The new 3.5 liter Honda Indy V-8 engine, fueled by 100% fuel-grade ethanol, will make its IndyCar debut with the opening of the IndyCar Series on March 24.
Jeff Simmons will return to pilot Rahal Letterman Racing's Ethanol/Dallara entry, along with veteran driver Scott Sharp. In addition to his racing accomplishments, Simmons has been an advocate for the ethanol industry and other alternative and renewable fuel sources.
Simmons gushes about using ethanol for racing. "There's a difference, and it's all been positive so far," Simmons says. "It's great to be one of the guys to have the chance to run the new motor next year with the 100 percent ethanol. It seems to me, so far, we've got a broader power band. We're going through the corners better. It allows us to do some things with gearing whereas you had to be really precise with the gearing last year. We're able to pull some really good speed even if we're a little off on the gearing."
The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council provides the fuel and contracted Renova Energy, based in Torrington, Wyo., to supply ethanol to the IndyCar Series in 2007.
"The process of transitioning over to100 percent fuel grade ethanol has been seamless from the beginning" said Les Mactaggart, senior technical director for the IndyCar Series.