Proving that ethanol is a high performance, clean burning fuel, another division of automobile racing has chosen the homegrown, renewable fuel to power their race cars; a change made after an Illinois race team, with funding support from corn checkoff dollars, helped prove ethanol’s performance under tough racing conditions.
In a joint appearance this week at Lucas Oil Raceway, the United States Auto Club (USAC) announced a three-year sponsorship program with National Biofuels Distribution, producers of Ignite High Performance Ethanol, in association with ICM, Inc. a world leader in biorefining technology.
USAC joins several other racing programs that have made the switch to ethanol, an undeniable trend that fuels blended with ethanol are not only capable of running in a variety of engine environments, but deliver performance, as well.
With funding support from the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB), the Illinois-based Mario Clouser Racing team spent considerable time and effort testing ethanol both on and off the track. The results of this testing was an important part in USAC’s decision to make the switch to an ethanol blend.
“There are many myths out there about ethanol,” said Scott Stirling, ICMB chairman and a family farmer from Martinton, Ill. “With so many people in the racing world standing behind ethanol blends, those myths will be short lived.”
“From NASCAR to Indy cars; and from the National Boat Racing Association to now USAC, professional drivers and engine tuners are standing behind ethanol. We’re glad to have them on our team,” Stirling added.
According to USAC, the Ignite fuel is a proprietary premium blend of ethanol (“upwards of E85”) with other additives. Available in three blends—E98, and 108 or 114 octane—Ignite gets 40 to 45 percent better mileage with fewer emissions than traditional methanol racing fuel. Cars also run 30 to 40 degrees cooler on it and it is non-corrosive, both of which help with engine life expectancy.