IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2007-03-29

INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- March 29, 2007 Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines 1. Little known ethanol 2. IndyCar Series and Driver's Edge renew partnership for teen driving safety 3. Pablo Perez medical update: 4. On the...


Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. Little known ethanol
2. IndyCar Series and Driver's Edge renew partnership for teen driving safety
3. Pablo Perez medical update:
4. On the air

1. Little known ethanol facts: (Part of a series): IndyCar® Series drivers Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira knew plenty about fuel grade ethanol prior to using it to power their 220 mph racing machines.

As youngsters racing in Brazil, Kanaan and Meira filled the fuel tanks for their go-kart racing vehicles with ethanol. Produced from sugar cane in Brazil, ethanol is the fuel of choice in passenger cars as well as racing open-wheelers.

"We would run ethanol in our karts wherever we went racing," said Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion.

"It was a great fuel for the motors, and it helped our engines create a lot of power. I think you see that in our Indy cars now, but Brazil uses ethanol in all of its cars. Actually, they have different grades of ethanol." Meira said, "As a kid, I knew a lot about ethanol from my go-kart. Then the country had a gas crisis and Brazil needed to produce more fuel and they went to ethanol. We run 40, 50 and 80 percent ethanol in all of the passenger cars in Brazil. The country uses mostly sugar cane to produce its ethanol, while the U.S. uses mostly corn for its ethanol fuel. I have know about ethanol for over 20 years and it is great that our Indy cars are using it now."

In addition to the United States and Brazil, China and Colombia have also developed bio-ethanol fuel programs.

Here's other little known facts about ethanol:

* Ethanol can be produced from other foods such as fruit, potatoes, grain, barley, wheat, sugar beets, molasses and even skim milk. In addition, ethanol can be produced from hemp, paper and cotton.

* With IndyCar Series cars running on 100 percent fuel grade ethanol, the atmosphere is getting cleaner. Compared with conventional unleaded gasoline, ethanol is a particulate free burning fuel source that combusts cleanly with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water. Use of ethanol emits a similar amount of carbon dioxide but less carbon monixide than gasoline.

* Corn is the primary source for ethanol in the U.S. One bushel of corn produces around 2.8 gallons of ethanol.

* Iowa will be running its first IndyCar Series in June this year. More than 425 million bushels of Iowa corn are processed annually into ethanol.

* One acre of corn can produce 300 gallons of ethanol. That can run three IndyCar Series cars in the April 1 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

* U.S. farmers enjoy the increased use of ethanol--. That could provide an additional $6.6 billion in net cash income annually for America's farmers in the next 15 years.

* The corn used for ethanol is not the corn we eat. The corn for ethanol is produced from field corn fed to livestock and uses only the starch portion of the corn kernel. Thus, the remaining vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber are sold as high-value livestock feed.

* Ethanol, from American corn growers, reduces our demand for imported oil by nearly 128,000 barrels each day.

* Tripling ethanol use could replace 600,000 barrels of crude oil daily, which is equivalent to the amount imported from Iraq each day.


2. IndyCar Series and Driver's Edge renew partnership for teen driving safety: Whether it's Turn 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or a turn into your driveway, the number one priority behind the wheel is safety. That's why the IndyCar Series and Driver's Edge, a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization that provides a free safe driving program for drivers under the age of 21, have renewed their partnership to help save the lives of America's young drivers.

"Car accidents kill more teens than drugs, guns and violent crimes combined, yet conventional driver's education in America only teaches young drivers how to identify road signs and the most basic of driving skills and then sends them out on the roads," said Jeff Payne, president and founder of Driver's Edge. "To keep them safe we need to take this training to the next level--use a different approach--and that's what Driver's Edge is about."

Driver's Edge was specifically developed to help address the high number of youth-related automobile collisions and fatalities that occur annually throughout the United States. The unique program, now in its fifth year, is taught by professional racecar drivers and performance driving instructors and will travel to 17 U.S. cities in 2007, including stops near St. Petersburg, Fla., Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, Richmond, Va., Nashville, Brooklyn, Mich., Sparta, Ky., Detroit, and Chicago, all of which host IndyCar Series events this season.

"The IndyCar Series is dedicated to safety; the safety of our drivers, our team members and all of our fans. We just want to see everyone get home safely," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series. "The renewal of our partnership with Driver's Edge is one of the ways the IndyCar Series is trying to help make a difference in the local communities of the country. We are proud to be a part of this innovative program for young drivers."

As part of the Driver's Edge initiative, the IndyCar Series will help deliver the Driver's Edge message and promote the need for better driver education through public service announcements to appear on IndyVision video boards at races throughout the schedule, among other activities.

To date, more than 30,000 young drivers and their parents have attended a free, half-day Driver's Edge program. "Comparable teen driver programs can charge up to $450, but with the help of our partners, we're able to keep Driver's Edge free for the participants in order to reach more people," said Steven Tepper, chief operating officer of Driver's Edge. "This kind of instruction needs to be available to everyone, not just those who can afford it."

The program is typically offered twice a day on select weekends throughout the year, with each session educating approximately 75 to 100 students. The students' parents are encouraged to attend and observe as well. After attending a program, Driver's Edge contacts each student at 12 and 24-month intervals to monitor driving experience following course completion.

The program includes the following elements:

* Written tests designed to measure students' driving knowledge before and after completing the course.

* Classroom and behind-the-wheel defensive driving instruction on skid control, evasive lane changes, anti-lock braking skills and panic-braking techniques.

* Local law enforcement interaction, including impaired driving awareness and seat belt safety instruction.

* Proper car maintenance session, based on Firestone Complete Auto Care's Car Care Academies.

The 2007 Driver's Edge National Tour schedule and registration materials are available online at www.driversedge.org


3. Pablo Perez medical update: Indy Pro Series driver Pablo Perez is in stable condition at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his lower legs March 28, according to Dr. Michael Olinger, director of medical services for the Indy Racing League.

Perez is under the care of Dr. Kevin Scheid, the Indy Racing League's orthopedic consultant, in conjunction with Methodist Hospital's trauma team. He is scheduled for additional reconstructive procedures before beginning an extensive rehabilitation program, though no specific timetable has identified at this time.

Perez suffered serious injuries to his lower legs March 24 during the Miami 100 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Fans wishing to send cards or notes to Perez are asked to send them to: Target Chip Ganassi Racing, 7777 Woodland Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46278 or CGRmedia@ganassi.com.

Further updates on Perez' condition will be provided when available.


4. On the air: Danica Patrick is scheduled to appear on MTV's Big Ten on March 30. The program airs at 9 a.m. ET.


The 2007 IndyCar Series season continues with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at 2:30 p.m. (ET) on April 1. The race will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The sixth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Indy Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg doubleheader on March 31 and April 1 on the Streets of St. Petersburg. The race will be telecast at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) on April 6 by ESPN2.

-credit: irl

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Chip Ganassi , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing