Methanol and ethanol have become fuels of choice in major races from the Indianapolis 500 to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and the 90th running of the Pikes Peak race on July 8th will feature two methanol-powered cars sponsored by the Fuel Freedom campaign. Six-time PPIHC winner Paul Dallenbach and his nephew, Wyatt Dallenbach, will carry the Fuel Freedom logo. In addition, this year for the first time an electric-powered racecar, driven by last year’s winner, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima of Japan, will compete in the race. “Given the ability to chose, professional drivers prefer methanol, ethanol and electricity over gasoline,” said Fuel Freedom co-founder Eyal Aronoff. “Why shouldn’t you and I be given this choice?”
Methanol can be made from plentiful domestic natural gas, as well as from anything that was at one time alive, including agricultural and municipal waste; gasoline can only be made from petroleum. Unfortunately, regulatory and commercial barriers prevent American car owners from using methanol fuel in their vehicles. Removing these barriers would mean that fuels such as methanol, natural gas, ethanol and electricity could compete with gasoline. Consumers then could choose the fuel they want to purchase at the pump.
The 12.42-mile Pikes Peak race, near Colorado Springs, CO., includes 156 turns, starts at an elevation of 9,390 feet, and ends at the peak’s 14,110-foot summit, where, it turns out, the song America the Beautiful was penned. Four days following Independence Days, the Dallenbach Racing team is hoping to reclaim the overall title from its Japanese rival. “I am really excited to have Fuel Freedom Foundation with us this year in our quest to break the record using an alternative fuel and bring the record back to America,” said Paul Dallenbach, 45, a long-time professional and stunt car driver who has won the Pike’s Peak Open Wheel Division six times and the Overall Division three times.