IRL: Series leads the way in renewable fuels

IndyCar Series Sets the Pace in Renewable Fuels Motorsports pioneer heeds the President's call to action with use of 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol in 2007 Indianapolis, Ind. (January 23, 2007) -- In his State of the Union address, President...

IndyCar Series Sets the Pace in Renewable Fuels

Motorsports pioneer heeds the President's call to action with use of 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol in 2007

Indianapolis, Ind. (January 23, 2007) -- In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush called for a significant increase in ethanol production as he outlined steps to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

"It's in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply, and the way forward is through technology," President Bush said in the report to a joint session of Congress and a worldwide audience. "We must continue in new methods of producing ethanol. We've made a lot of progress thanks to good policies here in Washington and the strong response to the market, and now even more dramatic advances are within reach."

The first and only motorsports series to run ethanol, the IndyCar® Series is at the forefront of this push for renewable energy with its switch to 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol for the 2007 season. This decision makes the IndyCar Series, the cutting-edge leader in motorsports safety and technology, a leader in renewable and environmentally responsible fuel produced in the U.S.

"The IndyCar Series shares the President's commitment to energy security," said Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series. "We accept the challenge of making these goals a reality."

Indy-style racing has used methanol with impressive results since the late 1960's. Ethanol shares methanol's performance benefits, but has clear environmental and safety advantages.

Fuel enriched with a 10 percent ethanol blend used in passenger vehicles reduces harmful tailpipe emissions by as much as 30 percent and the emission reductions are even greater with E85. In 2005, ethanol use in the U.S. reduced carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 8 million tons. These gases contribute to global climate change.

"The partnership between the IndyCar Series and the ethanol industry exemplifies the spirit of energy independence, American ingenuity and innovation," said Tom Slunecka, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC).

The series will hold its first Open Test of the season at Daytona International Speedway Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2007 where for the first time all IndyCar Series cars will run on the 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol. The 17-race IndyCar Series season opens March 24, 2007 under the lights at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Ethanol is a 100% renewable fuel, distilled from high-starch crops, primarily corn in the United States. By the end of 2007, nearly 140 plants will be producing approximately seven billion gallons of ethanol.

-credit: irl

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Brian Barnhart