VP STORY

          Race fuel is a
          performance part

         
Four Key Properties
          of Fuel

         
What Octane
          Numbers Represent

When you crave the most power, best performance and must-have fuel consistency, you need VP Racing Fuels.

Why? Because performance fuel is our passion, our lifeblood. It’s not a sideline or hobby, it’s not one department or profit center in a large conglomerate. Since 1975, it’s been the primary focus of everything we do.

And it’s not just “race gas.”  It’s performance fuels of all types—racing gasoline, racing methanol, nitromethane, small engine fuels, hobby fuels, storage fuels—essentially any application requiring custom formulation for specific performance characteristics. And the pump gas you’ll find at VP-branded stations? In keeping with VP's demanding standards, you can be confident it ranks with the best on the market.

Obsessive R&D
VP’s singular focus is reflected in our obsessive dedication to R&D. Our technological developments set us apart from every other racing fuel manufacturer. What other company would focus on developing formulas for even the smallest niches in racing—to the tune of nearly 70 blends?

While VP Racing owns and operates a fully equipped analytical laboratory, we spend most of our time working with racers in their shops, on their dynos and with their vehicles at the track. We’re actively involved in our customers’ success. That’s how most of our blends came about—in response to specific customers’ requests for help. Most of us are racers as well, so we like the thrill of competition. And we like to win.

"World Leading Technology" is a bold claim.
But the facts speak for themselves—in volumes. As if nearly 70 blends weren't enough, VP has introduced more fuels this year that set new standards for performance in powersports, off-season storage and other applications. And you can expect the technological advancements from VP's lab to keep on coming.

It’s about winning.
Technology aside, racing is about winning. And the fact is, in racing not subject to fuel rule restrictions, VP fuels more winners than any American fuel company. Consider the NHRA Pro Stock Champions who have made VP their fuel of choice for 34 consecutive years. Or the VP-powered AMA Pro Racing motorcyclists who swept most of the Pro Class Championships over the last decade. Or the Champions of the American LeMans series, who rely on VP to fuel some of the most technologically advanced cars in racing. Even the Champions of the Reno Air Races, where VP fuels the world's fastest piston-powered airplanes.

So besides winning, what's behind VP’s passion to stay on the leading edge of performance? It's a recognition that we're manufacturing performance parts.  And our performance parts can mean the difference between winning and losing.



Race fuel is a performance part.
That's right—fuel is a performance part, as critical to your program as a camshaft or piston. A race vehicle is nothing more than a collection of parts. And to have a winning race vehicle, you need the best parts—and that includes racing fuel.  Racing fuel that is specifically designed to optimize performance in your application, according to your requirements and your fuel rules.

The most cost effective performance gains you can buy.
Because you presumably race to win, you know winning usually requires the best parts—and you get what you pay for. 

Formulating race fuel is challenging and complex.  Recognizing that race fuel is a performance part, VP seeks out and uses only the best components.  And the components that yield the best results are expensive. That’s why VP’s fuels are typically not inexpensive. VP fuels are premium products manufactured with premium components. We take no shortcuts. If you see a lower price on another race fuel, your first question should be “what shortcuts were taken in its production” and “what am I risking or sacrificing as a result?”

Price vs. Performance
We encourage you to weigh the price of VP's fuels against the quality and performance gains they deliver. We’re confident you’ll find they're among the most cost-effective parts in your arsenal.

As an example, if you switch a drag car from a generic 116 octane fuel to VP's Q16, you can pick up 30 Hp (and sometimes more) in a 550 in. engine and a .03-.05 gain in your 1/8 mile ET. Even if you're paying $3 more per pass for Q16, that's the cheapest horsepower you can buy!

Or say you switch your circle track car from a “standard” 110 fuel to VP113.  You’ll find it makes more power, offers better throttle response, burns cleaner and your engine runs cooler. And because it runs cooler, you’ll maintain power through the longest races and harshest conditions.  Considering what you spend on your engine, isn’t it worth $1-2 extra per gallon to not only improve your chances of winning but also protect your investment?

Tech Support is readily available.
Among our nearly 70 blends, we're sure to have a fuel that can optimize the performance for your application. Contact any of VP's regional distribution centers or its Tech Support group by clicking here with questions regarding fuel recommendations or tuning. Put VP to work for your team today! 



The Four Key Properties of Fuel

Too often, racers focus only on octane when evaluating the quality of a fuel.  Octane is certainly important, but it’s just one of several key fuel properties that should be considered when evaluating and selecting a fuel.  It’s entirely possible to generate more horsepower with a lower octane fuel if it’s designed properly with respect to its other key properties.  It’s also possible for two fuels to have the same octane rating, but perform very differently due to their other key properties.

1.    OCTANE: Octane is simply a rating of a fuel’s ability to resist detonation and/or preignition. It is not so much an indication of a fuel’s ability to make power, but rather a fuel’s ability to make power safely, i.e., without blowing your engine.  Octane is rated in Research Octane Numbers (RON), Motor Octane Numbers (MON) and Pump Octane Numbers (R+M/2).  A Pump Octane Number is the number you see on the yellow decal at gas stations, representing the average of the fuel’s RON and MON. (See below for a more detailed explanation of how octane numbers are derived and what they represent.)

VP relies on MON numbers because the MON test more accurately simulates racing conditions.  Don't be fooled by high RON or R+M/2 numbers. Many companies use these simply because they look higher and are easier to come by because of the test methods.  Also bear in mind that the ability of fuel to resist detonation is more than just a function of octane.

