Why Do Race Cars Use E85

Do you ever wonder why race cars use E85 fuel? E85 fuel is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, and it has become increasingly popular in the motorsports industry.

As a high-performance fuel, E85 has many benefits, including increased horsepower, better throttle response, and improved combustion efficiency. Not only does E85 fuel provide performance advantages, but it also has environmental benefits.

E85 fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and it is made from renewable resources. Plus, E85 fuel has a higher octane rating than gasoline, which means it can handle more compression without detonating. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that E85 fuel has become a popular choice for race car teams.

In this article, we’ll explore why E85 fuel is used in motorsports and how it provides a competitive edge for race car drivers.

What is E85 Fuel?

E85 fuel is a blend of ethanol and gasoline, with a composition of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from crops such as corn, sugarcane, and switchgrass. It’s produced through a process called fermentation, where the starch in the crops is converted into sugar and then into alcohol.

The production of E85 fuel requires a significant amount of energy, as the ethanol must be distilled and dehydrated to remove any water content. However, it’s a more sustainable fuel option compared to traditional gasoline, as it produces fewer harmful emissions when burned.

This is why many race cars use E85 fuel, as it offers a cleaner burning alternative to gasoline while still providing the high-performance capabilities needed in racing.

Benefits of E85 Fuel in High-Performance Engines

You’ll love the advantages that come with fueling your high-performance engine with E85. The biggest benefit is fuel efficiency. E85 has a higher octane rating than traditional gasoline, which means it can withstand higher compression ratios without detonating. This allows the engine to operate more efficiently and produce more power.

Additionally, E85 has a higher oxygen content, which provides more complete combustion. This leads to better fuel economy and lower emissions. But fuel efficiency is not the only advantage of E85 in high-performance engines.

It also improves engine performance. The higher octane rating and oxygen content of E85 allow the engine to run at higher boost levels and produce more power. This is because E85 has a higher heat of vaporization, which means it can absorb more heat from the engine and cool it down.

This allows the engine to run at a lower temperature, which reduces the risk of detonation and allows for more aggressive tuning. Overall, E85 is a great choice for high-performance engines because it improves both fuel efficiency and engine performance.

Environmental Advantages of E85 Fuel

You may be interested to know that E85 fuel offers significant environmental advantages. One of the key benefits is lower greenhouse gas emissions, making it a more eco-friendly option.

Additionally, E85 is a renewable resource, meaning it can be sustainably produced for long-term use. These factors make E85 an attractive choice for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and promote environmental sustainability.

Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By using E85 fuel, race cars can significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, helping to combat climate change. E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, and it burns cleaner than traditional gasoline. Ethanol is derived from renewable resources such as corn, sugarcane, and switchgrass, making it a sustainable transportation option.

Compared to gasoline, E85 emits fewer greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, which is the primary contributor to climate change. In addition, E85 has a higher octane rating than gasoline, which allows for better engine performance and efficiency.

This means that race cars can achieve higher speeds and better lap times while still reducing their environmental impact. Overall, the use of E85 in race cars not only benefits the environment but also provides a competitive advantage on the track.

Renewable Resource

Using renewable energy sources, such as ethanol derived from corn and sugarcane, is a sustainable fuel option for powering race cars. Many race car teams have decided to switch to using E85, which is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

E85 is not only a renewable resource, but it also has a higher octane rating compared to regular gasoline. This means that it can provide a higher level of performance for race cars. Additionally, using E85 can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is beneficial for the environment.

Overall, using sustainable fuel options like E85 is a smart choice for race car teams who want to prioritize both performance and sustainability.

Use of E85 Fuel in Motorsports

When driving on the racetrack, you’ll notice that race cars often roar by with a distinct smell of ethanol, thanks to their use of E85 fuel. E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, which offers several advantages over traditional gasoline fuel.

One of the main reasons why E85 is used in motorsports is that it has a higher octane rating, which allows engines to operate at higher compression ratios, resulting in increased power output. Additionally, E85 is a renewable resource, which means it is a more environmentally friendly option compared to traditional gasoline fuel.

However, using E85 fuel in motorsports requires careful pit strategy and driver skill. E85 has a lower energy density compared to gasoline, which means that race teams need to refuel more frequently throughout the race. Therefore, pit strategy is critical in ensuring that the car has enough fuel to finish the race while also minimizing the time spent in the pit lane.

Additionally, drivers need to be skilled in managing fuel consumption, as using too much fuel too quickly can result in running out of fuel before the end of the race. Overall, the use of E85 fuel in motorsports offers a unique set of challenges that requires both technical expertise and driver skill.


Overall, the use of E85 fuel in high-performance race cars has become increasingly popular due to its numerous benefits. Not only does E85 fuel provide a higher octane rating, allowing engines to run at more efficient and powerful levels, it also offers environmental advantages by reducing emissions and promoting sustainability.

In addition, the use of E85 fuel in motorsports has allowed for advancements in technology and innovation, as teams and manufacturers work to optimize their engines for this alternative fuel source. While there may be some challenges and considerations when using E85 fuel, such as adjustments to the engine and fuel system, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

As the push for greener and more sustainable practices continues, it’s likely that the use of E85 fuel in motorsports and high-performance vehicles will only continue to grow in popularity and importance.