The Sasol Oil Racing Fuels and Lubricants Research Facility 942542
Motor racing in general and Formula 1 in particular, represents the leading edge in automotive technology. Participation in Formula 1 presents a challenge and an opportunity to the petroleum industry, where significant research benefits can be gained in terms of product development.
As a direct result of the regulations governing the composition of the fuels that may be used in motor racing, especially in Formula 1, they have much in common with their commercial counterparts. Racing fuels and lubricants are however optimised for the specific demands of motor racing. The technology gained through this research has had a significant bearing on the procedures and equipment employed in commercial fuel and lubricants development.
Because of the very high specific output of a modern racing engine, the fuel evaluation procedure is vastly different from that used on commercial engines. The ability to have an engine test system which can provide repeatable and accurate performance and combustion results within the framework of a system which cannot be allowed to stabilise fully, due to the very high thermal stress levels at full power, is all important.
With the aid of its racing fuel development facility and the supporting simulation programs, Sasol is making good use of its synthetic coal derived products to develop racing fuels that give a competitive advantage. This knowledge is also applied in the formulation and production of commercial fuels with economic and technological benefits.