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Anyone opinions using E85 for Track Days?

docs302

TMO Addict
582
364
Philly
I was reading this old thread with excitement as I run 100 octane Sunoco race fuel and was hoping to save some money and run cooler. I have been getting a 54 gallon drum delivered to my home directly from PSC but that came with a $100 shipping fee. This year I decided to just bring the drum to the track and fill it there as the price ends up being about the same or slightly less.
I just checked the PSC price on Sunoco E85 99 octane and it was the same as the 260 GT 100. So I guess the cheaper E85 would have to come from a station pump? The quality of the Sunoco race version is obviously better and consistent but there is no cost savings for me. I have no idea where I can get pump E85 so maybe I can do the switch just to get the benefit of lower running temps.
 

Fabman

Epic Contributor
3,303
2,396
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
W2W Racing
20+ Years
I was reading this old thread with excitement as I run 100 octane Sunoco race fuel and was hoping to save some money and run cooler. I have been getting a 54 gallon drum delivered to my home directly from PSC but that came with a $100 shipping fee. This year I decided to just bring the drum to the track and fill it there as the price ends up being about the same or slightly less.
I just checked the PSC price on Sunoco E85 99 octane and it was the same as the 260 GT 100. So I guess the cheaper E85 would have to come from a station pump? The quality of the Sunoco race version is obviously better and consistent but there is no cost savings for me. I have no idea where I can get pump E85 so maybe I can do the switch just to get the benefit of lower running temps.
Fortunately I can get it at a fairly local station (20 miles away) and it's 2.89/gal as of today.
I have never ever used "Racing e85" as that defeats the purpose of having cheap fuel for me.
I have a couple drums here in the shop and I fill them all up at once plus whatever fuel jugs I'm taking to the track.
After that I can go a long time without purchasing more. I have a 91 tune, 100 tune and an e85 tune so no matter where I find myself I can cope with what's available. I have a gauge in the car that reads ethanol content so I can tell at a glance what's what. I have a quick disconnect drain tube on my fuel rail so a fuel swap is simple and quick. I've never had an issue even when the content varies. A conservative tune and sensible compression goes a long way here. Now if I were at 13-1 and pushing timing to the absolute limit I would be a lot more fussy about fuel, but I'm not, and it works out real nice for me.
 

Fabman

Epic Contributor
3,303
2,396
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
W2W Racing
20+ Years
I was reading this old thread with excitement as I run 100 octane Sunoco race fuel and was hoping to save some money and run cooler. I have been getting a 54 gallon drum delivered to my home directly from PSC but that came with a $100 shipping fee. This year I decided to just bring the drum to the track and fill it there as the price ends up being about the same or slightly less.
I just checked the PSC price on Sunoco E85 99 octane and it was the same as the 260 GT 100. So I guess the cheaper E85 would have to come from a station pump? The quality of the Sunoco race version is obviously better and consistent but there is no cost savings for me. I have no idea where I can get pump E85 so maybe I can do the switch just to get the benefit of lower running temps.
There is an iPhone app called "e85 finder" that I used to use when the car was still street legal. It helped me plan my route when venturing out of town on club cruises etc. I'd just fill the tank, bring 2 jugs in the trunk and hit whatever stations that had it when close to the route. Never ever ran out of fuel.
 

KazarS197

TMO Intermediate
79
108
Pittsburgh
I was reading this old thread with excitement as I run 100 octane Sunoco race fuel and was hoping to save some money and run cooler. I have been getting a 54 gallon drum delivered to my home directly from PSC but that came with a $100 shipping fee. This year I decided to just bring the drum to the track and fill it there as the price ends up being about the same or slightly less.
I just checked the PSC price on Sunoco E85 99 octane and it was the same as the 260 GT 100. So I guess the cheaper E85 would have to come from a station pump? The quality of the Sunoco race version is obviously better and consistent but there is no cost savings for me. I have no idea where I can get pump E85 so maybe I can do the switch just to get the benefit of lower running temps.
Try a "flex fuel" search for the Philly area. E85 for me when searching only pulled some results. It all depends on how the companies list.... It looks like Royal Farms has it plus a couple others. I would definitely call specific gas stations to confirm first though. When I picked up my car in Ohio I mapped out a few locations knowing I was only going to get between 150-200 miles on a tank on my way home depending on how much I was in the loud peddle. Glad I did that as a backup. One station's pump was down.
 

