Sunoco joins IndyCar as series sponsor
Sunoco’s open-wheel racing history includes sponsorship of the No. 66 Sunoco McLaren/Offy car that Mark Donohue drove to victory in the 1972 Indianapolis 500 for the Roger Penske-owned team. The duo also won the inaugural Indy car race at Pocono with the Sunoco sponsorship.
Now Sunoco, a world leader in supplying quality products to consumers and industry for 120 years, has entered into a multi-year partnership to be the official fuel retailer and convenience store of the Indy Racing League’s IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights.
Sunoco manufactures refined products – gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, residual fuels and commodity petrochemicals – at four company-owned and -operated refineries in the United States for outlets that include more than 4,700 gasoline stations.
In conjunction with the 2009 opening of its ethanol manufacturing facility in Fulton, N.Y., Sunoco will supply 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol to the IZOD IndyCar Series beginning in 2011 in partnership with UNICA (the Brazilian Sugarcane industry Association).
The partnership with Sunoco and UNICA will promote ethanol as an alternative fuel of the future in the United States. Currently, ethanol is blended in Sunoco gasoline at its retail outlets along with E85 pumps at selected locations.
“IndyCar racing is an exciting sport with passionate fans that value innovation, technology improvements and a green approach to renewable fuels," said Robert W. Owens, Sunoco’s senior vice president of marketing. "We are thrilled to have the chance to supply the fuel used in one of the greatest events in motorsports -- the annual Indianapolis 500. There is no better showcase of our fuel’s quality.”
UNICA, one of the more than 70 sectors associated with Apex-Brasil – Brazil’s official trade agency -- is the largest organization in Brazil representing sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity producers. UNICA members account for more than 50 percent of all ethanol produced in Brazil and 60 percent of overall sugar production. Brazil is the largest exporter of ethanol in the world.
“We look forward to working with Sunoco to promote the use of ethanol in the U.S.,” said Joel Velasco, chief representative for UNICA in North America. “This is a great opportunity to partner at their retail locations on the IZOD IndyCar Series circuit to get the word out to consumers about the many benefits of ethanol fuel.”
Both Sunoco and the IZOD IndyCar Series stress green approaches to their businesses. The IZOD IndyCar Series is the only major racing series to utilize a renewable and environmentally-friendly fuel to power its engines, and adheres to strict procedures in the recycling of racing fuels at events.
Sunoco has long been an industry leader as a responsible steward of the environment by operating in a manner that protects the biosphere and natural resources, conserves energy and adheres to regulatory standards in waste elimination through source reduction, treatment techniques and recycle/reuse.
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with Sunoco, a company with a great deal of passion for motorsports,” Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard said. “We feel our key brand attributes of innovation, technology and greening align well with Sunoco and will provide a great retail platform to jointly promote the sport. We’re looking forward to working with Sunoco on creating in-store and at-pump activation initiatives to raise awareness of the IZOD Indy Car Series.”