WEST SALEM, WI (Wednesday, October 6, 2010) - In partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy, Circle Track Magazine has built the first environmentally responsible oval track race car
Dubbed Project G.R.E.E.N. (Green Racing Experimental Engine Narrative), its journey to reality has been documented in the magazine's recent issues. Although the car and engine combination has been tested exhaustively, this weekend marks the first major test under race conditions. The Project G.R.E.E.N. Camaro will race on Thursday and Friday of the 41st Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, WI.
The project debuted in Circle Track's April 2010 issue highlighting the intent to break away from conventional thinking about what makes a great oval-track race car. By comparing carbureted and fuel injected versions of GM Performance Parts' CT-525 (an LS3 based engine) the team sought to show that fuel injection coupled with alternative fuels could make a robust oval track motor.
"Our goal is to bring creativity back to short track racing," Rob Fisher, Editor of Circle Track Magazine said. "In the past racing was a proving ground for OEMs to test new parts and products that would eventually end up on passenger cars. Lately, racing has become a quest for the level playing field which has hurt the racer's creativity and created a chasm between what comes out of Detroit and what we use to power our cars."
"The American Speed Association is glad to support this project," Dennis Huth, ASA President said. "Project G.R.E.E.N. is doing this with the idea of finding ways to cut the costs in short track racing. Creative ideas like this is something we welcome as we all work together to keep grass roots racing healthy for the future."
"Circle Track magazine and the whole Project G.R.E.E.N. Team are extremely pleased to have the support of the ASA. Their involvement in our project shows that they are truly a forward thinking organization."
So far through dyno and on-track testing, they have learned that their idea may work. One thing that Fisher noted in their test results is a significant increase in torque over 85% of the time the engine operates on the track. The 7% peak gain could give them a lot more momentum down the straights.
Another crucial area that benefits the racer is cost. The GM Performance Parts CT525 engine costs well under $10,000.
The team has also been conducting research with E-85 as a race fuel. And while many racers are familiar with methanol, a common alcohol fuel, E-85 is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. E-85 is less caustic than methanol, easier on parts, home grown and cheaper. "Today the United States imports over 60% of our oil from foreign countries. E-85 is domestically produced," Fisher said. "Plus with the cost of racing methanol as much as $4.50 per gallon in some places a switch to E-85 which is around $2.50 per gallon could cut a racer's fuel bill by 60%."
During Friday night's race the Project G.R.E.E.N. Camaro will be carrying a data acquisition system created by Argonne National Laboratory to collect real time data that will characterize the petroleum displacement and greenhouse gas reduction potential.
Dalton Zehr, who has competed with the American Speed Association Midwest Tour will be piloting the car this Friday in the Dick Trickle "99". The goal is to acquire data and evaluate how the car performs under actual race conditions so they will not be officially scored or listed in the results.
Project partners include Circle Track, Argonne National Laboratory under The US Department of Energy, Sensors Inc., American Speed Association, GM Performance Parts, Mast Motorsports, AR Bodies, VP Race Fuel, Holley, Schoenfeld Headers, Hoosier Racing Tires, Coleman Racing Products, Jones Racing Products, AMSOIL, E3 Spark Plugs, Comp Cams, Quartermaster, Speedway Motors, ATL Fuel Cells, Quick Fuel Technology, Random Technology, and Phillips Racing Wires.
"The fans in attendance could be seeing the future of short track racing this Friday," Fisher said. "We are excited to showcase Project G.R.E.E.N. at one of the popular racing events in the United States...Oktoberfest."