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"Green" racing coming to B'more?

It looks like all the cars tearing around the Inner Harbor next Labor Day weekend won't be racing just for the checkered flag - some at least will be trying to outdo each other in hybrid and alternative-fueled road rockets.

The American LeMans Series plans to stage a race here the day before Charm City hosts its first IndyCar Grand Prix race, Don Markus reports today in The Baltimore Sun.

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An official announcement is planned on Wednesday, but a spokesman for the racing organization confirmed it would be bringing its act here.

Some may wonder how a bunch of cars burning rubber and fuel can be all that "green." But the American LeMans Series, or ALMS, pits race teams against each other not just for speed, but for fuel efficiency.  Cars use one of five alternative fuels or energy sources, and compete for points on fuel efficiency.  As I reported last year, the US import of European Le Mans style racing went "green" in 2008, meeting criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department.

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Of course, that'll be small comfort to those put out by the disruption of downtown traffic for the racing - or, for that matter, the yearlong street repairs already under way to prepare for the three-day event.   But hey, it's another excuse to give B'more's underused public transportation system a try, right?

(American Le Mans Series' 12 Hours of Sebring race March 20 in Sebring, Fla. Photo by Steve Nesius/Associated Press)

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