin provides digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences. Bringing its expertise to new markets, the company is investing in high-technology materials, 3D printing and hydrogen, to serve a wide variety of industries — from aerospace to biotech. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 22,500 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (