Responding to the challenges faced by the automotive industry in improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, IMSA has extended its affiliation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and SAE International.
Through its IMSA Green program, the sanctioning body will aim to reduce its own emissions and environmental footprint while also pursuing Green Racing protocols established by the EPA and SAE International.
Keen to have its Green Challenge Championship status reinstated after being reduced to the Green Racing Series level when the GT Le Mans class switched to the global-standard E20 fuel, IMSA will introduce hybrid power to its flagship championship with the next-generation Daytona Prototype international (DPi) regulations that will go into effect for the 2022 season.
The Green Racing protocols, defined within the SAE J2880, were first published in 2008 and revised in 2014 and can also be met by IMSA via planned tire usage reductions, the development of alternate-blend fuels, solar power in the paddock and pits and the use of hybrid- and electric-powered production cars for hot laps and pace car deployment.
IMSA may also use event weekends to provide the public with information on advanced technologies involved with the efficient production vehicles they might drive in the future. Fans may also be incentivized to carpool to receive free parking at the racetrack.
Adding to the “DPi 2.0” regulations which include hybrid power, other on-track IMSA Green initiatives may include the adoption of ETCR (fully electric touring car racing) and an ePrototype platform.
“By taking a fresh look at the Green Racing protocols and IMSA Green, we are taking steps to ensure sportscar racing continues to thrive in a rapidly changing mobility landscape which is focused on a reduced carbon emission future,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “In doing so, IMSA can showcase that racing can be used to develop and validate innovations while remaining exciting and sustainable for decades to come and be attractive to automotive partners, participants, sponsors and most importantly fans.”
The sanctioning body of North America’s longest motor sports events including 36 combined hours of racing in Florida to start each IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season has also become an affiliate of the EPA SmartWay Program, which assists companies in using more efficient transportation modes, equipment and operational strategies.
As a SmartWay affiliate, IMSA can lead efforts in improving fuel efficiency, reducing emissions and saving money within its transportation sector.
Though its bid earn its Green Challenge Championship status back may be moved forward most by the second iteration of DPi, Atherton made clear during a press conference at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix that the WeatherTech Championship’s other classes will also be involved in more prevalent IMSA Green initiatives, which he said will reward the most “green” teams during each event.