Included in attendance for the introduction were auto industry executives, senior executives from Bridgestone-Firestone and Michelin, as well as Tony George, the CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League, and Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series.
According to Peter M. DeLorenzo, President and CEO of the new organization, "The concept of racing hydrogen fuel cell-powered machines is unprecedented and historic, simply because for the first time in many, many years, racing will undertake a key role in the development of radical new technologies for production vehicles that are still on the horizon."
DeLorenzo is also the founder of the site autoextremist.com.
Read more after the Break
The following are quotes from DeLorenzo's speach.
- "We are at the dawn of a new age of propulsion for the automobile, from this day forward, we will see internal combustion engines in automobiles inevitably give way to electric power sources. And whether these take the form of electric vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE) assist, full electric plug-in vehicles, or electric vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells -- we are at the crossroads of the future of the automobile as we know it.
- "The time has come for the automobile industry to embrace the future vigorously -- and in no uncertain terms. The concept of racing hydrogen fuel cell-powered machines is unprecedented and historic, simply because for the first time in many, many years, racing will undertake a key role in the development of radical new
technologies for production vehicles that are still on the horizon.
- "With the electrification of the automobile at hand, racing needs a new idea. It is time for the automobile industry to take its advanced research away from the reassuring glare of the computer screen and out of the sterile environment of the research laboratory, and let innovation and technical creativity run free and unfettered on the racetrack -- with the most advanced automotive technology in the world -- hydrogen electric fuel cell-powered vehicles.
- "I believe it is time to press the 'reset' button for racing. Not only to usher in a new era of creativity and innovation to the sport, but also to enable racing to take its rightful place again as the principal conduit for the transference of advanced technologies and innovations directly to our future production vehicles.
- "The onset of the electrification of the automobile is presenting us with a rare, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate the development schedule of the hydrogen electric fuel cell-powered vehicle, while at the same time allowing us to reinvent and reposition the sport of racing to be more
relevant than it has been in decades.
- "I'm confident that we will look back on this historic day and see it for the truly momentous event that it was -- the day when the Future of Racing was born."
[Sources: Sports Illustrated, Autoextremist.com and PRNewswire.com]