The hauler of Dalton Zehr Racing arrives at New Smryna Speedway in Florida to begin the tr
The second phase of testing for Project G.R.E.E.N. has arrived. You'll remember back in the May issue of Circle Track we hauled our GM Performance Parts CT525 down to Mast Motorsports in Nagadoches, Texas, for three solid days of dyno testing. While there, we tested carbureted and fuel-injected configurations of the motor both with and without catalytic converters. We also swapped back and forth between 100-octane race gas and E85. The test results were published in that May issue with a more deeper study on the results conducted in the September issue.
In order to validate our dyno session, we planned on testing the same configurations on the track. The technical report on our findings will be published next month, in the January issue. However, we wanted to show you just how much work went into this test and how we got those results. It's a very interesting story.
Our group of technical experts who participated in the dyno session agreed to come down to Florida and lend their support to an on-track test session at New Smyrna Speedway. As to the car, Marty and Dalton Zehr were kind enough to lend us one of their chassis, the tranny and rearend, and so on, so we could install the engine, dual fuel tanks, and all of the other related hardware and software needed to complete our testing.
The idea is to back up our dyno tests with real on-track laps run at racing speeds, or as close to that as possible. I can tell you that Dalton was as consistent as a driver could possibly be and clicked off laps within several thousandths of each other; more than enough consistency to provide usable data. And, as is always the case, Marty and team member Mark Jones jumped in with all four limbs and worked hard for days on end preparing this car.
The key technical players attending the test were Forrest Jehlik and Danny Bocci, both from Argonne National Laboratories; Dave Kalen, representing Sensors, Inc.; and Horace Mast, owner of Mast Motorsports. Rob Fisher provided support while I worked alongside Marty and his gang at the shop prior to the arrival of our tech staff.
We began our build with the engine. Here, Mark installs the Jones Racing Products kit desi
I can say, honestly, that this "build" was extremely difficult due to the fact that we had to fit the engine with the two induction systems along with all of the test equipment, the wiring harness for the computerized ignition and fuel injection controls, and mount the SEMTECH-DS analyzer into the car. We installed two separate fuel tanks to hold the racing gas and the E85 (a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gas), all provided by VP Racing fuels. Our fuel line was drained between the runs with each configuration and the fuel pressure had to be adjusted from carb to fuel-injection, or from around 6-8 psi to 60 psi.
All in all, things got done, the crew all came together well, working to complete the assembly on Monday. We made it to the track on Tuesday morning, July 13, for what was to be a very lucky day. Just one rain delay on Wednesday and we were able to complete our testing on Thursday afternoon. Now the team will run the data, compare results and make a full report. The following is a pictorial report on the construction of this great-looking Camaro-bodied car that might just help shape the future of circle track racing.
We weren't quite sure how the engine would fit fore and aft, but once we had it positioned
The header design for this Pathfinder front stub caused a conflict with the connection of
Mark carefully welded on the six bungs that were needed to place two thermocouples, two ai
After we installed the motor, we tried putting the fuel injection manifold on, only to fin
What Does All Of This Mean?
As an overview, what we are trying to do is some pre-planning for the future. No one knows exactly what the future of circle track racing will be, but we can imagine. If I were to guess, based on past experience, the evolution of racing will follow the car manufacturers' leads. That is, the racing will need to be based on engines and fuel systems that are produced for passenger cars and those that will be readily available.
This fits perfectly with our stock classes. But more than that, we can look forward to Late Model racing becoming more simplistic if we use the FI systems, and more than that, we could be the leaders in implementing green technology while enjoying more power and less noxious emissions. The cost can be as reasonable as the current crate systems once the volume of sales is up and cost is a factor in the economy of today. The Street Stock car of tomorrow will necessarily need to be of the more current designs, meaning FI.
The idea of running FI is not new and was done before. But the use of alternative fuels like the E85 we ran plus using racing cats all add up to a leap forward for short track racing. It's a win-win situation. Now let's see who will step up to the plate and take the lead.
To save time, we installed two separate 8-gallon fuel tanks from ATL, one filled with raci
When switching between carburetor and fuel injection, we had to adjust the fuel pressure f
The SEMTECH-DS Mobile Emissions Analyzer is all strapped in and all of the other wiring ha
Here is an end view of Random Technologies' racing catalytic converters. We have two densi
Prior to heading to the track, Horace adjusts the engine's computer using his laptop. Once
The car sits on pit road with the FI system installed and ready to go. One of the advantag
During our dyno test we learned that there was not enough oxygen flowing into and through
This is the exhaust flow meter, which contains several of the sensors the SEMTECH unit use
Dalton Zehr climbs behind the wheel of the Project G.R.E.E.N. Late Model to begin logging