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SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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LIQUID POWER VP Racing Fuel’s Participation SCORE Is More Than Just About Filling Fuel Tanks By Dan Sanchez Photos courtesy VP Racing Fuels Modern desert racing vehicles are some of the most sophisticated pieces of machinery that also require sophisticated fuel systems. Fueling these engines can become difficult with the varied types of engines that range from 900 horsepower V8s to turbocharged V6’s and 1600cc air-cooled four-cylinder engines, and much more. The diversity of these engines require fuels that are much different from what was used in SCORE’s past racing history.   During the early days of Baja racing, fuel was flown in by airplane to specific locations so racers could refuel for the next leg of the race. Those without that capability simply had to carry as much fuel as they could in their vehicles to make it across the Baja Peninsula. As that also became more difficult and unsafe, racers began recalibrating their engine’s fuel systems to use the available fuel in Mexico, but that didn’t always allow for maximum power. Fortunately, all of that has changed for modern SCORE racers, thanks to the efforts of fuel manufacturers like VP Racing Fuels Inc.   A Fuel For Every Type Of Race Vehicle  The thought of using anything less than the optimum power-making fuel that the engine was made for, is no longer something racers need to worry about. According to Bruce Hendel, Vice President North American Sales at VP Racing, the company was founded by Steve Burns, who in the mid-’70s, had relationships with Pro Stock drag racing champions. Burns worked with top racers to develop and formulate fuels that maximized performance in those specialty engines. “That same approach exists today”, says Hendel. “We work closely with engine builders to create fuels that combat the harsh conditions that desert racing presents, but allows for maximum power and engine protection. VP has a long history in off-road racing, and whether it be trucks, cars, bikes, quads, and now UTV’s, we’ve won championships in all classes over the last 46 years”.  “VP has 80 different blends for a variety of types,” says Mike Emerson, VP Racing’s Western Division Regional Manager. “We continue to work very closely with the engine builders and race teams, and can recommend one of many formulations we have to offer. Those vehicles running late-model factory stock engines can typically run on regular unleaded pump gas, but for racing, we can supply a fuel that makes better power than pump gas and also provide protection from vapor lock, which is a common problem with pump gas”.  According to Emerson, one of the company’s most popular formulations used in SCORE racing is its Late Model Plus. This fuel is extremely popular with Trophy Truck and Class 1 type engines, providing additional octane for the higher compression typically found in these applications, plus its lower RVP prevents vapor lock in the extreme heat of desert racing. “Aside from our many fuel formulations, one of the main differences that set VP apart from our competition is that we are vertically integrated. We have a laboratory, two full-time chemists, plus we blend, dye, and drum all our fuels,” says Hendel. “VP uses only lined drums, which are costlier, prevent rust or corrosion on the interior of the drum and ensures the customer a better quality product.”    The Logistics Of Fuel   While VP Racing may have an optimum fuel blend that allows racers to get the most out of their vehicles, the logistics of getting the fuel in Mexico is a different matter altogether. “All of our fuel is blended and manufactured in our San Antonio, Texas plant, then it is delivered to Mexico,” says Emerson. “That sounds simple enough, but there’s much more that goes into getting it to a SCORE race than just placing barrels of fuels on a semi-truck and driving down there.”  According to Emerson, VP Racing fuels delivers hundreds of barrels of fuel to Mexico for a single SCORE race, but they are also trying to make it easier for individual teams to get their fuels more efficiently. “One of our 18-wheel semi-trucks can hold between 106 to 112 barrels of fuel. They make their way down to Otay Mesa and goes through a broker,” says Emerson. “Then it gets across the border and goes into our distributor’s warehouses in Tijuana. When teams order their fuel leading up to a SCORE race, the fuel is then transported from the warehouse to Ensenada”   Ultimately it’s up to the teams to decide how they want their fuel delivered or picked up, but with lots of teams and pit-stops wanting fuel, it can be difficult to get it within the window of when they first get down to Mexico and the start of the race. “We can physically deliver fuel to some race team hotels if they prefer,” says Emerson. “Each has their name on the drums of fuel. For pit areas, it depends on where they are located. We can bring them to specific areas designated by the pit crews. One of the things we are doing that allows teams easier access to our fuels is expanding our distributors in Mexico. For example, in Baja Sur, our distributor has seven VP Racing Fuels gas stations down the peninsula where teams can pick up their fuel and drop off the empty barrels. It is something we are encouraging teams to utilize with discounts and incentives.”  For racers utilizing BFGoodrich Tires Pits, Emerson says they can simply log onto the BFGoodrich Tires Pit website and go to the VP Racing Fuels pre-order link to get the specific fuel blend and the amount of fuel they need. VP will deliver the specified amount of fuel to each pit. “We always take into account for teams that may have miscalculated and we usually have extra fuel available,” he says.    VP Racing Fuels The Official Presenter Of The 2nd SCORE BaJa 400  VP’s participation in SCORE racing has helped many teams win races and championships throughout the year. It’s one of the reasons why the company has become the Official Fuel of SCORE International. “Along with being impressed on what SCORE has done with their off-road racing series, aligning VP Racing Fuels with SCORE is also helping us expand our distribution throughout Mexico,” said Hendel. “SCORE’s business-to-business opportunities have helped us do that, and it will ultimately make it easier for racers to get their fuel as it continues to expand.” SJ SOURCES VP Racing Fuel Inc. 204 E. Rhapsody San Antonio, TX. 78216

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