Truck  |  Corporate 

Successful truck racing season 2012: new fuel for MAN racing teams

Successful truck racing season 2012: new fuel for MAN racing teams

  • MAN and BP/Aral develop special diesel fuel for racing
  • New formula produces more power and less CO2
  • Particularly clean combustion makes particulate filter super-fluous

MAN promotes clean, environmentally-friendly racing sport and for this rea-son has teamed up with strategic partner BP and its fuel brand Aral to develop a new diesel fuel. This fuel saves CO2 and its combustion is especially clean with very little soot. It is available exclusively to the MAN teams.

Development began in 2011 with the aim of making the near-series race trucks not only more environmentally friendly but also faster. MAN's racing engines for the trucks participating in the FIA Truck Racing Championship produce more than 5,500 Nm torque at outputs of over 1,150 hp. They accelerate five-and-a-half tonnes of race truck to a hundred kilometres an hour in little more than six seconds, which sees the trucks going to their physical limits. Power and torque have been continually increasing over the past years. Racing has shown that the full potential of the racing engines cannot be realised using commercial diesel fuel of the types available at filling stations. For this reason, Aral's fuel specialists were tasked with finding out whether a special formula could optimise the fuel characteristics. MAN's engine developers ascertained that there was potential particularly in combustion producing less soot.

What requirements must a racing diesel fuel meet?

The objective of MAN's racing-engine development in Nuremberg was to be able to use a fuel that simultaneously met three requirements:

  • CO2 reduction
  • Extremely low-soot combustion, in order to be able to run without a particulate filter and thus eliminate weight that was unfavourably positioned
  • Optimum power development

The right "blend" in tests

The blend, that is to say the mixture of the various components of the fuel, was developed in Aral's fuel-research laboratory in Bochum and then suc-cessfully tested on the test benches of the MAN Engine Development Center in Nuremberg. One of the crucial issues involved is the ability to achieve sootless combustion at full acceleration under harsh racing conditions as well. Harsh in this context means at great heat and low air pressure. As a result, the MAN race trucks do not require particulate filters. This dispenses with a part that is highly relevant to power and would otherwise have to be kept permanently in perfect condition. Moreover, the particulate filter is also a part that adds weight at an unfavourable position on the truck - weight that the truck can now happily do without.

Tailor-made optimisation of the fuel's characteristics as in this case is based on the same high-quality components used in the branded fuels sold at BP/Aral filling stations. Aral's researchers put the components through a further selection process and combined them to meet the specific requirements of the MAN engineers. The secret of the successful formula is thus to be found in the quality and the selection of its constituents. The rules do not permit special racing additives of any kind.

Tailor-made engine oil

The Castrol engine oil is also a special development for racing engines. A very wide viscosity range ensures correct lubrication even under the extreme temperature conditions and stresses typical of the race track.