NASCAR meet ethanol world meet E85

Inside this world we call Motorsports, NASCAR using ethanol seems to be a pretty hot topic these days. It garners the attention of audiences ranging  from mass media outlets, top government officials, green organizations, professional race car drivers, automotive enthusiasts, all the way to your stay at home mom who cares nothing about racing.

Is the interest due to the fact that NASCAR is one of the top racing series in the world and is looked upon for leadership? Is it because ethanol is biodegradable and significantly reduces harmful exhaust emissions? Maybe it’s because “going green” is the cool thing to do now and the trendy thing in today’s corporate society. Nobody truly knows the answer but surely all of these reasons play a part in what has NASCAR changing over to ethanol the latest hot gossip.

The focus should be finding out what ethanol race fuel means for Motorsports and the amount of  increased performance ethanol brings to racing. As the world knows, NASCAR is looking into using ethanol starting in 2011 and according to FoxSports, “Hendrick Motorsports is already testing the fuel and Roush Yates engines will start development with E15 in the next few weeks. According to RYE co-owner Doug Yates, the conversion is important to the sport.”

Very well stated Mr. Yates, the importance of this topic should be the impact that ethanol will have on performance of the professional driver and their vehicle. Being environmentally friendly is one benefit to ethanol, but is not the only thing that ethanol has going for itself. It is unfortunate the way that ethanol has been marketed to public and even worse how it has been introduced into the racing industry.

The most common misunderstanding is the actual definition of E85. Majority of people mis-use terms such as E98, E15, and E85. For example, when referring to E85, people automatically think whether pump fuel or race fuel, the fuel has 85% ethanol in it and 15% of something else, which is 100% WRONG. People including myself up until a few months ago, associated the term E with any number in reference to fuel in that manner, which is again NOT correct.

E-85 has been introduced to the world as a brand, when in all reality a top resource such as Wikiipedia states the definition clearly, ” E85 is an alcohol fuel mixture that typically contains a mixture of up to 85% denatured fuel ethanol and gasoline or other hydrocarbon (HC) byvolume. On an undenatured basis, the ethanol component ranges from 70% to 83%.”The importance of the above definition is that the ethanol content in E85 can range anywhere from 70% to 83%, depending on if it is a winter or summer blend. In turn, who knows what the other 17% to 30% is made of in E85. Manufacturers can mix almost whatever they want in E85,  pretty scary right? The reason that we hear all this controversy on E85 being inconsistant is well… because it is! E85 does NOT mean ethanol, E85 simply means there is ethanol blended with something else inside the fuel.

The next time you hear of an engine blowing up or hear horror stories about E85, just remember that ethanol was most likely not the cause. More than likely the problem was caused by the inconsistent deterrent found in that 17%-30% in E-85.

Consistency in horsepower as shown in the below video is definitely important  each and every time a professional driver goes to the track.

The word “ethanol” has become such a controversial subject… but why? The answer is ignorance, the lack of education and correct knowledge on what ethanol really is and the impact ethanol has inside on the engine. There is no one specifically to blame for this, only ourselves if moving forward we choose not to do a better job marketing and educating the motorsports world and ourselves on ethanol.

On behalf of the race industry, thank you National Biofuel Distribution for creating Ignite Racing Fuel. The world of Motorsports no longer has to question consistency or power gains with this ethanol based race fuel.

Source: Itzen News

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