The IndyCar series is due to adopt new engine rules soon and it looks like they will follow the lead of many manufacturers toward downsized and turbocharged engines. The open-wheeled racers that run at the Indianapolis 500 and many other tracks currently use a normally aspirated 3.0L V8 running on straight ethanol. A new engine formula is expected to go into effect for the 2011 season with a switch to turbo engines with either four or six cylinders.
As we oh-so bravely predicted, gas that was selling for about a dollar less per gallon than the national average this past week was awful popular. The price was lowered at a gas station in Indianapolis as a promotional event just before this weekend's Indy 500 race, and the $2.25 cost for a gallon of E10 (I'd heard it was going to be $2.20 a gallon) was enough to bring in the cars,
That the 2007 IndyCar Series will be run using 100 percent ethanol is not news, so we won't repeat what we've told you before (see the links below if you missed things). What we will bring up here, late on a Friday, is that tomorrow is finally the day that the 3.5-liter Honda Indy V-8 engine start using pure ethanol in competition. The race is the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 on the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida. E100 was tested in the cars earlier this year.
While Honda's latest racing announcement is a positivist preview for the 2007 racing season, including F1, IndyCar, SuperGT, etc. What's interesting to us are the E100-ready engine announcements.
The fastest way to burn E10 will soon get a chance to burn pure ethanol. The first truck carrying 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol bound for use in the IndyCar Series, which starts March 24, left the Renova ethanol plant in Torrington, Wyoming today. Indy's move to E100 is no secret – they cars used E10 all last year in preparation for this year's E100 switch – and new we're getting to brass tacks.
The Indy Racing League has been promoting ethanol this year in preparation for the big switch to using the biofuel almost exclusively next year (see AutoblogGreen's Indy roundup here) and league officials say the fuel has performed perfectly so far. The league's director of engineering, Jeff Horton, said, "We've had zero problems since our first test at Phoenix." Tests since then have included six IRL races. A typical IRL race uses about 6,000 gallons of fuel and the Indianapolis 500 burned 30,0