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ANDRA Asks Members To Lobby Federal Government Over Leaded Fuels


ANDRA is asking members to lobby the Federal government over a decision to phase out leaded racing fuels within two years.

The Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg has notified ANDRA, the IHRA Australia, and authorized fuel suppliers, that from 1 July 2019 all leaded racing fuels will banned from sale and use.

The government announced a phase-out of leaded petrol in Australia in March 2000, with the process completed by 1 January 2002.

While leaded petrol has not been used for daily motoring since then, the motorsport and aero industries continued to use leaded fuels under legislated exemptions.

ANDRA issued a response to Frydenberg's notification via its website stating it had been working with homologated fuel suppliers and they had presented a number of alternatives to the department to no avail.

The alternatives included an extended phase-out period, a stepped reduction in lead from racing fuels over a 10 year period, and the setting up of a government fund to assist the suppliers with the development of a suitable unleaded racing fuel.

ANDRA said it requested a number of times for the department to attend events to study the impact of the small volumes of leaded fuels used, but the offers were never taken up.

"We would ask that members write to The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP explaining the impact this phase-out would have on your racing, the cost to modify vehicles to only use unleaded fuels, and how this increased cost will negatively impact other places you would spend money, for example, travel to interstate events etc.," the ANDRA statement said.

It is understood fuel suppliers pay a homologation fee to ANDRA for fuels to qualify for its ANDRA Approved Fuels List.

While ANDRA has asked racers to lobby the government, it appears the IHRA Australia is preparing to adapt to the new regulations.

In a memo to competitors, engine builders and speed shops on the 400 Thunder website, dated 22 June, IHRA Australia CEO Maurice Allen said IHRAA would work closely with Canberra "to understand the effects the announcement will have on the sport."

"This will no doubt have an impact on the sport and IHRA Australia is committed to ensuring that all parties concerned including racer groups will be involved and invited to provide input and feedback surrounding the decision and the steps required moving forward."

Australia's leading motor racing series, the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, has used ethanol-based E85 fuel since 2009.

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