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INDIANAPOLIS -- Sunoco 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.
In conjunction with the opening of its by 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.
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.
"Indy car racing is an exciting sport with passionate fans that value innovation, technology improvements, and a green approach to renewable fuels," Robert W. Owens, Sunoco's senior vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "We are thrilled to have the chance to supply the fuel used in one of the greatest events in motorsports -- the 2011 Indianapolis 500. There is no better showcase of ethanol's performance."
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," Randy Bernard, chief executive officer, Indy Racing League, said in a statement. "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 IndyCar Series."
Chief representative for UNICA in North America Joel Velasco added: "We look forward to working with Sunoco to promote the use of ethanol in the U.S. 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."
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.
Sunoco's 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.
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