While we taking part in the annual International Motor Press test days on the amazing track and grounds of the Monticello Motor Club (our job is horrible), we had a chance to meet with and get to know Kyle Mohan. Kyle is a professional drift racer. He is also an engine and race component builder who specializes in rotary race engines. While his story is rather unique, what surprised us most about Kyle was his passion for ethanol as a fuel. We quizzed him about how he became an ambassador for American Ethanol.
TN - Please tell our readers bit about yourself.
Kyle - I am a professional driver in the Formula Drift series as well as a Drive Instructor for Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles and for private clients wanting one-on-one training. I have owned and driven for my business, Kyle Mohan Racing, for about 10 years where we specialize in high-performance rotary engine development and services for customers in addition to my racing team. Using these platforms, I represent American Ethanol as a brand ambassador with the goal to share with the automotive community the multiple benefits of ethanol as a performance-enhancing and environmentally-friendly fuel source.
TN - How did you start using ethanol?
Kyle - I discovered the benefits that ethanol provides my racing car about four years ago when I was searching for a way to push the limits of my racing motors further. I had heard about the cooling and octane benefits of ethanol and realized it was economically available in California. I ended up testing different ethanol blends and realized I could produce more horsepower from a cheaper and cleaner-burning fuel, which was a win-win for my race program.
TN - What positive effects have you found using it as a fuel for your racecar?
Kyle - The high octane content of ethanol allows me to run more ignition timing safely, which in the racing world translates to more horsepower. My pro Formula Drift car (a Mazda MX-5 with a 1000-hp 20B three-rotor engine ) and my show car (Mazda FD3S RX-7 with a 13b two-rotor engine) both run motors that I crafted myself, and so I take special care of what fuel I put into them. I like that ethanol is a cleaner burning fuel which reduces build-up and wear inside the motor, and saves me money on servicing my motor or replacing components with reduced wear and tear.
TN - What is your opinion of ethanol when used appropriately as a passenger vehicle fuel?
Kyle - Ethanol is perfect for me and my peers in the professional motorsports community, but it’s also a great choice if you’re just going for a drive to the grocery store. If you choose to fill up your tank with a higher ethanol blend you’re getting more octane, increased power to your engine, and a cooler-burning fuel for less cost, which is a win-win. And with ethanol, you’re also making the conscious choice to use a renewable biofuel that burns cleaner than petroleum and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to gasoline. When you look at the engine performance benefits combined with the environmental benefits it should be something any consumer can get behind. If you have E15 locally available and your car is model year 2001 or newer you should definitely give it a try. And for those people who have Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs), E85 is an even more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective option.
We would like to thank Kyle for taking the time to speak with us and to offer us his expert opinion on some of the many benefits of ethanol. Check out Kyle's site here. For more information on ethanol in racing and as a passenger fuel please visit Growth Energy's information page.