The IndyCar® Series held its first Open Test of the season Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway where for the first time all IndyCar Series cars ran on 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol.
Ethanol Promotion and Information Council Executive Director Tom Slunecka said the IndyCar® drivers he talked to in Daytona are proud to be a part of the change to a fuel that is better for the environment and the economy, as well as being happy with its performance in their cars. Plus, the fumes of the farm-based fuel are less harmful and smell better.
“Methanol is a very gaseous-type smell – makes your eyes water and your throat tighten up. But, today as these engines cranked up for the very first time, the sweet smell of ethanol wafted over the paddock,” Slunecka said. “And all of these drivers and mechanics are so appreciative of the fact that these fumes that they are breathing today are non-toxic and their jobs just got a whole lot healthier.”
Also in Daytona to watch the test was Dan Schwartzkopf, senior vice president of Renova Energy in Torrington, Wyo., the facility which was contracted by EPIC to supply approximately 120,000 gallons of ethanol to the IndyCar Series this season.
“In the conversations that I have had with the crews, everybody seems to like the ethanol. No bad remarks whatsoever. So, I think it’s going to be promising from this point on to see it not only here in Indy but in a number of other motor sports venues,” Schwartzkopf said.
The 17 race IndyCar® Series opens March 24, 2007 with the Homestead-Miami 300.
Listen to an interview with Tom Slunecka from the track in Daytona: Slunecka Interview (4 min MP3)