For Immediate Release
ETHANOL FUELS INDYCAR SERIES
Beginning in 2006, Indianapolis 500 and entire IndyCar Series will use Ethanol
WASHINGTON, D.C., Friday March 4, 2005 – The Indy Racing League (IRL) has teamed up with the ethanol industry to put the corn-based fuel on the race track in the IndyCar Series.
IRL Chief Executive Officer Tony George made the announcement at historic Union Station on Thursday in Washington, D.C., together with ethanol industry leaders and senators from major corn growing states.
“Today marks a new and exciting chapter in the league’s young history, as we announce that ethanol will be our source of fuel for powering these sleek Indy cars for many years to come.” :12 ( Team Ethanol George cut)
The target for the 2006 season is a maximum blend of 90% methanol and 10% ethanol for the IndyCar Series. Beginning in 2007, the fuel will be 100% fuel-grade ethanol in IndyCar Series cars, the same fuel that has the potential to replace at least 10% of the nation’s gasoline supply.
Ken Ungar, the Indy Racing League’s Senior Vice President of Business Affairs says they are proud to partner with the ethanol industry to showcase a great American fuel source.
“We feel strongly that this partnership is about leadership. Leadership of the ethanol industry in creating an environmentally friendly fuel, one that’s renewable and one that will help promote the energy security of our country. This is also about the League’s belief that this is an important thing for our country and about our leadership in technology and environmental safety.” :21 ( Team Ethanol Ungar cut)
The Indy Racing League has been in discussion for several years with a coalition of ethanol industry companies led by the major ethanol facility engineering and construction firms ICM Inc., Fagen Inc., and Broin Companies. Dave Vander Griend (Grind), CEO of Witchita, Kansas-based ICM, says besides being home- grown and good for the environment, ethanol is a performance fuel.
“And we wanted to be able to have a way of demonstrating to the general public the benefits of ethanol as a performance fuel. And we feel that partnering with the Indy racing league, there’s no better way to really demonstrate to the public that this fuel is good enough for Indy and it’s a great fuel for your car also.” :17 ( Team Ethanol Vander Griend cut)
Other groups involved in the discussion were the ethanol trade and advocacy groups including the Renewable Fuels Association in Washington, D.C., the American Coalition of Ethanol in Sioux Falls, S.D., the United States Senate Biofuels Caucus and the Governor’s Ethanol Coalition.
American Coalition of Ethanol executive vice president Brian Jennings says his organization has been working to make this happen for years.
“One of the most visible ways that we decided we could help demonstrate the benefits of ethanol was through racing. We’re very thankful that the IRL has made ethanol the fuel of choice. We look forward to working with you in that endeavor and demonstrating to everyone that indeed ethanol does perform.” :17 ( Team Ethanol Jennings cut)
U.S. Senators Jim Talent (R-MO), Evan Bayh (D-IN) and John Thune (R-SD) were also on hand for the announcement. Senator Talent says the use of ethanol in Indy cars is important to America’s energy security and America’s farmers.
“We just have to ask ourselves whether we would rather rely on the Saudis for our energy or on our corn farmers. That’s an easy choice for me. So, I’m really pleased that the IRL is doing this. The influence of this sport throughout America is tremendous and they’ve put their weight right behind ethanol.” :15 ( Team Ethanol Talent cut)
To help build anticipation and awareness for this significant milestone among the IndyCar Series’ dedicated fans, the ethanol industry is sponsoring one entry in this year’s IndyCar Series lineup. The No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Dallara/Toyota/Firestone entry will be driven by Paul Dana, who says he hopes corn farmers will be proud to see their product powering the fastest cars in the world.
“We do 220 miles an hour around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indy 500 is the most famous race in the world, it’s the largest single attendance sporting event in the world with 400,000 people there. So, it’s as visible and as credible and as world class as you can get and I hope the farmers take pride in what we’ve done.” :14 ( Team Ethanol Dana cut)
Race car engines operating on ethanol have demonstrated excellent performance due to the fuel’s high octane content and internal dynamometer testing has shown that there are no technical barriers to replacing methanol with ethanol.
The IRL IndyCar Series opens its 10th season of competition with the Toyota Indy 300 at 2 p.m. (EST) on March 6, 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be televised live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season also opens on March 6 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be televised by ESPN2 at 4 p.m. (EST) on March 17.
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John Griffin, IRL, (317) 492-6579
Tom Savage, IRL, (317) 492-6566
Kristin Brekke, American Coalition for Ethanol, (605) 334-3381
Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association, (202) 289-3835
Joanna Schroeder, Integer Group, (515) 247-2868
Website: IndyCar, Paul Dana Motorsports
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