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January 12, 2007

Crowds View "Fresh From Florida" Race Car During Inaugural Festivities

Crowds that filled the state capital on January 2 for the inauguration of the Governor and Cabinet got a close-up view of the new “Fresh from Florida” racecar that was on display outside the Governor’s Mansion during the parade and street festivities.

The No. 99 “Fresh from Florida” car -- a BMW M3 -- is being handled by the Orlando-based Automatic Racing team during the 2007 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series. The car will compete in 12 events, seven of which will be nationally televised on the Speed Channel.

Automatic Racing driver Tom Long was on hand to sign autographs and greet the crowds that were drawn to the bright green car and hauler embellished with images of fresh Florida fruits and vegetables.

“There were a lot of families and people from all over Florida who came out to celebrate, and we had a fun time letting kids sit in the car and signing autographs,” Long said.

Long and the Automatic Racing team made the stop in Tallahassee before traveling to Daytona International Raceway for Grand-Am’s Test Days. The KONI Challenge Series opens its season on January 26 at Daytona with a three-hour race in which the “Fresh from Florida” car will compete.

“Our sponsorship of this car will help promote the ‘Fresh from Florida’ brand to consumers around the world,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson. “In addition to the races, the ‘Fresh from Florida’ car and driver will make public appearances around Florida during the 2007 racing season promoting fresh, Florida-grown products and their importance for a healthy lifestyle. Logo exposure helps shoppers recognize our agricultural products in retail stores, and that helps increase sales for our state’s farmers.”

In addition to the “Fresh from Florida” car competing in 12 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series events, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will also sponsor the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Race on January 27-28 and the American Le Mans Series 12 Hours of Sebring on March 14-17.

The racing sponsorship was funded by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as part of the Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign, an identification and promotional program designed to increase sales by helping consumers easily identify Florida-grown agricultural products at retail stores. The “Fresh from Florida” campaign also helps increase public awareness of the importance of Florida’s agriculture industry, which has an estimated overall economic impact of more than $87 billion annually.

For more information about Florida agriculture, visit
For more information about Automatic Racing, visit

Martin May
(850) 488-0163

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