Leaded Fuel

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Leaded Fuel

Post by DLRA »

G'Day All,
Well I've just had a lengthy conversation with Director for the Department of Environment and the manager for the investigation of removing leaded fuel from racing vehicles. They have informed me that the Minister of the Environment, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, has decided to enforce the proposed removal of supply of leaded fuel (including all racing fuels) in Australia.
This will be effective as from the 1st of July 2019.
There will be an official announcement tomorrow (Friday) or Monday.

After the 1st July 2019 it will be illegal for suppliers to sell leaded fuel other than to the aviation industry.

For those that are not aware more than 12 months ago the DLRA and all other racing organisations were given the opportunity to respond to the proposal to remove leaded racing fuels, our submission was well received by the Department and it has given us the opportunity to have our point of view put to the Minister.

I was given ample opportunity to advise the Director on the impact that this decision will make on land speed racing in Australia and that effectively one half of the classes we compete under will have to be closed.
That this new regulation will force vehicles that have been specially built to run in leaded classes will then become useless.
How this action will stop international competitors who use leaded fuel in their vehicles from coming to Australia.
And that Australian's will find in impossible to compete in leaded classes elsewhere in the world.

I was told how other organisations like CAMS and ANDRA we facing similar situations to ourselves and that they were also contemplating significant re-writes of their rulebooks to try and extend the competition life of these leaded vehicles. This is something that we will also be faced with, do we allow a substitute fuel? And what would that be? Do we allow this new fuel in GAS class or do we close all those classes and create a new set of classes?

The Director tried to tell me that some of the petroleum companies were looking forward to supplying unleaded alternative fuels. I reiterated that this was no consolation to a competitor who had set their life's dream to compete in a (leaded) class with a history dating back 100 years.

So far as the Minister is concerned any lead is bad lead and he is doing what ever is in his power to remove it's use. The only reason that the aviation industry will be permitted to use it is that there is currently no viable alternative.

So in the coming days I will receive an official notification. The Department has offered to assist in making sure all of our competitors are notified so there will be more information in the coming weeks.

I wish I had better news.

FYI: Here is an extract from our rulebook, note it does not specifically mention leaded fuel.

The DLRA defines gasoline to contain no nitrogen bearing compounds, no propylene oxide, no ethylene oxide, and no more than 10% methanol. The contest board may choose any test or combination of tests to assure that liquid fuels used in GASOLINE classes comply with these specifications. The tests may include, but will not be limited to testing for the dielectric constant (D.C.) value, color comparisons, specific gravity, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and/or other testing methods. The addition of compounds containing oxygen, such as ethanol, methanol and other oxygenates may produce a mixture with a D.C. greater than 15.0 as measured with a Kavlico Model FT-K01 “DC Meter” zeroed on reagent grade, pure CYCLOHEXANE. 15.0 is the current DLRA acceptable dielectric ceiling. Most gasoline will check under this ceiling. At a non-“EVENT” gasoline meet, any gasoline that measures 15.0 or less on the D.C. scale and meets all other DLRA requirements will be allowed.
All liquid gasoline blends can be tested and certified to have a specific D.C., color, specific gravity, and other chemical properties. All gasoline that is tested and meets the DLRA definition of gasoline may be allowed on a case by case basis by the Contest Board. It is recommended that unknown gas be submitted to the DLRA and checked before use in competition.
E85 is not allowed in gas classes.

Greg Wapling
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Re: Leaded Fuel

Post by AuotonomousRX »

It is interesting that on the DLRA Facebook Page there has been 44 responses to this unfortunate development ...... While the Forum is quiet ......

These are the 2 comments I made one is about how it will impact on me and the other is a general comment about the issue .....

"It will impact on different members in different ways ..... I don't have the budget to start again ...... . Yes, as Nathanial said, there are theoretically other Fuels, but running prolonged WOT on a Two Stroke is very different thing to doing it with a Four Stroke ......... My entire engine/tuning package is based on running Sunoco Supreme ......The decision to use this Gasoline was made after a lot of research I did before committing the very limited resources and skills I have ...... I been researching alternative Gasoline/Fuels for over 12 months knowing this could happen ..... and while Unleaded "options" are available they are designed for use in other very different forms of Motorsport and engine configurations to mine ......."

"If you expect Logic and Facts to sway the Minister you are naive or you like banging your head against the wall 😳....... Like it or not we are caught in the Crossfire of a much bigger Political Battle that has been going on for over 20 years ....... Unfortunately trying to wage a Political response to this would be a waste of time and energy ...... The Fact that CAMS has accepted it is proof of this ........We have to work out the best way to adapt to this absurdity and make sure the DLRA comes up with a new Rule structure that is workable for the vast majority of our Members ..... Perhaps we can set up a Working Group to look at this important issue ..... "

Still trying to decide if I am a procrastinator

Pete :?
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Re: Leaded Fuel

Post by momec3 »

Well said Pete.

I think the only way we can save some of our High comp motors will be allowing a much more oxygenated fuel. As you say it won't suit all motors.
Just opening the door on any fuel would be unworkable.

I think it will be a good opportunity to have a re-look at the event fuel concept.
An event fuel would have several advantages.
It would be easier to police by supplying, sealing tanks and testing.
Much least wasted fuel per competitor as your only buy what you need at the Lake.
A possible bulk buying discount.
International visitors will be able to tune on it before they leave home.

But we may be able to still calling it an 'almost Gas class' to differentiate it from fuel. Whether we mothball class records as leaded I don't know.

Thanks Greg W for fighting the good fight with these bureaucrats.

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