2.    BURNING SPEED: This is the speed at which fuel releases its energy and is partially  a function of a fuel’s vaporization qualities. At high RPMs, there is very little time (real time - not crank rotation) for the fuel to release its energy. Peak cylinder pressure should occur around 20˚ ATDC. If the fuel is still burning after this, it’s not contributing to peak cylinder pressure, which is what the rear wheels see. Because VP’s fuels are designed with a particular focus on vaporization characteristics, most of VP’s fuels—oxygenated or nonoxygenated—vaporize much better than comparable competitive fuels.  This means it cools the intake charge, burns faster and yields more efficient combustion. As a result, the “effective” octane rating of VP’s fuels is even higher than the octane test indicates, and they will prevent detonation better than competitive fuels with similar MONs.

3.     ENERGY VALUE: Energy value is an expression of the potential energy in fuel. The energy value is measured in BTUs per pound, not per gallon. The difference is important as the air/fuel ratio is in weight, not volume.  Generally speaking, VP’s fuels measure high in BTUs per pound and thus, have a higher energy value. This higher energy value will have a positive impact on horsepower at any compression ratio or engine speed.

4.    COOLING EFFECT: The cooling effect of fuel is related to the heat of vaporization. The higher a fuel’s heat of vaporization, the better its ability to cool the intake mixture. The superior vaporization characteristics of VP’s fuels make cooling effect one of their key advantages. A better cooling effect can generate some horsepower gains in 4-stroke engines and even bigger gains in 2-stroke engines.  VP’s superior cooling effect can also ensure circle track racers maintain power in the longest races and harshest conditions.  In virtually any application, the cooling effect of VP’s fuels will help extend engine life.

Understanding these key properties of fuel will better equip you to evaluate fuels for your application.  By clicking on your application to the right,
you’ll find a list of VP fuels designed with you in mind, along with the fuels’ relevant characteristics.

Before making a final fuel selection, we encourage you to consult with your VP regional distribution center or VP’s Technical Support Staff
Be prepared to answer the following questions:

•    Is your engine naturally aspirated, turbocharged, blown or using nitrous oxide?
•    What is the compression ratio (CR) of your engine?
•    Does your engine have O2 sensors or CATS?
•    In what series or sanctioning body will you be racing?
•    What are their fuel rules, e.g,. are any fuels illegal or do they allow oxygenated fuels?
•    In which class will you be racing?

You can be confident that once we understand your application, we’ll find the fuel that will make the most power for your engine!

As an alternative, you can submit a question online to our Tech Support Staff by clicking HERE.




Octane Numbers and What They Represent
One of the most frequently asked technical questions we get at VP involves the difference between Motor, Research and R+M/2 Octane Numbers. The next most frequently asked question is why some fuel companies represent their fuels with Motor Octane Numbers, while other companies use Research or R+M/2 Octane Numbers.



Realize first that octane is a measurement of a fuel’s ability to resist detonation—nothing more.  The two types of machines used for testing octane—a Motor Octane machine and a Research Octane machine—were designed in the 1930s.  They were designed to test for octane numbers from the 0-100 range, therefore, any number above 100 is an extrapolation.

Both of these machines are dinosaurs and are not adequate for today's high tech fuels or engines, but they’re the only means available for testing fuels. These machines are one-cylinder engines with an adjustable head that can move up or down to increase or lower the compression ratio while the engine is running. The Motor and Research machines are the same in this respect, but they differ in several other characteristics. 


The following is a comparison of the two machines used for testing octane numbers:


RPM
INTAKE TEMP.
TIMING

Motor Octane Machine
900
300 DEGREES F
VARIABLE BASIC
SETTING 26 DEGREES

Research Octane Machine
600
120 DEGREES F
FIXED AT 13 DEGREES
(DOES NOT CHANGE)

As you can see, the Motor Octane machine runs at a higher RPM, higher temperature and more timing. This machine puts more stress on the fuel than a Research machine and more accurately simulates a racing engine. VP Racing Fuels always includes Motor Octane Numbers when promoting its fuels because our fuels are used exclusively for racing applications.

The Research Octane machine will always produce a higher number for the obvious reason that it does not put the same amount of stress on the fuel. This number is used by some fuel companies to trick the racer into thinking the fuel is rated higher, i.e., higher quality, than it really is. The “R+M/2” Octane Number is the average of the Research and Motor Octane numbers for a fuel and is the number displayed with yellow labels on retail level gas pumps.

When comparing fuels for racing purposes make sure to compare Motor Octane Numbers because these are the ones that count in your racing application.
Focusing on the MON of each fuel will help ensure you’re comparing apples to apples with regard to octane.

But bear in mind, a fuel’s ability to prevent detonation is a function of more than just octane.
  For example, VP’s fuels—oxygenated or nonoxygenated—vaporize much better than competitive fuels with comparable octane ratings.  This means VP fuels cool the intake charge, burn faster and yield more efficient combustion. As a result, the “effective” octane rating of VP’s fuels is even higher than the rating generated by the octane test.  As a result, VP fuels will prevent detonation more effectively than competitive fuels with comparable MONs.

Have more questions about fuel?
Contact your VP regional distribution center or send an email to tech@vpracingfuels.com. You can also submit your question on our Tech Question form by clicking HERE.






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