IRL: Indy 500: Playa del Racing announces major sponsor



INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.: Gary Sallee, President of Playa Del Racing, today announced primary sponsorship agreement for the #12 Panoz/Honda/Firestone entry to be driven by Roger Yasukawa, and an associate sponsorship agreement on the #21 Panoz/Honda/Firestone entry driven by Jaques Lazier from ETHOS ENVIRONMENTAL for Indianapolis 500 on May 28, 2006. Yasukawa's car will now be known as the #12 Ethos Environmental Panoz/Honda/Firestone entry. Lazier and Yasukawa will start 24th and 28th, respectively, in that event.

The 90th running of the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series' Indy 500, the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," will mark the second consecutive year Lazier will drive under the Playa Del Racing banner. He finished 16th in the 2005 race due to another car running into him while racing solidly in the top 10 most of the day.

Ethos Environmental is a manufacturer and distributor of a unique line of fuel reformulating products under the name Ethos Fuel Reformulators, or Ethos FR. Ethos is conceived to work with any fuel in an internal combustion engine. It adds cleaning and lubricating qualities to any type of fuel or motor oil, allowing engines to perform cooler, smoother and with more vigor. The overall benefits are increased fuel mileage, reduced emissions and maintenance costs. Over the last decade, the unmatched value of Ethos FR products has been proven through millions of miles of on-the-road testing. On average, customers have achieved a 7% to 19% increase in fuel mileage, and more than 30% reduction in fuel emissions.

Ethos Environmental is also at the forefront in the development of new blending methods and is positioned to lead the industry with numerous new patents currently under development. Patents are in process to cover areas of synthetic oils, sulfur substitutes and varied formulations of the original Ethos FR and its enhancements.

The long-term objective of Ethos Environmental is to continue to provide ethical products to ethical clients concerned with minimizing the impact of harmful emissions upon the environment. Ethos Environmental strives to contribute value to shareholders while assuming a pivotal role as a socially conscious member of an increasingly interdependent global community.

Ethos Environmental CEO Enrique Vilmorin feels that an association between the Indy 500, their product and the specifics of how it is marketed to the general public is a combination that will reap big benefits for their company immediately and into the future: "We're very excited to participate in the development of this type of race team. We are not supporting the big guys, but we are here at the Indy 500 because of the grassroots racer -- we love their spirit. Like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and this great race, we wanted to pay tribute to their history with the support of a team that is going about racing the old-fashioned way--through hard work and determination. Ethos Environmental is very happy to join with one of the Indy Racing League's teams, Playa Del Racing, in participating in the development of the renewable energy fuels markets, like ethanol. Our product is specifically designed to operate with alcohol-based fuels like ethanol, and will really help the average consumer get around the issues they have been dealing with when they go to one of the major manufacturers. We're very pleased and proud to do this in support of our over 100,000 worldwide distributors, as the Indy 500 is obviously a worldwide event. Everyone at Ethos Environmental looks forward to the race on Sunday, and to working with this team in the future."

Shane Maguire, President of 4ECorp, the direct marketing arm for Ethos Environmental, knows the value a partnership like this to not only Ethos Environmental, but their 100,000 worldwide distributors: "Our company gives everyone the ability to share in the American Dream, and racing in the Indy 500 is the pinnacle of many driver's dreams. The involvement of 4ECorp, which markets Ethos Environmental, in the Indy 500 gives instant credibility for a world-class product already accepted globally, commercially and within government. Now, through direct selling, we can share the opportunity to enjoy not only a great product, but the ability to be a part of a state-of-the art racing team. The average person usually can't point to their television set and say that they have a stake in a driver or team, so I know our distributors will take ownership and pride in their car, the team and the efforts of the drivers. We are bringing a 21st-century business opportunity directly to the hundreds of millions of people who will be watching this event on Sunday. 100,000 of them will have a direct tie-in to the Playa Del Racing team, which is so exciting for us. Most people get involved with racing at this level because they have spent millions of dollars to be there. Now, this opportunity is bringing the basis of our company, word- of-mouth marketing, and direct selling together with racing. It's really not about advertising; it's more of a credibility opportunity. Our distributors are average people sharing in a business opportunity, but now, all of a sudden, their business is being recognized by the cars and drivers of the Indy 500. I know how important that will be to them and all of their customers, now and in the future."

