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Brazilian Sugarcane Ethanol to Power IZOD IndyCar Series in 2010

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The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) has renewed its fuel supply agreement with the Indy Racing League for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season, which opens on Sunday, March 14, with a race in Brazil's largest city, São Paulo. Under the new agreement, the IZOD IndyCar Series will continue to utilize sugarcane ethanol to fuel its race cars, including at its signature event, the Indianapolis 500.

"We're pleased to continue our partnership with Indy, a global showcase for clean, renewable biofuels since 2007. With sugarcane ethanol, the series is guaranteed the additional plus of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 61% compared to gasoline, as recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to being green, ethanol’s higher octane rating also enhances racing performance," said Marcos Jank, UNICA’s President & CEO.

The agreement calls for UNICA to cover the cost of approximately 200,000 liters (53,000 gallons) of the 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol to be used by in 2010 by the IZOD IndyCar Series as well as the renewable diesel for the fleet of trucks that delivers cars, related gear and fuel for all races. The deal also calls for UNICA's Sugarcane Ethanol brand to be featured at all Indy events.

Sugarcane ethanol will fuel 16 of the 17 IZOD IndyCar Series races in the 2010 season, including the Indianapolis 500. The only Indy race not covered by the series’ commitment to use primarily sugarcane ethanol is the Iowa Corn Indy 250, which will utilize locally-produced ethanol made from corn under a separate sponsorship arrangement.
At the inaugural Sao Paulo Indy 300, to be run on a street circuit in São Paulo, Brazil, the ethanol will be supplied by one of UNICA’s member companies, Copersucar S.A., Brazil’s largest sugar, ethanol and bioenergy conglomerate, with 36 associated sugar and ethanol mills.

UNICA became the official fuel supplier for Indy in 2009, at the same time that Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian federal government’s export development agency, became a major sponsor of the IndyCar Series. Apex-Brasil utilizes the Series as a channel to promote Brazilian exports. Throughout the 2010 season, UNICA will host special promotions at various races in the United States in partnership with Apex-Brasil, to encourage the expanded use of sugarcane ethanol among American consumers.

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Ana Carolina Lessa
Public Affairs, North America
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