Looking for Fuel

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Fuel is what Andy Chiavetta is looking for at Reno this year. The ace Sport class crew chief is concentrating on Lynn Farnsworth Lancair Legacy this year, and like others with modified Continental TSIO-550 power getting enough fuel into the combustion chambers is the latest challenge.

Andy Chiavetta, in green shirt, installs an intercooler on Lynn Farnsworth’s Lancair Legacy in the Reno pits.
Andy Chiavetta, in green shirt, installs an intercooler on Lynn Farnsworth’s Lancair Legacy in the Reno pits.

Fuel is in short supply because improved turbocharger installations are allowing more boost – air – and that air needs corresponding fuel. But the Continental fuel systems can only supply so much, and with power reaching over the 700 hp mark, the stock fuel systems are running out of both capacity and control.

Chiavetta is planning on a larger fuel pump installation to fill his social calendar tonight. He says he’s all set, having had a full night’s sleep after changing two cylinders on Farnsworth’s Legacy Thursday night following an ADI pump failure that torched two jugs in an eye-opening 10 seconds. Things go south fast at the new high boost pressures.

To put things in perspective, Farnsworth is burning 71 gph when racing and he wishes it was 79 gph!

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Pumping avgas and waxing flight school airplanes got Tom into general aviation in 1973, but the lure of racing cars and motorcycles sent him down a motor journalism career heavy on engines and racing. Today he still writes for peanuts and flies for fun.

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