Use of Avgas and leaded racing fuels in superkarts in Australia

All leaded fuels will be illegal to use in any type of vehicle, racing or not as from June 30 2005.

We have NO SAY in this issue this time round and you will be forced to use some alternative whether you like it or not.

This issue has been discussed at length at the N.S.K.C level and after much drama and hoo-haa from all quarters the original decision by the government was reversed in favour of allowing the continues use of Avgas for certain specified racing categories including superkarts.

There was considerably less lead time back then to allow the introduction of a suitable alternative fuel and consequently all attempts to introduce any alternative were stalled. We have more notice this time around and three years should allow plenty of time to complete the necessary changes to you engines. These changes, for most competitors will be of an insignificant and low-cost nature and unless your engine has had such gross over compression or ridiculously advanced ignition then the job can be done cheaply and easily. Do yourselves a favour and do some careful research as to exactly what the fuel requirements are for your engine setup and dont be smokescreened by recalcitrant engine tuners who will attempt to tell you that your engine will only EVER run on AVGAS. If that is the case then perhaps consider looking for a competent and better informed tuner who actually understands what effect the chemical makeup of a fuel actually has on the combustion process. Don't be sucked in by Octane numbers as these numbers are by and large are no reliable indication of the knock or detonation resistance of a particular fuel. Without getting into an overly technical mode, the only advantage of running Avgas, by virtue of its particular end distillation point  and the cooling effect of some of the incoming fuel charge actually making it into the cylinder still in a liquid or droplet form, is an improved tolerance to gross tuning errors such as a careless timing adjustments or a foolish big rise in compression ratio.

This time around there will be no backflip on the governments behalf as even aircraft, which Avgas is actually designed for will have to comply. So, once again the superkarting fraternity will have to convert/change/re-tune and otherwise alter their engines to suit a different fuel. Two-stroke racers all over the world (apart from the U.S) have been running unleaded fuels for many years and their experience needs to be drawn upon.

It need to be said that AVIATION GASOLINE (AVGAS) is designed for large displacement, high altitude, low revving, low specific power output aircraft engines and is not really suitable for small displacement, high revving, high specific power output racing engines. Subjective testing reveals that there is significantly more power available from the use of a specific unleaded racing fuel than Avgas. Click Here for a more detailed article on racing fuels by Rich Rorich. Take the time to read this well researched article carefully as you may be surprised by what you find out.

 

Watch this space for more info.

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Use of Avgas and Leaded racing fuels in superkarts for 2002

02/12/01

CAMS, the controlling body for motorsport in Australia has rescinded its original decision regarding the use of AVGAS for competition in Australia. Subject to confirmation, categories currently allowed to use AVGAS will be allowed to buy and use the 100LL (low lead) derivative.

This should please a lot of concerned superkarters right around Oz who were getting very bent out of shape over the whole issue.

This decision is subject to government regulations which may change in the future.

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Use of Avgas and Leaded racing fuels in superkarts for 2002

1/11/01

This is a draft copy of the proposed revision for "Schedule G" in the Cams Manual of Motorsport.

Schedule G – Fuel

Copy only

Unless expressly permitted otherwise by CAMS, all fuel used in all competition must comply with the prescriptions shown in the present Schedule. They must be used without any additives other than those permitted in Article 8:

1.       Restriction to particular types of Fuel

Upon request from Sporting Commissions of CAMS, Category Managers or persons recognized by CAMS as representing particular Groups of vehicles, certain Categories or Groups of vehicles may be restricted by CAMS to any one or more of the types of fuels as specified in Articles 2 to 6 following.

 In addition, upon request from the Promoters or Organizers of particular events held under State Permits, CAMS State Councils may restrict vehicles competing at these particular events to any one or more of the types of fuel as specified in Articles 2 to 6 following.

2.       Commercial Fuel

 “Commercial Fuel” is defined by CAMS as complying with either one of articles 2.1or 2.2 following:

2.1    Pump Fuel. A fuel produced by an oil company for sale in the Australian general transport fuel market. Such a fuel must comply fully with the Regulations for petrol made under the Federal Government Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000. Additionally, it must be for sale on demand from a service station pump at each of at least five separate service stations in each of at least three Australian States.

2.2    Liquefied Petroleum Gas. A commercial LPG being a mixture of Butane and Propane, of a type which is dispensed from a service station pump. Where a vehicle utilises LPG, a sign in the form of the white letters LPG on a red reflective background, as per drawing G-1 must be placed immediately to the left and centralised vertically to all competition numbers on the sides of the vehicle.

