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Fuel Spills


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VIR was our first event and I and we had a great time. One thing I found disturbing was a team was spilling fuel on the ground during there pit stops, some fuel made it into there pan but most didn't. When they were told to clean it up they poured a bottle of water on it. When told that they needed to put oil dry (kitty litter) on it one of there team members got upset and didn't want to do it. Then when they did they just left it and the team next to them cleaned it up so they would not have to drive thru it. 

Come on guys and gals pay attention to what your doing and clean up after yourselves.

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Actually...

Most tracks want you to just let it evaporate, unless it is a huge amount of fuel.

Use oil dry for oil. Using it for fuel just makes for an explosive mixture of oil dry that you end up tossing in a trashcan.

pour water would be bad as that just spreads it and delays the evaporation

 

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1 hour ago, Bill Strong said:

Actually...

Most tracks want you to just let it evaporate, unless it is a huge amount of fuel.

Use oil dry for oil. Using it for fuel just makes for an explosive mixture of oil dry that you end up tossing in a trashcan.

pour water would be bad as that just spreads it and delays the evaporation

 

 

If this is our stance we should change the supplementals on this statement we have for every race.  Not saying you are incorrect, but this is what we tell teams.

 

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there have been just a handful of tracks that said they wanted the fuel to evap. and we watched it, as it evap'ed faster than the team could get over the wall. 
large spills though are very different. I think that is where we have to be careful with how we make the rules. It's probably best to leave it like it is.

 

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3 hours ago, Brian E said:

VIR was our first event and I and we had a great time. One thing I found disturbing was a team was spilling fuel on the ground during there pit stops, some fuel made it into there pan but most didn't. When they were told to clean it up they poured a bottle of water on it. When told that they needed to put oil dry (kitty litter) on it one of there team members got upset and didn't want to do it. Then when they did they just left it and the team next to them cleaned it up so they would not have to drive thru it. 

Come on guys and gals pay attention to what your doing and clean up after yourselves.

 

Next time, call over a ChampCar pit boss or orange vested marshall.  They will get it fixed.

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On 8/14/2019 at 3:42 PM, Burningham said:

One option is to consider what some of the other series require which is a larger catch pan.  I have one that is like 2' x 2' that was required and it pretty much catches any spill.  Just something to think about going forward.

 

I bought a $3 concrete mixing pan from Home Depot.  Its like 2' x 3'.  Even Ray Charles shouldn't have an issue avoiding spills.

 

It doesn't quite slide under the new car, so I plan to trim down one side so it'll slide half way under the car.

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1 hour ago, SonsOfIrony said:

I bought a $3 concrete mixing pan from Home Depot.  Its like 2' x 3'.  Even Ray Charles shouldn't have an issue avoiding spills.

It doesn't quite slide under the new car, so I plan to trim down one side so it'll slide half way under the car.

I've also got a few of the 2' x 3' drywall mud mixing pans, which are what WRL specifies for fuel catch pans. (They work great for engine teardown parts such as heads, intakes, etc. to keep from getting oil all over your workspace.)

For some odd reason, the ChampCar BCCR limits catch pan size to 24" square or diameter. I doubt if it's ever enforced though.

 

8.1.2.3.  A suitable gasoline and/or liquid catch pan must be used during refueling in an appropriate position to catch any spilled fuel. All fueling / gasoline catch pans MUST be manufactured of metal or sturdy, chemical-resistant plastic, maintain a minimum 3” depth, hold a minimum of 1-gallon (4-quarts) of liquid. Catch pans should be larger than 12” square or 12” in diameter and should not exceed 24” square or 24” in diameter. Oil drip pans work perfectly for this

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42 minutes ago, mcoppola said:

I've also got a few of the 2' x 3' drywall mud mixing pans, which are what WRL specifies for fuel catch pans. (They work great for engine teardown parts such as heads, intakes, etc. to keep from getting oil all over your workspace.)

For some odd reason, the ChampCar BCCR limits catch pan size to 24" square or diameter. I doubt if it's ever enforced though.

 

8.1.2.3.  A suitable gasoline and/or liquid catch pan must be used during refueling in an appropriate position to catch any spilled fuel. All fueling / gasoline catch pans MUST be manufactured of metal or sturdy, chemical-resistant plastic, maintain a minimum 3” depth, hold a minimum of 1-gallon (4-quarts) of liquid. Catch pans should be larger than 12” square or 12” in diameter and should not exceed 24” square or 24” in diameter. Oil drip pans work perfectly for this

 

I disregarded the rule about max size, and I've yet to be told it was an issue, and in fact I've been complimented on its functionality by officials.

 

The only reasoning I see behind limiting size is to prevent teams from using pan size as a license to fuel aggressively, but It's a weak argument.  The big pan works amazing, and the couple absorbent sheets we have in the bottom prevent splashback and we've had the same sheets in there for years because the small amount of fuel we do sometimes spill flashes off within minutes. 

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In my opinion the only thing that should matter on a fuel spill pan is the depth of it. Want to make sure it holds fuel and isn't a cookie sheet. 

 

The first year after VIR paved the paddock, you would have to call over the guys in the carts with special foam spray of you dropped a dime size amount of fuel on the new pavement. 

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23 minutes ago, Racer28173 said:

Someone write a petition.  We shouldn’t be selectively following the rules.  Fix the rules that are broken.  

 

even better.

Mike and I discussed and we changed the wording for the 2020 BCCR. minimum size only. still needs BOD approval. 

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20 hours ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

In my opinion the only thing that should matter on a fuel spill pan is the depth of it. Want to make sure it holds fuel and isn't a cookie sheet. 

 

The first year after VIR paved the paddock, you would have to call over the guys in the carts with special foam spray of you dropped a dime size amount of fuel on the new pavement. 

We had a guy on standby for that one......  🤣

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On 8/15/2019 at 8:35 PM, mcoppola said:

I've also got a few of the 2' x 3' drywall mud mixing pans, which are what WRL specifies for fuel catch pans. (They work great for engine teardown parts such as heads, intakes, etc. to keep from getting oil all over your workspace.)

For some odd reason, the ChampCar BCCR limits catch pan size to 24" square or diameter. I doubt if it's ever enforced though.

 

8.1.2.3.  A suitable gasoline and/or liquid catch pan must be used during refueling in an appropriate position to catch any spilled fuel. All fueling / gasoline catch pans MUST be manufactured of metal or sturdy, chemical-resistant plastic, maintain a minimum 3” depth, hold a minimum of 1-gallon (4-quarts) of liquid. Catch pans should be larger than 12” square or 12” in diameter and should not exceed 24” square or 24” in diameter. Oil drip pans work perfectly for this

That says "should", not "must". :)

 

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Penalties?

If there were penalties for spilling fuel it wouldn't happen. Have some sort of plate that you can set on top of the spill to see how big it is. If you can still see fuel around the edge of the plate then a penalty will be imposed. If not, then you get told not to do it again. 

 

The size of this 'plate' can be determined by the BOD but I'd say 1ft square or a circle with a 1ft diameter. 

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Generally, fuel spills are unintentional and often not even a result of negligence. It's common knowledge that the float balls in some fuel cell discriminator valves sometimes stick because the material is somewhat soft (so that, you know, it can float). This causes the valve to not work properly. Subsequently, fuel can "burp" out of the filler neck. Likewise, the modified vents on some cars with stock tanks will result in burping as the tank and neck fill. 

So yeah, let's penalize teams for this. 

Don't be ridiculous. 

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