The domestic ethanol industry is pleading with the Indy Racing League to reconsider the decision to make Brazil the official ethanol supplier for the 23 IndyCar Series races.
In a letter to IRL commercial division president Terry Angstadt this week, Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen implored the IRL to “at least ensure that the Indianapolis 500 be run on American homegrown ethanol and suggested the league need look no further than the network of ethanol producers in the state of Indiana.”
Earlier this week, IRL announced a multi-year partnership with APEX-Brasil making the trade promotion agency the official ethanol supplier to the IndyCar Series beginning with the 2009 season. The deal includes cooperation from UNICA (the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association) to identify those interested in supplying ethanol to the series. Initially, UNICA will look to partner with a U.S.-based ethanol company to supply the IndyCar Series with corn-based ethanol.
“The move to other sources of ethanol is a natural progression as the ethanol industry continues to grow and evolve,” said Angstadt. “We continue to strive to be on the leading edge of the greening of racing. The IndyCar Series was the first motorsports series to mandate use of a renewable fuel, and now we will work with the ethanol industry in both the United States and Brazil to promote the use of all types of ethanol by consumers.”
Reportedly, the new agreement with Brazil does include an exception for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 to use domestically produced corn ethanol, but no exception for the Indy 500.