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Apr 25, 2002

Contaminated Race Fuel Costs Vesrah Suzuki's Mark Junge

<BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Four Suzukis raced by WERA 600cc Superstock and Open Superstock National Challenge Series Champion Mark Junge were damaged by contaminated Nutec Special 4 race gas during the April 20-21 WERA National round at North Florida Motorsports Park.<BR><BR>When his fuel order was delayed, Junge bought Nutec Special 4, the race gas of choice for many riders, from another racer at the WERA National. The fuel, which was in the sealed, original Nutec five-gallon drums was contaminated and gummed up the ports and valves of Junge's racebikes. <BR><BR>The result was three poor-running Suzukis and a GSX-R1000 that wouldn't run at all. Junge struggled through the WERA weekend, finishing sixth in the Open Superstock race and sixth in the 600cc Superstock race, both on his GSX-R600. Junge's teammate Tray Batey faired better, finishing second in the 750cc Superstock sprint, on a GSX-R750, and winning the Heavyweight Twins race, on a TL1000R. But when Junge returned to his race shop in Union Grove, Wisconsin, he found another surprise.<BR><BR>"It looked as if someone had poured molasses down every intake and exhaust valve of all four bikes," said Junge, in an April 24 telephone call to "So now instead of going to race at Road America this weekend, I'm going to have to bust my ass to pull the heads off all four bikes and be ready for the next WERA National at Putnam Park. I'm going to have to clean the heads, the throttle bodies and the injectors, in addition to the normal engine rebuilds for my endurance bikes."<BR><BR>At the 2001 April CCS twin-sprint race weekend at Road America, Junge won eight of the nine races he entered. Factor in American Suzuki's decision to pay full contingency on both days of this weekend's 2002 twin-sprint weekend, and, by running in three contingency-paying races per day, Junge could possibly have won $4500 in Suzuki contingency alone.<BR><BR>This isn't the first time that a problem has occurred with Nutec Special 4 race gas. During the March 2002 Formula USA and AMA races at Daytona, three separate teams encountered problems with contaminated Nutec Special 4 race fuel, and the problem affected all of Arclight Suzuki's racebikes.<BR><BR>Contacted by phone April 24, Nutec Racing Fuels & Oils' U.S. Sales Executive Lionel Roux said, "Yes, we knew that we had some problems, but we believed that it was a small amount of fuel and that it all was consumed by now. <BR><BR>"The problem is contamination by water in the blending tanks. The water reacts with the additive package in the fuel, the fuel runs without the additive and it gums everything up.<BR><BR>"Condensation happens in the blending tanks. Maybe we had a filter failure. We have bought new filters and put in place new procedures for quality control."<BR><BR>Although Junge said his contaminated Nutec fuel "didn't even smell like regular Nutec", Roux said that there is no way to know if a container, five or 15-gallon, of Nutec Special 4 is contaminated just by its markings or smell. Roux said that riders worried about a drum of Nutec being contaminated should call him at (310) 641-8015.<BR><BR>Roux added that the newest Nutec race fuel, Special 5, has a new additive package that doesn't react with water. Roux said that the new Special 5 fuel will be available after the Sears Point AMA National, adding that the new fuel is more powerful, cleaner burning and only a little more expensive than Special 4.<BR><BR>Meanwhile, Junge said that he is considering switching to another brand of race fuel.
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