Corvette Racing Goes Green with E85 Ethanol Fuel in 2008 American Le Mans Series
Chevrolet Factory Team to Demonstrate Performance and Environmental Benefits of E85 Ethanol in 12-Race Series
DETROIT - Corvette Racing is powered by E85 ethanol, a high-octane, renewable alternative fuel, in the 2008
American Le Mans Series. As part of the series' "green racing" initiative, the most successful team in ALMS
history is using a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline in the demanding arena of endurance road
After winning its seventh consecutive GT1 manufacturers and team championships in 2007 using E10 (10 percent
ethanol), Corvette Racing's twin Compuware C6.R race cars made the transition to E85 for the 2008 season.
"Since its inception, Corvette has always been a platform for Chevrolet and GM to introduce and develop new
technology," Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper said in January at the North American International Auto Show in
Detroit, where the announcement was made. "The use of E85 ethanol fuel by America's premier production sports car
racing team in a high-profile, high-tech racing series like the ALMS shows that Chevy is continuing to lead by
"By showcasing the capabilities of E85 ethanol before an audience of knowledgeable and technically astute race
fans, we can demonstrate the benefits of a renewable fuel that helps to reduce dependence on petroleum, helps to
reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and helps to create greater diversity in energy supplies," Peper said.
"Of course, performance is what counts in racing, so E85 ethanol's higher octane rating than gasoline wasn't
overlooked by the Corvette Racing engineers."
Corvette Racing has formed a technical partnership with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) to
spotlight E85 in the ALMS. EPIC worked with ALMS officials to make E85 the fuel of choice for the series. E85 today is
primarily made with grain-based ethanol that reduces carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 29 percent compared with
E85 ethanol already is an option for millions of everyday drivers - and GM leads the automotive industry with more
than 2.5 million E85-capable cars, trucks and SUVs on the road in the United States. GM produces about 400,000
E85-capable vehicles a year and will double that to 800,000 a year by 2010. Chevrolet offers seven E85-capable models
"This is the first time a racing series has made a commitment to E85, the highest-performing fuel available to
consumers with flex-fuel vehicles," said Reece Nanfito, senior director of marketing for EPIC. "Our
partnership with GM and Corvette Racing demonstrates ethanol's growing relevance in the consumer market."
Corvette Racing's transition from E10 to E85 ethanol was seamless, according to Steve Wesoloski, GM Road Racing
Group manager. "The race cars' fuel systems were already 100-percent compatible with ethanol, so our preparation
for the change to E85 in 2008 basically came down to recalibrating the engines."
"GM Racing has had an interest in 'green racing' initiatives worldwide for some time," Wesoloski said.
"In 2007, Corvette Racing won the Michelin Energy Endurance Challenge in the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
for the most efficient use of fuel during the race. We've participated in discussions with SAE International, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Energy on programs to increase environmental awareness
through racing. When it became apparent that the ALMS was going in this direction as well, the decision to use
Chevrolet's factory Corvette Racing team to demonstrate both the alternative fuel technology that's available within
GM and the capabilities of E85 ethanol was a logical step."
Release Date: January 15, 2008