5 gallons just isn't enough. At the low speed they'd have to run at, none of the cars would finish before dark. Make it 15 gallons and now you're talking. In fact, here's my proposal:
* The allowed fuels are 15 gallons of a specific blended 100-octane gasoline, or the energy-equivalent amount in ethanol, #1 diesel, LP gas, or Jet-A. (And someday hydrogen, if the safety aspects can be worked out.) No additives; no oxidizers.
* Any form of propulsion is allowed, as long as it uses only the supplied fuel for energy.
* The car must be built around a spec safety tub. Stealing an idea from up-thread, I'm thinking the tub from the 2014 Lights car. Certain safety systems are mandatory, such as harnesses, helmets and fire suits, seat liners, fuel cells, engine-cutoff crash switches, and crash recorders. Maybe onboard firex depending on the fuel.
* The car must have at least three wheels, and be driven through the wheels. Three- and four-wheel drive permitted. Any penumatic tires are permitted.
* Any aero is permitted, with the provision that no part of the car may exceed a certain height above the pavement.
* No minimum weight, but all cars are ballasted to the weight of the heaviest driver entered (max 240 lbs.)
* All-weather racing. The race will be stopped only for heavy rain or high winds.
* Pit stops are permitted but no fluids may be added.
* 6-1/2 hour time limit. If no car finishes the race distance in that time, there is no winner.
Rather that start at a ridiculous low 5 or 15 gallons (20-60 liters for metric folks like me), I'd decrease IndyCar fuel tanks by 20% every 3-4 years. We are at 18.5 gallons (70L) now. So let's use 15 gallons (55L) in 2016, 12 gallons (45L) in 2019-2020 and 9 gallons (35L) in 2022-2024. That way, cars keep running fast like spectators want, and we halve fuel consumption every decade.
Actually, the point of experimental races isn't to get more fans, but more engineers.
We cant even get the owners to buy aero kits, so the idea of them spending money to research a more fuel efficient engine is a little far fetched at this point.
Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary… that's what gets you.
And if it was deemed not permissible for a college student to drive I believe we'd have no shortage of racing talent willing to show up for such an event. Though there would be no Rog and no Chipster money would be spent. It is indeed mind boggling some of the budgets many teams have. This (Formula SAE) is well supported monetarilly by many alumni engineers and engineering firms.
Katharine's Legge is in the gravel!--Jenks
12-7-1941 Never, Never Forget 9-11-2001