The Bigger Picture
Circle Track's Bob Bolles...
Circle Track's Bob Bolles and Rob Fisher discuss the impending weather with Forrest Jehlik from Argonne National Labs. Carburetor tuning issues pushed our backs to the wall and we'd get caught in a rain delay, which forced us to extend the test session by a day.
The test results clearly showed that EFI delivered superior lap times in an economical, easy to tune package. What is interesting to note is that neither Marty nor Dalton had any experience with EFI motors before this test-other than their street cars of course. They were not predisposed to being EFI fanatics, nor did they have any preconceived notions about which engine combination would be better, yet it took only five laps for both of them to be converted to major proponents of EFI, not to mention E85. Then, when Marty found out that a 620hp EFI motor using the same base platform as our CT525 cost only $13,000, he nearly fell off his chair.
The bottom line is that adopting EFI can make racing not only more cost effective, but it can also save you time time both at the track and in the shop. Think about this, the time we spent chasing the carb tuning problem pushed us (timewise) into a Florida thunderstorm. When those rains came we had to extend our test session by a day, and six people had to run back and change plane flights and hotel rooms in order to accomplish the task at hand. That also meant spending more money. Once you understand fuel injection and how to tune it, the process is far simpler which means you can spend time working on other areas of the race car or even something different altogether.
Will racers across the country ditch their carbs in favor of EFI? Of course not, but there is room for both engine configurations to compete against one another. And, in fact, they are already. There are a handful of speedways around the country allowing EFI motors to run with their carbureted cousins, but we believe that number will grow.
The Next Step
Throughout the course of Project G.R.E.E.N. we set milestones. First, there was the dyno test, then there was the track test. Now, we know you can figure out what our next step is. After all, we showed you that it worked on the dyno and now we have shown that it works on the track. We have the proof needed but we're all racers here at Circle Track and that means that it's time to shut up and see how this thing runs in a real event. Three grueling days of testing under the hot Florida sun is fine, but the real validation for the project will come when the checkered flag falls. So, just where will we show up? The Midwest? Southeast? Texas? You'll have to stay tuned to find out.
After one of the many hot...
After one of the many hot lap sessions, Marty and Dalton discuss the car's performance.
Our LS3-based EFI/E85 setup...
Our LS3-based EFI/E85 setup started the day as a CT525 carbureted motor. Other than fuels, the only items switched during the test were the induction systems.
One of the advantages of EFI...
One of the advantages of EFI versus a carb is the ease of tuning it. Too rich? Don't worry about changing jets, a simple key stroke on the laptop will solve the problem. While we had a bank of computers for our test, a typical oval track race team would need just one. What is even more exciting is that there are self calibrating systems out there that will automtaically adjust parameters like air/fuel ratio based on certain criteria such as air temperature, humidity, and elevation.