Australian company CSR Ethanol has become the official fuel supplier of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in a deal that is set to reduce greenhouse emissions from machines in 2009 and beyond.

CSR personnel joined those from the V8 Supercars Championship at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 to make the announcement of both its new role as the official fuel sponsor of the sport and the CSR V8 Racing Green carbon offset programme, which will run for the next three years.

The fuel to be used by the V8s from the start of the 2009 season is E85, a blend of 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent unleaded petrol that is acknowledged as being more beneficial to the environment than conventional racing fuels.

"We are excited to support the V8 Supercar series," CSR Sugar CEO Ian Glasson said, "Every litre of E85 made from CSR Ethanol produces less than half the CO2 emissions as one litre of petrol, so this move will help them reduce the racing CO2 emissions of the V8 Supercars by over 50 per cent."

The deal marks another milestone for V8 Supercars Australia in improving the environmental friendliness of its sport, while sending a strong message to millions of followers that ethanol is a fully viable petrol alternative for road cars.

"We are in the business of motorsport, which will always rely on fuel as its main source of energy, but it is time for us to set an example to the wider community to strongly consider ethanol as an alternative fuel," chairman Tony Cochrane said, "If a fully engineered V8 Supercar can be powered by a majority ethanol fuel blend, we encourage all Australians to make the switch to an ethanol blend to help sustain the environment.

"Over time, we believe that ethanol will become the fuel of choice and will be available at more retail outlets so we encourage everybody to start using ethanol in their everyday lives."

The E85 blend has undergone rigorous testing in Queensland by the Stone Brothers Racing and TeamVodafone teams, both with full dyno testing and on track running in the hands of veteran Craig Lowndes.

"This is a great outcome for the sport and the environment," Lowndes said, "I noticed absolutely no difference in power or performance between the ethanol fuel and our current petrol blend, but what we did notice was the massive reduction in exhaust fumes and how much cleaner the E85 burns. It was very dramatic."

Not only will all V8s and safety vehicles be running exclusively on E85, the CSR Ethanol brand will also play an active role in growing the V8 Racing Green carbon offset and education programme launched by V8 Supercars Australia last year.

All V8 teams involved in the Series will be using E85 from March 2009.