Ethanol: Official Fuel of Indy Racing and Indy Racing Legends

John Davis

Indy Racing Legend Emerson Fittipaldi at the 2008 Ethanol SummitMany consider Emerson Fittipaldi, a two-time Indy 500 champ, “a true King of the Brickyard.” But not only is Emerson an IRL legend, he’s a BIG supporter of ethanol. Perhaps even a “King of Ethanol.” Emerson is a Brazilian ethanol producer and spoke at yesterday’s Ethanol Summit hosted by General Motors.

The IRL racing legend told the story of his long history, not just with racing, but also racing with ethanol. Although the IRL fully switched from methanol to ethanol last year, Emerson is well acquainted with racing on the biofuel. At age 14, the Indy champ used ethanol in motorcycles and go-karts.

Emerson will get another chance to represent ethanol at the at the races. He is this year’s flex-fuel Corvette Z06 pace car driver. This is the first time the official Indy pace car will run on E85.

“The message of the pace car will be showing to the world that a passenger car even a high performance car like the corvette will run E85 and runs beautiful”,” Emerson said.

He added that the Indy Racing League itself is setting a worldwide example “of how a motor race can show the world, show the public how efficient the engines run with ethanol.” He called the IRL’s switch to 100 percent ethanol, “the endorsement of ethanol in the world through motor race.”

Just after the Summit I spoke with Fittipaldi one-on-one about racing with ethanol as a boy and being a part of ethanol’s growing success in Brazil today. You can listen to my interview here:

2008 Indy 500 Photo Album

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