VP Racing Fuels focus on continuing development, helping racers
Words: Ben Shelton, Photos: Jamie Brabson
The 2017 racing season is officially here and has hit the ground running. Race cars are burning up tracks across the country each and every weekend. Everyone is looking for that next technological advantage; they all want to be the first to find the next speed secret.
The research and development staff at VP Racing Fuels is no different. They have been diligently working around the clock to improve and design new race fuels for the 2017 season and beyond.
It’s no big secret many of VP’s race fuel formulas on the market have a heritage of 40-plus years – and those still satisfy the majority of the applications. However, technology in racing keeps advancing at a rapid rate. What works today might not be the best option tomorrow. That is why VP has developed more than 70 different blends to meet the needs of all forms of racing.
With this taken into account, the design and development of new fuels can prove to be quite the challenge these days. Oh, and let’s not also forget you have to carefully consider how all of the elements of the design work.
Whether it’s induction design, combustion chamber configuration, or basic engine build parameters, VP Racing Fuels – as a fuel company – is constantly working with engine builders and manufacturers to design the optimal fuels for their needs.
This is definitely not an easy process, especially when you take the action-reaction procedure into consideration. Gaining maximum power in an engine after changes are made to the build can be an in-depth process. The equation then becomes exponentially more difficult when you toss multiple restrictions into the mix.
There are sanctioning body rules, federal and state laws limiting the use of certain chemical components, and varying price points of the components – it all becomes mindboggling at times. That is one reason why VP has setup specialty tech support lines to help, no matter what line of racing you are in.
VP’s Tech Support staff is readily available by phone or email, and in many cases can work alongside racers at the track or at their shop. If you have questions about selecting the proper fuel for your application, tuning or other fuel-related issues, VP’s staff is happy to help.
You’ll want their help to navigate all the different choices out there. Some new products on the market may seem like the hot new ticket. However, the reality is if you are not careful, you can quickly do much more harm than good.
For example, many of you have heard about oxygenated fuels. Some of these formulas provide a great deal of power increase over conventional-style race fuels. In fact, the fuels can produce an effective fuel charge in a not-so-efficient engine design. This becomes cost effective for many racers and helps them compete against superior designs.
There is a long list of oxygenates; one of the most popular designs you’ve probably seen is ethanol. This fuel can provide gains in torque and power if properly formulated. However, there are notable side effects with many of these oxygenates. Many of them require a much higher fuel supply, and this demand can tax a racer’s existing fuel system.
These oxygenates can also be corrosive and cause damage to multiple parts within the system, like rubber hoses and carburetors. All you have to do is look at all the small engine problems we hear about to know that it is doing the same thing to your fuel system. In addition, they all carry a shorter shelf life than conventional race fuels; separation can be a problem with some ethanol blended fuels.
With most of these types of fuels, fuel management becomes critical compared to what many racers are accustomed to experiencing. The VP Racing Fuels tech staff works hand-in-hand with customers on a daily basis to sort out problems, while also educating racers so they have a better understanding of what is occurring.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional racer or just a grassroots guy or gal, the VP Racing Fuels staff gives everyone the same opportunity to maximize their performance through a highly detailed, technical process.
This makes VP Racing Fuels a step above the competition. The only thing the staff at VP Racing Fuels enjoys more than winning is seeing their customers win. In fact, the company’s motto is “We’re racers helping racers!”
Source: VP Racing Fuels, vpracingfuels.com