8 Oct 2009

Fuel looms as Bathurst's big wildcard

8:31 am on 8 October 2009

Five-time champion Mark Skaife says environmentally friendly fuel being used at the Bathurst 1000 for the first time will give Australia's most famous motor race its biggest shake-up in years.

The new ethanol-blend fuel adopted in the V8 Supercar championship makes its Bathurst debut when practice gets underway at Mt Panorama this afternoon.

Skaife is coming out of retirement to race at Bathurst and he says ethanol is looming as a bigger wildcard than high speed or predicted wet weather around Australia's most testing track during Sunday's race.

He believes strategy will play a far bigger role than ever as teams try to tune engines made more unpredictable by using ethanol.

Skaife says engine reliability this year will be the worst it's been in 10 years and there'll be more pit stops and shorter driver stints.