IRL: Rahal Letterman Racing, Team Ethanol partnership announced

TEAM ETHANOL JOINS RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING AS PRIMARY SPONSOR FOR THIRD CAR AMERICAN ROOKIE PAUL DANA WILL PILOT THE ...

TEAM ETHANOL JOINS RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING AS PRIMARY SPONSOR FOR THIRD CAR

AMERICAN ROOKIE PAUL DANA WILL PILOT THE #17 ETHANOL HONDA/PANOZ

HILLIARD, Ohio . . . Rahal Letterman Racing (RLR), one of the leading open-wheel race teams in North America, announced today a multi-year partnership with Team Ethanol to sponsor a third RLR entry for the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series season. The Team Ethanol group is funded by the major ethanol design-build firms Fagen Inc., ICM Inc. and Broin Companies, who are the industry leaders in the 4 billion gallon ethanol market. Ethanol is a high-octane, high-performance fuel that is clean burning, renewable and made in America. As a growing component of the United States gasoline supply, it delivers improved vehicle performance for all passenger cars and trucks while reducing emissions and improving air quality.

Promotion of the sponsorship and cooperative efforts between Team Ethanol, the IndyCar Series, and RLR will be led by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC). EPIC is an alliance of ethanol producers and industry leaders who have come together to spread the many positive attributes about ethanol. Currently enjoying record growth, the ethanol industry will continue to play a larger role in meeting our nation's energy needs.

As a primary sponsor of RLR, Team Ethanol will once again brand a car on track in the Ethanol livery. Paul Dana, the driver who helped launch the Team Ethanol IndyCar program, will pilot the #17 Honda/Panoz. The on-track presence will be especially fitting in 2006 as the IRL IndyCar Series will become the first racing organization to run a mixture of ethanol and methanol as a spec racing fuel. The fuel mixture in 2006 will be a 10 percent ethanol 90 percent methanol blend. Next season the IRL IndyCar Series will run a 100 percent fuel grade ethanol. Consumers can purchase ethanol-enriched fuels at their local gas stations that are approved by all major auto manufacturers.

"The fact that the IndyCar Series, with their history of automotive innovation, see the performance benefits of ethanol should encourage all mechanics and car enthusiasts to feel confident in using ethanol-enriched fuels in their cars," says Tom Slunecka, executive director of EPIC.

"Team Ethanol and its key sponsors have made a significant impact on the IRL IndyCar Series in the last few years," said Bobby Rahal, co-owner and founder of Rahal Letterman Racing. "The leaders of Broin, Fagen and ICM have a vision on how they can positively affect the availability of fuel with ethanol that is a renewable resource. Their involvement and the historic partnership they forged with the IRL to become the fuel of the IndyCar Series, is bringing them one step closer to bringing that vision to all Americans. Along the way, they are fundamentally changing not only the future of open-wheel racing, but also the way Americans' drive. This demonstrates to me that this is a group of companies that wants to have an impact on and off the track."

Team Ethanol is comprised of the Broin Companies, Fagen Inc., ICM and 25 other companies who have joined together in a voluntary industry-wide coalition that represents over half of the industry.

The multi-year sponsorship marks the second consecutive season of running three entries in the IRL IndyCar Series for Rahal Letterman Racing.

St. Louis native Paul Dana will pilot the third Rahal Letterman Racing entry. Dana had a successful year in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2004, finishing as the runner-up in points, and he made the move to the IndyCar Series in 2005 with Hemelgarn Racing. Dana's season was cut short by an injury during practice for the 89th Indianapolis 500. Dana has spent the last 10 years working towards his goal of competing in the IndyCar Series and is excited to have an opportunity with Rahal Letterman Racing in 2006.

"Rahal Letterman Racing's performance history speaks for itself," said Dana. "The opportunity to work in a multi-car team where I can learn from experienced teammates and compare their data is an amazing opportunity. This is a dream come true and I intend to work as hard as possible to make the most of it. I'd like to thank everyone who has been involved in bringing the Team Ethanol program to where it is today for the work they did over the last three years."

About EPIC

The Ethanol Promotion & Information Council (EPIC) is an alliance of ethanol producers and industry leaders who have come together to spread the word about the benefits of ethanol through information and promotional programs. EPIC is a nonprofit organization and is overseen by a seven-member board of directors. For more information about EPIC, visit www.drivingethanol.org.

About Rahal Letterman Racing

Rahal Letterman Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been a leading open-wheel racing operation for more than a decade compiling 19 victories, 28 poles and one series championship (Bobby Rahal in 1992 in CART) and an Indianapolis 500 championship (Rice in 2004). In 2006 Rahal Letterman Racing will campaign three cars in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series. Buddy Rice and 2005 Indianapolis and IRL IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick and rookie driver Paul Dana will pilot Honda powered Panoz cars sponsored by Argent Mortgage Company and Ethanol.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Buddy Rice , Paul Dana , Danica Patrick