V8 Supercars trials fuel parity fix at Winton
The Nissan and Mercedes teams will trial a revised fuel blend at Winton this weekend as V8 Supercars attempts to give the new players a boost prior to the endurance races.
The four-valve engines in the Nissan and Mercedes entries have struggled to match the fuel consumption figures of the traditional two-valve Ford and Holden units since the beginning of the season.
The issue has been the subject of considerable lobbying in the lead-up to the Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast endurance races, where the two teams argued they’d be rendered uncompetitive if an adjustment was not made.
V8 Supercars has responded by allowing the Nissan and Mercedes cars to run with less ethanol in their fuel blend at Winton; a change that is expected to improve the consumption without altering outright performance.
The revised mix is understood to be 70 percent ethanol, down from the 85 percent that has been run on all cars since 2009.
The category will decide after Winton weather the change will remain for the three endurance races.
“It is the responsibility of the sport to maintain the level of parity as stated in the technical regulations,” said V8 Supercars’ general manager of motorsport, Damien White.
“This will not enhance power or performance; it’s a possible means to ensure these teams are not disadvantaged leading into a critical time in the championship.”
Only the #9 Mercedes of Maro Engel and the Norton-backed Nissans of Michael Caruso and James Moffat will run on the revised fuel at Winton.
Fuel consumption initially increased by as much as 40 percent when the E85 replaced the previous petrol, but is said to have been dragged back to around 30 percent by the front-running teams over the intervening years.
The fuel balancing program is being run by V8 Supercars’ appointed engine guru Craig Hasted.