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Husker Motorsports

The Nebraska Ethanol Board is a proud sponsor of Husker Motorsports, a student-run engineering design team from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Students design, build, market, and race a formula-style race car. The worldwide competition includes over 500 teams from more than 35 countries, and Husker Motorsports is one of 15-20 teams using ethanol to power its race car. The process of designing and manufacturing provides a unique platform for students to apply technical and business concepts they learn from coursework while sharpening their teamwork, technical communication, and leadership skills. 

The role ethanol plays in Husker Motorsports performance

Most race car drivers prefer fuel that is methanol- or ethanol-based, and the reason is simple. Overall, alcohol-based fuel has a high octane rating which increases fuel efficiency. Husker Motorsports has experienced many benefits by using E85 in its race cars throughout the years, including: 

  • Increased resistance to predetonation
  • Allows for a higher compression ratio and more advanced spark timing
  • High latent heat of vaporization
  • (359 Btu/gal; 150 Btu/gal for gasoline)
  • Large heat transferred from air in order to atomize fuel
  • Reduces air temperature by ~173°F
  • Increases charge density
  • Increases power potential
  • Increased fuel efficiency 
  • Octane rating:
    -    E85: 99-100 (MON)
    -    Gasoline: 80-90 (MON)