The Corvette Racing team announced this year’s 2008 American LeMans Series campaign will be fueled by E85 ethanol, a high-octane blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Last year, the team won its 7th consecutive GT1 manufacturer and team championships on E10, which is just 10% ethanol. With the switch to E85, the C6.R’s becomes the latest in the Corvette family to go green.
According to Steve Wesoloski, GM Road Racing Group Manager, the transition to E85 from E10 will be seemless. “The race cars’ fuel systems were already 100 percent compatible with ethanol,” he said, “so our preparation for the change to E85 in 2008 basically comes down to recalibrating the engines.”
“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,” Chevrolet general manager Ed 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.”
The first E85 Corvette was Jay Leno’s C6RS Z06 which made a huge splash at last year’s SEMA show. That Corvette was also built by Pratt and Miller, builders of the Corvette C6.Rs. Then we had the announcement in late December of the E85-powered 2008 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. With the trickle-down effect that Corvette Racing has on its regular production-bred siblings, its a natural evolution for there to be at some point in the near future an E85 powered Corvette coming directly from the assembly plant at Bowling Green.
The 12 race season of the ALMS kicks off March 15th at the Mobile 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.