American Ethanol Spring 2017 - Page 26

Burn Tires, Not Gas Kyle Mohan Racing puts E15 to the test If you’ve seen a “Fast and Furious” movie, a Volkswagen commercial or a music video, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Kyle Mohan. He’s accel- erating his career as a drift racing champion, racing team owner, entrepreneur, stunt driver, brand am- bassador, and ethanol fan — all at full power. “I’m into extreme sports, working with my hands, and using my artistic skills to build motors,” said Mohan, 35, of Long Beach, Califor- nia. “I’m always on a quest for more horsepower and reliability — and, along the way, I discovered ethanol.” E15 provides a perfect fit with drifting, which emphasizes car control and speed and has become the fastest growing motorsport in the world. “Everyone in this sport is always pur- suing more horsepower,” said Mohan, who established Kyle Mohan Racing in 2007 and competes in the GT-Radial/Mazdatrix Mazda MX-5 in Formula Drift. “I started experiment- ing on my own with ethanol and was so impressed with its performance that I started using it in our racing program nearly seven years ago.” Even when Mohan received an incentive for free fuel, he passed on it when he found out it didn’t contain ethanol. “Our industry picked up on ethanol really fast,” he noted. “About 85 percent of the field runs ethanol today.” “Tree hugger” in the fast lane As a cleaner-burning, non-corro- sive fuel, ethanol can also help engines last longer by reducing carbon buildup, added Mohan, a highly sought-after builder of Mazda rotary engines. “My motors cost $30,000-plus. Racers want to protect their investment, just like you want to protect your investment in your car. If we can make our motors last an extra race, that’s huge.” It’s almost an added bonus that ethanol is a less expensive, homegrown, sustainable, eco-friendly fuel that reduces harmful air emissions. This is important to Mohan and his wife, Adrienne, an environmental scientist who manages coastal cleanup projects on public and private lands. “We’re tree huggers who love the outdoors,” said Mohan, who enjoys raising orchids and fruit trees in his free time. “Our garden is living artwork, and we want to protect the environment.” This includes choosing ethanol. “So many things about ethanol make sense,” Mohan said. “It fits my philosophy of work hard and do good.” 26 AMERICAN ETHANOL THE MAGAZINE