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New fuels and the 2020 season is approaching!

As most motorsport enthusiasts would be aware,  a leaded fuel ban for all Australian motorsports came into effect on the 1st of July 2019.  It mainly affected the drag racing competitors, especially those using the benchmark leaded P14 fuel that showed fantastic power gains before the ban came into effect.  The ban obviously did not effect our other drag fuel – XPRO DRAG 2 due to it already being unleaded (and even approved for use in freshwater lakes and waterways if you want to go fast on every surface!), but the ETS chemists were already at work formulating lead replacement fuels with the highest performance possible…

We now have some exciting news that a new container load of fuels has arrived and it is loaded with the new leaded replacement fuels in plenty of time before next years season!  What a Christmas present!

There are two new Andra approved drag fuels – XPRO DRAG 3 that has a higher oxygen content and a development of XPRO DRAG 2 (which will still be sold as it suits other engine configurations), and the new XPD105.  The results from testing are showing to be a further improvement on the leaded fuels that were the leading the way!

Also to be release soon is the new Z85 PERFO which is an E85-like fuel that offers a very high consistency of oxygen content. Its unique formulation offers a much faster combustion speed, significantly higher energy and long-term protection compared to E85 pump station fuels.  The gains from testing so far are unbelievable until you try it!

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ETS Racing Fuel at Pikes Peak – the pinnacle of motorsport…

Congratulations to Romain Dumas for winning Pikes Peak – again!

Having won in 2014 and 2016, Romain Dumas took victory in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for the third time in the 2017 event.  Driving the Norma MXX RD Limited and fuelled by ETS Racing Fuel, he successfully defended his title, a feat that had not been accomplished since Monster Tajima from 2006 to 2011.

Frenchman Romain Dumas is quite the legend in today’s motorsport scene.  Having run each and every 24 Hours of Le Mans race since 2001 and every FIA World Endurance Championship since 2012, Dumas has now become the third-most successful Pikes Peak driver after Rod Millen and Nobuhiro Tajima.  Driving an updated version of the Norma M20 RD, the French driver won the race quite comfortably, crossing the finish line no fewer than 28 seconds ahead of Peter Cunningham and his Acura TLX GT. His winning time: 9:05.672 seconds.

For those people living in the dark, The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), also known as The Race to the Clouds, is an annual automobile and motorcycle hillclimb to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado, USA.  The track measures 12.42 miles (19.99 km) over 156 turns, climbing 4,720 ft (1,440 m) from the start at Mile 7 on Pikes Peak Highway, to the finish at 14,110 ft (4,300 m), on grades averaging 7.2%.

The course is not only one of the most challenging in the world for drivers, but it is unique in the motorsport world from a mechanical design perspective.  Not only are the rules essentially free; there is the added complication from drastic change in altitude which results in a massive loss of air temperature and density.  Engines will lose about 30 percent of their power towards the end of the run, so having a specially blended racing fuel from ETS Racing Fuels is an essential part of minimising power loss due to the lack of oxygen in the air and maximising reliability.




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Porsche dyno testing

It seems like I have been spending a lot of time testing fuels these days!  I have tested the ETS Extra Max fuel in most of the standard late model Porsches to see what sort of gains can be made just by pouring in the oxygenated race fuel.  The various Bosch ECUs respond well to the fuel and the gains have been at least 30hp at the wheels with no other changes made.  On cars that have the ability to retune and add boost then the gains that can safely be made are significantly more!  It is cheap power and great for track days…

996 Turbo DynoPorsche 996 ETS Graph

Testing on the chassis dynos has been a great way to check the tune and show the relative gains to be made from the fuel but using a ‘rolling road’ can be a bit problematic.  There are drivetrain and associated losses through the tyres, inconsistency with overheating tyre temperatures (particularly with race rubber), wheel spin and the electronic diff controls on some of the Porsche four wheel drive models just don’t get on particularly well with some dynos…

An increase in power is one thing, but what doesn’t don’t show on a dyno graph is the increased throttle response which gives that extra punch out of the corner, and sound of the engine is so much smoother!

I have been using my engine dyno to do a fair bit of comparison testing too.  It is no secret that I have never been a fan of premium 98 fuel, the lack of consistency from the pump has always scared me.  It is Ok on a car with a factory ECUs that have closed loop controls that wind back the timing when detonation is detected, but on highly strung engines that are used in competition – it is a bit like playing Russian Roulette.  Using the repeatability of the my engine dyno, I did some back to back tests comparing P98 fuel to ETS Extra Max.  The engine I used was a relatively standard air cooled 911 turbo engine.  Like most 911 turbos, it doesn’t have enough airflow over the intercooler so has high inlet air temperatures, and it has the same problem with the oil cooling, particularly after a few laps at the track on a hot QLD summer.  It is the sort of engine that is a bit scary on P98 with any reasonable amount of boost.

The graph below shows the runs from the two fuels.  Obviously the line labelled ‘Hp(1)’ is P98 and ‘Hp’ is Extra Max.  It is a pretty huge difference and the only change I made to the tune was trimming the fuel sites on the Motec M800 to make the lambda about the same.  The blue line is MAP pressure so the engine is just running on waste gate pressure for this test.
ETS vs P98 Fuel comparison low boost

The engine with a bit more boost.  Unfortunately it is running out of airflow but it does have very conservative cams and heads…

ETS ExtraMax boost

And this isn’t the worlds most exciting video but here is the engine in action…