3.       Leaded Racing Fuel.

For the purpose of the present regulations, Leaded Racing Fuel shall be defined as a leaded petrol which is supplied by an oil company and having a composition the same as that supplied for piston engine general aviation use i.e. Avgas 100/130 or Avgas 100LL only.

4.       Diesel

For Diesel engines, the fuel must be gas oil corresponding to the following specifications:

·          Hydrocarbon level, 99.0 % by weight minimum.

·          Specific gravity, 860 kg/m3  maximum.

·          Cetane number 55 maximum. (ASTM D 613)

·         Calculated cetane number 55 maximum. (ASTM D 976-80)

5.       Alcohol

Specific regulations for some Groups of vehicles may permit the use of alcohol fuels. In these cases, it is mandatory that cars using alcohol fuels carry a symbol in the form of the letter “A” in white on a red circle of approximately 115mm diameter as shown in drawing G-2 below. This symbol should be placed adjacent to the competition number on each side of the car, and the filling cap of the fuel tank.

6.       FIA Fuels

Fuels in compliance with the prescriptions of the FIA, Appendix J, Article 252.9.1. This specification is available from CAMS upon request, or visit the FIA website- www.fia.com

7.       Oxidants

Only air may be mixed with the fuel as an oxidant. The use of Nitrous Oxide is strictly prohibited.

8.       Additives

An additive is considered to be any substance, other than air, added to the fuel subsequent to its purchase from the producing oil company or recognised distributor. Nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to prohibit the addition of water, an approved lead replacement additive* or a lubricant provided that such additive does not increase the octane rating, oxygen content or specific heat content of the fuel.

*List of Approved Lead Replacement Additives

Valvemaster ® Redline Lead Substitute ®

 

9.       Control Fuel

A “Control Fuel” may be specified for a particular series or competition. Where such Control Fuel is specified, such fuel must either meet the requirements of Articles 2 to 6 (above) or otherwise be specifically approved by CAMS. The supplier of any such control fuel must not be identified for any promotional purposes. It is prohibited to alter the composition of the fuel in any manner, including by the use of additives otherwise permitted under Article 8.

10.    Fuel Testing

Fuel samples may be drawn for testing from a competing vehicle at any time during the period of time from the commencement of the event until the vehicle is released from Parc Fermé at the conclusion of the event. It is the competitors responsibility to provide the means by which fuel samples may be taken from the vehicle; the method being subject to the approval of the Chief Scrutineer, or Technical Commissioner if appointed.

Whilst the fuel samples for testing are being taken, the competitor, or his/her nominated representative must be in immediate attendance to observe the process. Where the competitor or a nominated representative cannot be identified within a reasonable time, the Chief Scrutineer must notify the Stewards of the Meeting, who shall appoint a proxy observer, being an official at the meeting, who shall act as the nominated representative of the competitor.

Samples shall be tested according to procedures A or B below.

Test Procedure A, Testing at the Event

The Chief Scrutineer or Technical Commissioner may chose to test fuel samples at the event. To this effect, one sample of fuel may be taken for testing under the conditions outlined above from each or any competing vehicle. The competitor may, at their discretion, request a second sample be drawn at the same time. After being duly identified and sealed, this second sample may be retained by the competitor1.

Testing at the event shall be limited to:

·        Physical observation of the sample (colour, smell, opacity)

·        Testing using whatever specialist equipment is available at the event (eg. electrical conductivity, density, gas chromatography etc)

Where a charge is raised as a result of such testing, the Chief Scrutineer or Technical Commissioner shall give evidence at the subsequent Stewards Hearing or Inquiry, although they shall not be accorded the status of “Judge of Fact”. Notwithstanding this, the Stewards shall be obliged to take into consideration any evidence thus presented.

1 The competitor may use the retained sample in his defence provided that the seal is broken in the presence of the Stewards of the Meeting. Where the scrutineers deem that no action is necessary, the container holding the competitors sample shall be returned to the scrutineers upon request.

Test Procedure B, Testing by a CAMS Approved Laboratory

Each year, CAMS shall, by means of a Bulletin, publish a list of Approved Laboratories for the testing of fuel.

For tests by an approved laboratory, two fuel samples shall be drawn and sealed into identified containers. The seal on each container shall be affixed in such a way as to ensure the rupture of the seal upon the opening of the container. Each seal shall bear identification of the event, the name and signature of the scrutineer taking the sample and the name and signature of the competitor. The samples (Samples A and B)  shall then be sent to CAMS, which shall send Sample A for submission to a CAMS Approved Laboratory. Note: fuel must not be sent by mail. The determination of fuel type and composition shall be by comparison against a reference library of results for known fuel types determined by the method ASTM D-3710-95 (or equivalent).

