I guess I'm not seeing the advantage for him in running meth. It's nasty stuff. I know the overall advantage of running m1/m5, but it doesn't seem like his setup warrants it in comparison to other combos, especially when he is already off the throttle and still needs to run the intercooler. They aren't that extreme of combos, and with the numbers, he is putting down, he is nowhere near running at the ragged edge.
There are multiple good reasons to use methanol instead of gas for racing, rules permitting, Steve. Probably one of the first on most people's lists is cost. A 54-gallon drum of C16 on the VP site today has an MSRP of $1,243, freight and tax not included. A 55-gallon drum of commercial grade Methanol at current Methanex North American pricing is $1.73/gallon today or less than $100 in 55-gallon drums, again freight and tax not included — and you have something better than a high-end racing gas for fuel. If you buy from a local industrial distributor, you can avoid the bulk of the freight cost and possibly get the per-gallon price reduced a bit also.
Then, of course, the relatively high octane rating (110+) does wonders for detonation suppression, and of course, the exceptionally clean burning methanol provides easily readable sparkplug surfaces. The low heat imparted to all engine components; the ability to run very high compression ratios, even with a blower; the unusually low exhaust temperatures, and the relative (not total) indifference to fuel temperature all add to the fuel's attractiveness. There are more 'good things' attributable to methanol, but this is a pretty good start and certainly, enough to argue for methanol over race gas, again, rules permitting.
In fairness, you should use stainless fuel system plumbing wherever practical and certainly methanol-safe injectors. Ancillary fuel system damage can be mitigated by emptying your tank at the end of the race weekend, putting some gas in the tank, and restarting your engine on a gas tune to drive it into the trailer.
The methanol replacement with gas should be done even if you have a methanol-safe fuel system. Both alcohols are hygroscopic and will absorb considerable moisture directly from the ambient air. Water will change the way the alcohols burn and also the power available from them. With today's EFI systems draining the tank and refilling it with gas is not as big a deal as it was in years gone by.
Once you begin using methanol, you will be very reluctant to return to gasoline as a race fuel.
On another note and back to injector sizing, a reason why I chose the 1650s, to begin with, was that they are very good at avoiding corrosion, whereas when you step up to all of the 2000ish CC injectors, their bodies don't fair well to E85, and especially not meth.
The larger dual 2200+ cc injectors that AJ is using are, I believe, four years old, possibly more. Their bodies show no signs of deterioration. I have another friend with a ProMod that used large electronic and mechanical injectors simultaneously without any indications of damage to the body of the electronic injectors or other components.
While I am sure the units you saw experienced it, I suspect that the damage you observed may have been initiated by something other than the fuel. There are enough good experiences with methanol that I suspect something else was at work in the instance(s) you may have observed, Steve. In fairness, significantly, both of my examples used methanol and not E85, although I would not expect a difference.
Your engine's appetite for fuel places you very near the top of the delivery window for the 1650cc units. Larger or multiple injectors to get the duty cycle down below 70% would benefit your engine program — especially for night racing or should you decide to turn up the boost.
Methanol is not a street fuel. It is a race track only fuel. If you want 90%+ of the methanol benefits on the street, then pump grade E85 would be the obvious choice.
Like methanol, ethanol (E85) is hygroscopic. However, as long as the fuel tank is regularly refilled, the water content will be low. Running a flex fuel sensor will tell the ECU the actual ethanol content, irrespective of water content, and allow the ECU to make proper fueling decisions in day-to-day driving.
Another mitigating factor for E85 is mileage. E85 does not get good mileage. Normally this would be a negative. However, ethanol's affinity for water makes this otherwise unpleasant mileage issue a positive because you won't have unused 'old' fuel in your tank looking for or having already acquired airborne humidity.