- ALMS CEO Scott Atherton replied to NASCAR Chairman Brian France's remarks about other racing series calling themselves green because they "plop an alternative fuel in the car and call it green." Atherton reminded the attendees about the five year commitment of the ALMS to alternative fuels (E10, E85 and clean diesel), and announced that the E-P-A invited the series to exhibit at the Washington Auto Show in early February as part of the E-P-A's display. Atherton said he admires and respects France, but suggested that France did not have all the facts. We will feature the original comments, and official responses, on this week's Race-Talk program. (To subscribe to our podcast, just enter this in your browser or podcast program http://msrpk.com/podcast/racetalk.rss ). Atherton says "green racing" will become "more than an elective" in the future, and that the concept is not exclusive to the ALMS.
- Bobby Rahal will run BMW's GT2 program--this class should be a lot of fun to watch, with Corvette's eventual entry into this class, along with the Porsches.
- Gil de Ferran seems to have the new Acura ARX02a (LeMans Prototype 1 like the car that you see above along with Honda Performance Development boss Erik Berkman) sorted out. In the morning session (unofficial, since it's testing), he and driver Simon Pagenaud busted the track record for LeMans Prototypes, with a speed of 127.082 miles an hour. (In 2007...the diesel Audi R10 of Marco Werner was timed at 126.889 miles an hour). The defending IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion, Scott Dixon, will be in the car for Sebring. The Patron Acura will be driven by Scott Sharp and David Brabham, with help from another Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar series champion (and Dixon's 2009 teammate), Dario Franchitti. Franchitti will join the Patron team for the endurance races (since the IndyCar schedule has some breaks that allow such a strategy).
- For you fans of clean diesel burning cars, Audi will contest this year's 12 Hours with their new LeMans piece, the R15. They won't run the rest of the schedule...and Atherton says the door is open for their return...and that we ought not be surprised if the marque returns in the future, along with some other racing programs which may enter the series by mid-year.
- The title sums up Atherton's closing remarks. They were inspired from a talk from one of Porsche's engineers during the company's formal 2008 motor sports awards program. The not lift, refers to lifting one's foot off the accelerator when approaching a turn. Atherton says the ALMS will continue to move forward with investment in the core elements of the series that work well, and cutting or eliminating investments in areas that don't.
We'll take a SuperBowl break this weekend...and cut in if developments warrant.