PaddyPrix

If breakin' parts is cool, consider me Miles Davis
299
353
San Diego
HPDE
Under 3 Years
I started off with something like this when I was deciding -- http://e85prices.com/e85map -- and found out that depending on who is big in your area, they also have their own applications as well. Pearson and Propel run SoCal, and every so often, they'll have a station promotion in their app where it's something silly like 99c/gal. I always carry 4 x 5.5 VP jugs since I'm not legal to go on the street, and with one jug lasting me a session, that pretty much covers my track day. I keep hearing stories of people giving away e85, but haven't found those guys yet. Now that my tow rig is a flex fueler, I'll take whatever free stuff I can get.

It definitely helps to get one of those glass e85 testers, like this boost monkey I've got, and perhaps on a regional car website you're on, compile a list of stations and ratings, and ask others to help out, kinda like this thread on Mustang6g. I've been lucky to test most places at 86-88%, but heard stories where people are closer to e70, which would be a concern with most e85 race tunes assuming a minimum of 75, but definitely check with your tuner. Considering that my Sunoco 100 5 gallon drums are $75/ea, I'm much happier staying with e85 and finding ways to make it work.

Fortunately I can get it at a fairly local station (20 miles away) and it's 2.89/gal as of today.
I have never ever used "Racing e85" as that defeats the purpose of having cheap fuel for me.
Same here. Considering my only other real cost-efficient alternative is California garbage 91 octane, I'd rather have "garbage" e85.
 
Last edited:

Fabman

Epic Contributor
3,303
2,396
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
W2W Racing
20+ Years
I started off with something like this when I was deciding -- http://e85prices.com/e85map -- and found out that depending on who is big in your area, they also have their own applications as well. Pearson and Propel run SoCal, and every so often, they'll have a station promotion in their app where it's something silly like 99c/gal. I always carry 4 x 5.5 VP jugs since I'm not legal to go on the street, and with one jug lasting me a session, that pretty much covers my track day. I keep hearing stories of people giving away e85, but haven't found those guys yet. Now that my tow rig is a flex fueler, I'll take whatever free stuff I can get.

It definitely helps to get one of those glass e85 testers, like this boost monkey I've got, and perhaps on a regional car website you're on, compile a list of stations and ratings, and ask others to help out, kinda like this thread on Mustang6g. I've been lucky to test most places at 86-88%, but heard stories where people are closer to e70, which would be a concern with most e85 race tunes assuming a minimum of 75, but definitely check with your tuner. Considering that my Sunoco 100 5 gallon drums are $75/ea, I'm much happier staying with e85 and finding ways to make it work.


Same here. Considering my only other real cost-efficient alternative is California garbage 91 octane, I'd rather have "garbage" e85.
Right there with you brother.
 

bob

TMO Race
303
186
sfo
I wish I could run E85 in my racear. I would love the extra power. For those with pickup trucks who might tow to the track why not get those bed based 100gallon transfer fuel tanks and fill that with E85 and just suck off of that? Then you would not have to worry about moving heavy Drums of E85 and those tanks are DOT approved safe.
 

Stangra

TMO Advanced
I was reading this old thread with excitement as I run 100 octane Sunoco race fuel and was hoping to save some money and run cooler. I have been getting a 54 gallon drum delivered to my home directly from PSC but that came with a $100 shipping fee. This year I decided to just bring the drum to the track and fill it there as the price ends up being about the same or slightly less.
I just checked the PSC price on Sunoco E85 99 octane and it was the same as the 260 GT 100. So I guess the cheaper E85 would have to come from a station pump? The quality of the Sunoco race version is obviously better and consistent but there is no cost savings for me. I have no idea where I can get pump E85 so maybe I can do the switch just to get the benefit of lower running temps.
Maybe this will help with finding E85 near you

 
Last edited:

Stangra

TMO Advanced
theres a good comment earlier in this thread, if you buy pump E85 in particular make sure to test it, as many many folks have found their pump E85 to be more like E70 so depending on your tolerances for that it could cause a real problem.
As mentioned in a previous post to this thread, If you do get E(less-than)85 it's going to run richer, so while it won't run as great as it should there's probably not a big risk of damage to the engine.
I do use a slightly conservative tune when running pump E85, and if I want to go all out I run a more aggressive tune and X85. Only slightly cheaper than 100 octane race gas, but all the benefits of E85 and precise quality.

