EcoModder Takes Home 3 Wins at the Green Grand Prix

by Benjamin Jones on May 3, 2009

This Saturday in Watkins Glen, NY was the annual Green Grand Prix, an event which celebrates fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles. For the first time this year the event was split into two separate categories: the fuel economy competition and the time-speed-distance rally.

EcoModder had four vehicles come to represent the site in the fuel economy rally. Of those 4 vehicles (in three different categories), we took home three victories and posted the 1st and 3rd overall fuel economy numbers for the event.

The EcoModders

  • 1998 Pontiac Firefly (aka Geo Metro): Darin Cosgrove (MetroMPG) took home 1st place in category 10, which housed all the out of production and weirdo vehicles. Although there was not a prize for it, he and his heavily ecomodded Firefly were recorded at 99.7 mpg and got the best fuel economy of any vehicle at the Green Grand Prix.
  • 1991 Honda CRX: Benjamin Jones (SVOboy, author) pulled down 88.5 mpg, making it the third highest vehicle overall and winner of the 27-32 mpg (by EPA rating) class. The vehicle was sporting some hastily added ecomods as well as a lean burn engine swap and MPGuino.
  • 1998 Honda Civic EX: Will Meredith (Wonderboy) has a lightly ecomodded Civic EX equipped with a Scangauge II to help tune the nut behind the wheel. The EX model was the least efficient Civic in Honda’s lineup that year, but Will still managed a very impressive 57 mpg with the car.
  • 1993 Toyota Tercel: Tim Sullivan (McTimson) drove an unmodified 1993 Toyota Tercel. With only an MPGuino to guide him, Tim was able to ecodrive his way to victory in the 33-38 mpg class, rounding out the three victories for EcoModder.

The Green Grand Prix

The Green Grand Prix started at the Glen Motor Inn Motel outside of Watkins Glen, NY, a town well known for its racing heritage. The 77 mile course takes the drivers up Route 14 to Geneva and then down Route 96 back to Watkins Glen.

The course is mainly over roads with a 55 mile speed limit, and the drivers had 2 hours and 5 minutes to complete the fuel economy competition before incurring a penalty. Also included in that time was a mandatory 10 minute stop at a halfway point in Geneva, NY.

The course’s rolling hills were great for fuel economy and offered drivers and navigators a great view of Seneca Lake, one of New York’s famous Finger Lakes.

At the end of the competition drivers were monitored as they filled up in town and had their mileage recorded. These numbers were then used to calculate the fuel economy for the overall competition. Due to a number of factors, the most salient of which was fuel expansion, the numbers were a little high, but consistently so (except for the Priuses with their bladder gas tanks).

After the show all the competitors headed out to the local high school for the awards and vehicle show, which also included representations from local high schools that had competed in the Shell EcoMarathon competition.

Overall, the Green Grand Prix was a well-organized and great event. EcoModder will definitely be in attendance next year, hopefully with even more drivers. For more, check out the thread on the forums.

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1 Ben May 5, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Dang! 88.5 in a CRX!

Very nice!

I will have to start working on the serial hybrid to beat you guys!

Ben Nelson

2 Benjamin Jones May 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I welcome the challenge! Hope to see you next year ๐Ÿ™‚

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