Where the Approved Laboratory notifies CAMS that sample A has been found to be not in conformity with the prescriptions contained herein, CAMS shall lodge sealed fuel sample B with the same Approved Laboratory. Where the results of the second test sample B corroborate the initial determination of Sample A, the fuel shall be deemed to be not in conformity with the prescriptions of the present Schedule. This finding shall be binding on any Stewards Hearing, Appeal Tribunal or any subsequent AMSAC Hearing. Where a discrepancy exists between the results of samples A and B, no action shall be taken against the competitor.

11.    Health Warning

All participants in motor sport are reminded that fuels, oils, lubricants and coolants are highly specialised substances. Apart from the ever present risk of fire, participants must be aware that these agents may contain substances that are extremely dangerous to one’s health if misused, inhaled or allowed into contact with human skin. Some of the components of these fuels, oils and lubricants are suspected of having the potential to cause cancer in rare instances. The use of petrol as a general cleaning and washing agent is a common misuse of a potentially dangerous substance.

Note: All text above is to be considered as a draft copy only.

The appropriate CAMS technical bulletins will be issued in due course and the notes copied above are to be regarded as a guide and for reference only.

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Use of Avgas and Leaded racing fuels in superkarts for 2002

The federal government has made some concessions to its proposed fuel for automotive use legislation to be introduced early next year (2002).

Cams has noted this concession by the government.

At this stage, Avgas will still be available for use as a racing fuel for 5th category vehicles only which includes superkarts.

Formula Holden and Formula Ford have asked for an exemption for their vehicles to continue using Avgas and Cams has asked them to show just cause as to why they actually require Avagas as opposed to high octane Super Unleaded as a racing fuel. To date just cause has not been provided by the two categories. 

The bottom line is that at least for the time being we won't have to source a substitute racing fuel for superkarts.

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Likely Banning of AVGAS for 2002

The federal Government of Australia is currently pushing through legislation banning the use of any leaded fuel for all automotive use for 2002 including motoracing!

This means that in order to compete with our highly tuned 2-stroke racing engines in CAMS sanctioned competition we will probably have to run ordinary pump premium unleaded unless the powers that be allow us some form of exception.

To date, due to the lack of anything else suitable being allowed by CAMS (Schedule G Commercial Fuels), we have been stuck using leaded 100/130 Avgas. Not a particularly suitable fuel as this stuff is designed to be used in large capacity, slow-revving aviation piston engines and certainly not high output, high revving two stroke  racing engines.

This should cause a myriad of dramas as most high output racing GP 2-stroke engines are designed with high octane dedicated racing fuels in mind. In order to get at least reasonable performance out of these engines, some fairly extensive ignition,  head and sundry other modifications have been performed and the danger of blasting these engines to smithereens by using unsuitable passenger car fuels is a certainty unless expensive and extensive head modifications,  adjustable digital ignitions and other drastic and expensive modifications are added, further burdening the over-stretched budgets of most rank and file competitors. Add this to already hideously expensive race entry,  permit, medical, and other administrative fees and charges.

Great, if all this goes ahead as mooted, thanks a lot Mr Government! Evidently, a formal submission process to some government committee will be in place for users affected by these changes. Cool, lets make a submission and wait for three years as some bloody government committee of seat polishing,  paper shuffling boffins handball our concerns from one desk to the other in the blind hope that the problem will just go away, thereby neatly pandering to the green vote in one fell swoop!  Lets all hope that our controlling body CAMS,  goes into bat for us to at least continue to use 100/130 Avgas or allow superkarters to source and use a suitable high octane dedicated racing fuel that most of our engines were designed to operate on in the first place!

Lobby your CAMS National Superkart delegate immediately to have this ridiculous impost on us changed for the better! Pump petrol is designed for cars. Superkarts are not cars! They are not designed to,  nor operate efficiently or safely on car fuel! Furthermore, CAMS, in their infinite wisdom, cannot seem to even categorise superkarts as a stand alone category. Did you know the as far as CAMS are concerned we are a "FIFTH CATEGORY" vehicle? Fifth category!!!!!! All this time I thought we were at least a superkart. Fifth category?????? Bugger me!

I, for one, can see much drama on the horizon if all this ends up as law!

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