It is no secret that I get excited about auto racing. One of my favorite racing series is the American Le Mans (ALMS), which pits many factory-based cars against each other on some of the best tracks in the country. This weekend the race is coming to my home state of Connecticut (yes, I will be there), and it gets double points for being a race series with some exceptional green credibility. From using synthetic oil made from animal fat to encouraging racers to explore and use alternative fuels, the ALMS is influencing the way a lot of other race series look at alternatives to petrol power.
Porsche, who earlier this year unveiled a flywheel-hybrid 911 GT3 R, announced today that that car will run in the last race of the ALMS series. Are they planning on tackling the whole series next season?
For now, the answer is no. There is no classification yet in place for the fly-wheel hybrid Porsche, which uses energy from regenerative braking to spin a flywheel. This flywheel can add 60 kw of power to two electric motors at the front wheels with the push of a button. Added to the 480 horsepower, naturally aspirated flat-six engine, this hybrid power train proved very viable at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Hybrid Porsche will make its appearance at the “Petit Le Mans” at Road Atlanta in Georgia on October 2nd, though it won’t be eligible to win any points. From there, it will head over to Asia to run in the final chapter of the Le Mans International Race in Zhuhai, China. Which makes me wonder what Porsche has planned for next racing season, and if other racing teams on going to jump on this hybrid-flywheel idea.
Chris DeMorro is a car enthusiast, blogger, and all-around crazy man who is as passionate about hybrids as he is about Hemis. You can follow his constant misadventures at Three Months In A Mustang.