Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Part 3 – Fuel System
At Professional Awesome Racing, we take pride in thinking through problems and coming up with solutions that are as efficient and reliable as possible, all while fitting into a modest budget. We try not to do things that other people do just because “it’s always been done that way.” As you can read in our previous articles, this has lead to unique designs with our chassis/roll cage and powerplant. We like to think this same mentality translates into our fuel and computer systems and that’s the topic we’ll dive into today. So enjoy reading while sitting on your favorite throne or perhaps fire up MotoIQ at work with a finger quick to pop up a spreadsheet if the boss walks by.
So time attackers usually choose one of two routes for the first stop in our fuel system talk, the fuel tank. One is to keep it stock. The advantages here are simplicity; no need to run new lines and build mounts, better polar moment of inertia; generally stock tanks are mounted within the wheelbase, and cost; free is always nice when building a racecar. Disadvantages are generally heavier weight, potential limitations on fuel pump installs and limited fuel line sizing. The other option is to go with a fuel cell, generally mounted in the trunk, but this costs money and while it can help with weight distribution, it does it in a way that we don’t like. We like centralizing mass, not increasing torque levers.
What did we do then? We cut the stock fuel tank in half. This solves a few problems. It cuts the weight down of the stock fuel tank and we don’t need to carry around the extra 5 gallons of gas required to keep the fuel from starving under left hand turns. It also freed up a healthy amount of room for a Radium surge tank, which solved the fuel cut issues we previously had with a full sized tank.
Now our Radium surge tank is their “Multi-Pump Fuel Surge Tank.” This particular tank is shorter, but larger than their more familiar, standard fuel surge tanks. The baller feature of this design is the ability to squeeze 3 fuel pumps internally into one tank, simplifying installation for multi pump systems. Machined from 6061 aluminum, fully sealed and with the ability to be pressurized, it met our needs perfectly.
I should inform the readers that are not in the know, that we are from Indiana. Because of this we use E85 straight from the gas station that’s about 1 mile down the road from the shop. Being in a state that is covered in corn means that in our modest town, I can think of 5 stations off the top of my head that sell E85 and they all seem to know how to blend precisely. God bless America! We do keep close tabs on our ethanol content and fuel temperature with Zeitronix’s E85 Analyzer. This little tool integrates perfectly with our AEM Infinity ECU, which has a flex fuel feature, and has proven to be an engine saver when traveling to places with unknown blending abilities.