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Corvette Racing goes Green with E85 January 15, 2008

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Enthusiastic Commentary.
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This is a Press Release from Corvette Racing:

CORVETTE RACING GOES GREEN WITH E85 ETHANOL FUEL IN 2008 AMERICAN LEMANS SERIES

Chevrolet Factory Team to Demonstrate Performance and Environmental
Benefits of E85 Ethanol in 12-Race Series

DETROIT, Jan. 15, 2008 – Corvette Racing will be 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 will use a blend of 85 percent ethanol
and 15 percent gasoline in the demanding arena of endurance road racing.

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 will make 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 during today’s announcement at the North American
International Auto Show. “Like the Corvette Z06 E85 concept car that
will pace the 2008 Indianapolis 500, 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 example.

“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
pure gasoline.

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 in 2008.

“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 will be seamless,
according to Steve Wesoloski, GM Road Racing Group manager. “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.

“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.”

Corvette Racing is targeting the season-opening round of the 12-race
series, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, on March 15, 2008, for the
debut of its E85-powered race cars.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been
the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908,
GM today employs about 274,000 people around the world. With global
headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35
countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold
globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM
Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and
Wuling. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety,
security and information services. More information on GM can be found
at www.gm.com.

The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council is a nonprofit
organization of ethanol producers and industry leaders who have come
together to spread the word about the benefits of ethanol through
information and promotional programs. To learn more about ethanol, visit
www.drivingethanol.org.

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