Both on-track and off-track the transition was a success. From the first lap of preseason testing to the checkered flag at the season finale, ethanol performed flawlessly in its inaugural year. Without losing any horsepower or speed on the track, IndyCar Series cars burned 20,000 fewer gallons of fuel using ethanol than previous seasons using methanol.
2008 will mark the second year of IndyCar Series competition fueled exclusively by ethanol. LifeLine Foods, based in St. Joseph, Mo., will be the official provider of ethanol for the series in 2008. LifeLine Foods is a unique company that uses corn to produce food and fuel. One portion of the kernel is processed and marketed to the food industry while the remainder of the corn kernel is used for, among other things, cattle feed and energy needs. Utilizing a bran energy recovery system, total plant energy needs will be reduced by approximately 50 percent. This method insures that the company is getting the most value out of corn, benefiting the agriculture, food and ethanol industries.
"Our decision to switch the IndyCar Series over to 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol was a reflection of our confidence in ethanol's performance capabilities," said Indy Racing League Senior Technical Director Les Mactaggart. "The 2007 season proved that our confidence was not misplaced."
Off the track, the IndyCar Series will continue to partner with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) to increase public awareness about the use of ethanol in everyday passenger vehicles. Working together, the IndyCar Series and EPIC have helped spread the word to millions of Americans about the environmental and economic benefits of ethanol and its availability to everyday consumers at the gas pump in the form of E10 and E85 ethanol-blended gasoline.
In 2008, the IndyCar Series and EPIC will continue to use promotional events at gas stations and mobile marketing assets at tracks across the country to spread the word about ethanol's performance and reliability: If it's capable of performing well in IndyCar Series cars, it's capable of performing well in your car.