Though you might think Forrest operates from some vantage point removed from the essence of motorsports, he supports and is involved with the newly-founded Green Racing Initiative (referenced in the January issue of CT) and brought his enthusiast-level skills into the engine dyno room at Mast Motorsports last November to help grind out the initial test data you'll see next month. He has clearly demonstrated he's an automotive enthusiast who believes that the passion, drive, and talent found in the motorsports community can become a serious contributor to the development of sustainable energy for our country. Hear what he has to say.
Being involved with this project for a short period of time has proved to be one of the most rewarding undertakings in my professional career. The first engine test session was an all-hands-on-deck, roll-up-the-sleeves, and get-it-done event. There was a lot of focus, extremely long hours, yet not a single complaint generously fueled by seemingly never-ending cans of energy drinks and cups of coffee.
From my perspective, one of the most amazing aspects to the project is the passion that surrounds it. Everyone involved has donated their time, resources, and services without asking for anything in return. Examples of this are the test cell time and expertise provided by Mast Motorsports, the equipment and experience from Sensors, Inc. who supplied emissions testing equipment and actually drove from Southeast Michigan to Eastern Texas to the Circle Track staff on site to lend guidance for the tests. Then you need to factor in participation by Random Technologies, Quick Fuel Technology, Holley, and the fuels supplied by VP Fuels. At this level of participation, I can say that everyone involved feels they belong to something special to the extent this project could be the beginning of something that has global impact.
In fact, the racing community may play a larger role than ever before outside its immediate boundaries. What ultimately may be gained from this is an independent and sustainable future not only for the racing community, but an example that sets a course for the rest of our country. Ultimately, all of us involved understand we are doing this for the future of racing and our passion for its growth including the well-being of our country.
To frame the importance of what we are undertaking, the United States currently consumes 20-plus million barrels of oil per day. Out of this, approximately 65 percent must be imported1. This rate of consumption is a quarter of the world's total of just over 80 million barrels per day! Out of every barrel of oil we consume, 70 percent is used for transportation. To put all of this in perspective, the current proved petroleum reserves of the world are approximately 1,239 to 1,342 billion barrels of oil2. At the current global consumption of more than 80 million barrels a day (30 billion barrels per year with a consumption rate that is anticipated to grow 2 percent annually by 2035)3, the known reserves would be depleted in just over 30 years.
So what could racing possibly do to help solve such a sobering reality? Perhaps more than any of us might imagine. For example, as this project continues, we will be demonstrating and openly publishing results to the circle track racing community regarding the performance and cost benefits from using alcohol-based fuels. Early results from the E85 testing session have shown tremendous potential.
If we could imagine a fuel that is not only domestically generated and renewable but superior in power and cost effective to the racer, one of the greatest environmental obstacles to racing will have been effectively removed from debate.
Part of our test protocol...
Part of our test protocol requires us to switch from carburetion to fuel injection. Here Justin Pixley (on the left) and Perry Kristi begin removing an E85 carburetor from the CT525.
One big question was what...
One big question was what effect would catalytic converters have on both power and emissions on a race motor. Tune in next month to see the surprising results.
Horace Mast (in hat), founder...
Horace Mast (in hat), founder of Mast Motorsports, made more than 60 separate dyno pulls on various configurations of our CT525.