Sallee and the rest of the Playa Del Racing Team owners could not be happier with the addition of Ethos Environmental to their organization for this historic event: "We have put together a strong backbone of owners on this team, and now, with the addition of Ethos Environmental for the Indy 500, along with all of our other great sponsors, that gives us the ability to strengthen our entire program as we move forward. Our goal has always been to find the right partners to grow with us, and I really believe that Ethos Environmental fits well into both our short- and long-term plans for this team. We are also really excited about the opportunity to be a part of a company that is looking into the future of the energy market, specifically utilizing the proven qualities of their product to help people choose to use alternative fuels like ethanol, which is obviously important to our team since the Indy Racing League will be 100% ethanol supported in 2007 (IRL uses a 10% ethanol mixture in 2006). We will do our best to represent Ethos Environmental and their 100,000 worldwide distributors well in Sunday's Indy 500, and look forward to their support as we celebrate yet another great day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."

Lazier, 34, from Alta Loma, Calif., will drive the team's No. 21 Panoz/Honda/Firestone entry. Lazier will drive in the Indianapolis 500 for the sixth time, qualifying 24th quickest. Lazier was running solidly in the top 10 in the 2005 Indy 500 for the Playa Del Racing team in their debut when another driver ran into him, causing him to fall back to 16th-place at the finish. His best finish at the Indianapolis 500 is 13th as a rookie in 2000. Lazier drove in relief for Robby Gordon in the 2004 Indianapolis 500 after Gordon had to leave the race during a rain delay due to NASCAR commitments at Charlotte, N.C. Lazier, younger brother of 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, won the IndyCar Series race from the MBNA Pole in 2001 at Chicagoland Speedway. He also has extensive experience in Indy Lights, the American IndyCar Series and SCCA competition.

California-bred Yasukawa, 29, who now resides in Los Angeles, joins the Playa Del Racing IndyCar Team for the 2006 Indy 500 and will pilot the #12 Ethos Environmental Panoz/Honda/Firestone entry in next Sunday's race after qualifying 28th on the grid. This will be Yasukawa's fourth time at the Indy 500, placing in the top 10 two out of the last three races. Yasukawa started racing in karts, eventually becoming champion of several different series, including karting and various formula cars, all over the world.

The team's IRL Indy Pro Series driver, Jon Herb, a Chicago, Ill., native, started racing in 1997 in the US F2000 series, setting his sites on competing in the Indianapolis 500. His dream was realized in 2001 when he qualified for the first time for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Herb fielded his own team competing in both the IRL IndyCar and Indy Pro Series until joining forces with Playa Del Racing prior to the start of the 2006 season. When he isn't racing, Herb serves as Vice President of Aercon Industries, a business based in Florida that produces, sells and installs autoclaved aerated concrete building material.

Playa Del Racing, which loosely translates to "Beach Racing" in Spanish, was founded in 2001 in the beach community of Playa Del Rey, Calif. Schafer, Gary Sallee, Jeff Brougher, Ernie Moody and Jon Herb, who also drives the team's IRL Indy Pro Series entry full-time in that series, are the co-owners of the team.

The 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled to start at 1:00 PM EDT. Live television coverage will be available on ABC with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network providing radio coverage to be simulcast on and XM Satellite Radio channel 145.

For additional information on the Playa Del Racing Team, or to join the Playa Del Racing Fan Club, please log onto .


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Jon Herb , Buddy Lazier , Jaques Lazier  , Roger Yasukawa