E85 as a race fuel?


Well-known member
I've been playing with E85 for a few years now and have been wanting to run in in my ITB Volvo, but the current rules do not allow for E85 usage.

After several test with the race car I have found that E85 is +-5 hp of a blend of 100 octane and 92 pump gas.

Due to being able to run more timing the E85 has more torque down low but doesnt have as much up top due to its slower flame front speed. Plus traditional gasoline has a very fast flame front that mean a high peak cylinder pressure.

So you gain some and lose some by using E85 in a NA car.

I would like to propose a rule change allowing the use of up to 85% ethanol in conference races.

The cheapness and availability of E85 in the northwest as well as its octane could be of use as opposed to a true race fuel.

there currently is a testing procedure in place though I am uncertain it has ever been used in conference.

As for last year the proposed change was saying that "alcohol could be added up to 85%"

That seemed a bit shady in my opinion since alcohol is vague. Non-the-less the E85 proposal passed the contest board last year but was rejected at the E-board meeting, as for reason unknown to me.

Is the issue fire control?

I know Halon works on Ethanol ,, Cold fire I think works but regular ABC extinguishers don't work well because of the out-gassing of the alcohol. Of course E85 may have a VOC inhibitor to combat this... Don't know.

I do know that out at the dirt track I love working with the sprints and midgets on Methanol.... Wheeeeeee.

Plus E85 is GREEN ! I mean we are little bunny huggers if we use it! <Joke SMile>

Dave Taylor