 

boardkat

CAMtard
129
165
Lake Oswego, OR
W2W Racing
10-20 Years
Not sure what they charge to ship, but I get all of mine here:


They’re a subsidiary of a local fruit company, and use agricultural waste to distill ethanol. They’ll mix it however you want on-demand (ethanol %, type of gas used) and depending on the time of year (and what fruit is being processed), choice of smell - my last drum was made from cherries! Paid $170/55gal drum for E85 cut with 93 all season - and since they make it when requested (FRESH), always tests @ 85%

I’m sure there are other companies doing something similar around the country.
 

PaddyPrix

If breakin' parts is cool, consider me Miles Davis
299
353
San Diego
HPDE
Under 3 Years
And depending on the time of year (and what fruit is being processed), choice of smell - my last drum was made from cherries!
Sweet. I went with tequila, which tastes a lot better than you'd think.
 

boardkat

CAMtard
129
165
Lake Oswego, OR
W2W Racing
10-20 Years
Sweet. I went with tequila, which tastes a lot better than you'd think.
I made the mistake of driving someone else’s racecar running E85 for the first time after a night of drinking one too many vodka/red bulls about a decade ago. Let’s just say I prefer my fuel to smell different than what I was imbibing the night before :p
 

docs302

TMO Addict
582
364
Philly
The VP X85 is $375 for a 54 gallon drum which is about $100 less than the Sunoco 100. The East region hub appears to be in Newark, DE so not very far and I can save on shipping. I found pump E85 very close to my home so I will test it and see what I get first. Having X85 consistency and no worries about quality would be the easy way to go but it's still not saving me much cash like the pump would. I'm going to check the local station today.
 

flyhalf

TMO Race
440
438
bay area, CA
The VP X85 is $375 for a 54 gallon drum which is about $100 less than the Sunoco 100. The East region hub appears to be in Newark, DE so not very far and I can save on shipping. I found pump E85 very close to my home so I will test it and see what I get first. Having X85 consistency and no worries about quality would be the easy way to go but it's still not saving me much cash like the pump would. I'm going to check the local station today.
6-7 $ for ethanol seems too much. Yes probably super precise. But not sure is worth also including the fact that ethanol milage is up to 30% less.
 

docs302

TMO Addict
582
364
Philly
6-7 $ for ethanol seems too much. Yes probably super precise. But not sure is worth also including the fact that ethanol milage is up to 30% less.
I agree......but I need to find a reliable E85. I don't like the idea of quality being all over the place. I want to run a single tune and not have to worry about how much ethanol was in the last batch I put in the tank.
 

PaddyPrix

If breakin' parts is cool, consider me Miles Davis
299
353
San Diego
HPDE
Under 3 Years
I agree......but I need to find a reliable E85. I don't like the idea of quality being all over the place. I want to run a single tune and not have to worry about how much ethanol was in the last batch I put in the tank.
For what it's worth, I wasn't trying to make the quality thing a real scare, but yeah, it is a possibility. I don't recall what area of the country it was, but everybody I know who does use it full time obviously isn't really effected by it. I'm to the point where I'm only spot checking now because the quality control of my local Pearsons by the race tracks are top notch. Sometimes it's an hour away in each direction, but race gas around $2.49/g is worth the trip.
 

Scootsmcgreggor

TMO Advanced
176
157
CA
I agree......but I need to find a reliable E85. I don't like the idea of quality being all over the place. I want to run a single tune and not have to worry about how much ethanol was in the last batch I put in the tank.
You could have your tune are for a lower ethanol content, say E70. Will still get most of the benefit of E85 and not have to worry.
 

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