With the big-dog Le Mans 24 hour race just in the books for 2012, the American Le Mans Series has kicked up its program for the rest of the year, which will climax at the Petit Le Mans this fall. But the series is already looking to next year, too, with an announcement today that natural gas-powered cars will join the fray for 2013, building on its existing green racing efforts.
The Patrick Racing Team is leading the effort to develop and test Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) cars for natural gas use. Indy 500 Hall of Fame and Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Jim McGee will be at the head of the natural gas development team, aiming to find a working solution for the LMPC class, based on the 1,985-pound ORECA FLM09 chassis powered by a 430-horsepower Chevrolet LS3 engine.
""Natural gas is destined to become a major player in the transportation industry for everyday passenger vehicles, and not just fleet operations," said U.E. "Pat" Patrick, the principal behind Patrick Racing Team. "It is abundant, domestic, affordable and ecologically responsible. For more than a century, racing has been at the tip of the spear in developing new technology for the transportation industry. This is in line with and in the spirit of that history."