Terry Angstadt, the president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League, has admitted that no American-based ethanol companies produced a suitable proposal to provide fuel for the 2009 IndyCar Series season.
The IndyCar Series had had its fuel provided through a sponsorship agreement with ethanol producers and EPIC for three years before the deal drew to a close at the end of 2008.
The series than announced a deal with APEX-Brazil for the 2009 campaign although this led to calls from the Renewable Fuels Association to reconsider the decision in favour of a deal with American ethanol producers.
However, in a statement, Angstadt admitted that a deal hadn't been possible with an American-based company although opportunities still existed for future involvement.
"The IndyCar Series is proud to be fuelled by ethanol, a renewable energy fuel," he said. "For the last three years, ethanol has been the official fuel as a result of a sponsorship agreement with the ethanol producers and EPIC, the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council. The ethanol producers recently notified the IndyCar Series that it would not be renewing the agreement for 2009 and beyond and EPIC is ceasing operation.
"No one from any other part of the American-based ethanol community stepped forward with a substantial proposal. Soon after, the IndyCar Series and APEX-Brazil reached a preliminary agreement.
"As part of that agreement, we plan on starting our 2009 season with American-produced ethanol. Opportunities still exist for American ethanol companies and organizations to continue involvement in the IndyCar Series. The IndyCar Series is pleased to continue to be the only major American racing series fuelled by 100 per cent fuel grade ethanol. APEX will use the IndyCar platform to promote a variety of Brazilian products, services and opportunities, including ethanol.
"We look forward to working with American producers and Brazilian producers of ethanol to promote ethanol as a renewable energy source and part of the solution to lessen the United States' reliance on Middle Eastern oil."