USGC: Indy 500 highlights role of ethanol in racing and global market

By US Grains Council | June 16, 2022

Delegations from Japan, South Korea, India and Indonesia recently traveled to the United States to participate in the Indianapolis 500. Hosted by the US Grains Council in conjunction with Indiana Corn Marketing Council, the group saw firsthand the role ethanol plays in the annual car race.

Exposing international stakeholders to the US value chain enables them to learn and integrate practices that have contributed to the development of US industry. Stakeholder visits like this help position the United States as a technical resource for countries interested in developing ethanol-friendly policies to help them meet their carbon reduction commitments.

Before heading to Indianapolis, two teams of government officials, marketers and members of the media traveled to Illinois and Missouri, learning how America’s ethanol industry has grown and seeing first-hand the entire US value chain.

Fourteen participants from Indonesia, Japan and Korea traveled to Illinois to gain hands-on experience, including stops at farms, gas stations and ethanol plants.

Similarly, a group of 11 participants from Indian auto trade, government and petroleum industry traveled to Missouri to better understand the value chain of ethanol in the United States and the environmental, economic and health that ethanol presents. Discussions at the various facilities focused on ethanol pump technology, retail infrastructure and production capacity.

Upon arrival in Indiana, both groups had the opportunity to meet several drivers competing in the race before participating in an educational session on ethanol blending and its benefits. The group heard from several speakers during the session: ethanol distributors and retailers, an automobile repair shop and a racing agency. The presentations facilitated technical conversations on ethanol blending best practices between participants from different countries.

“The Indy 500 was an innovative opportunity to showcase the benefits of ethanol in the racing industry. Attendees were intrigued to hear IndyCar drivers talk about the engine performance and safety that the ethanol provides as racing fuel,” said Joana Hassan, manager of global ethanol programs at USGC.

On race day, the group toured the IndyCar Garage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before watching Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson take home the trophy.

Face-to-face relationships are essential to strengthening the Council’s mission – to grow markets, enable trade and improve lives. By welcoming this team to the United States, the Council was able to showcase the high quality products it represents and the relationships it has with growers and industry representatives across the country.

“We are grateful to our state partners, Illinois Corn and Missouri Corn, for hosting the teams in their states and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council for the opportunity to show the benefits of ethanol,” Hassan said.

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