Ethanol is powering our Aussie legends.
The power, speed and performance of our V8s are the stuff of legend – and, since 2009, the stuff that fuels that legend is E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% regular petroleum.
BAA member United Petroleum has been supplying premium high-performance E85 to V8 teams since 2014.
The deal between United Petroleum and the V8 Supercars sees United supply their high-performance, sustainable E85 fuel to the Championship and Dunlop Series racers.
Eddie Hirsch, Owner & Director of United Petroleum, said in a statement that the partnership between the two organisations was “ground-breaking”.
“As Australia’s only integrated Ethanol fuels producer & marketer, we’re very excited too have this opportunity to showcase our range of performance Ethanol-blended products,” he said.
The results speak for themselves. Consistently fast lap times and improved engine longevity testify as to the benefits of E85 fuel in these high-powered performance beasts.
But don’t just take our word for it!
Jamie Whincup, driver of the 888 for Red Bull Racing Australia and V8 Supercar Champion in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, said E85 has “proven to be a winner.”
“When we changed over to E85, there was plenty of public speculation that engines would blow up and reliability would be an issue. How wrong were they?”
Contrary to many of the prevailing myths around ethanol use, the six time V8 Supercar champion said the engines were running better on E85.
“Ethanol has increased detonation over octane, so the engines actually run cooler than previously, hence wear is less. As a consequence we have been able to extend servicing life, so much so that currently we can run an engine for up to three or four rounds (not races) before they need servicing. That’s a massive savings to the category,” he said.
“Performance wise, there has been no significant change, as we tuned the engines to suit the ethanol power curve,” he explained.
There have been other benefits too.
“We no longer have the smell and irritation of octane fuels. [Prior to the switch], despite the air filters within our cars, our eyes used to water from the octane vapors and the fuel smell was intense. E85 actually smells sweet and we have no tearing up anymore,” Mr Whincup said.
The star driver doesn’t just champion the benefits of E85 on the track – he lives them as well, filling his day car with the same ethanol blend. He is enthusiastic about the role ethanol fuels have to play in Australia’s fuel mix.
“What makes ethanol so special is simply – renewability. We will ultimately deplete fossil fuels, whereas ethanol is sourced from renewable crops and Australia has sustainable farming capable of supplying all our motoring needs.
“It’s a pretty obvious solution to me.”
Your car can run like a V8 Supercar too. E85 is available at fuel stations around the country, including selected United and Caltex stores, and is suitable for use in flex fuel vehicles or those that have been converted to run on E85. If your car isn’t a flex fuel vehicle or if it hasn’t been converted to run on E85, you can still get a taste of the power and sustainability by filling up with E10, available across Australia. You can find out if your car is one of the growing number that is E10 compatible here.