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Old 07-03-2024, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Economy competition

I will be competing in an economy driving competition in a few weeks. Does anyone have any tips for things I should do differently in a competition compared to regular hypermiling? What can I do to prepare? Anything simple I can do to the car before the event? Aero mods are prohibited and there is a maximum tire pressure, so what else could I do? I will be driving a 4WD diesel auto (BMW 420).

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Old 07-03-2024, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Know the rule book and know the course.

Our one-time member named slowmover advocated for traveling in the straightest possible line,-- no wandering from side to side, take The Line through corners, route planning, etc.

In an S-bend, hold a constant radius to the midpoint, roll the body, and then hold a constant radius out.
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Old 07-03-2024, 11:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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' competition '

1) Will you be alone on the track, or driving close to other vehicles on the course?
2) What is the 'maximum' velocity you're likely to experience?
3) What would your 'average' velocity for each lap around the track be?
4) Does the rulebook allow 'drafting' behind the car ahead?
5) Are 'bald', worn-thin tires allowed?
6) If you're not permitted to 'streamline' the car, can you 'lower' it to the most minimum ground clearance, just short of 'ground strike ?
7) If the car has an 'open' cockpit, like a 'roadster/ spyder', can you wear 'streamlined' apparel, and 'streamlined' helmet?
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Old 07-03-2024, 01:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Know the rule book and know the course.

Our one-time member named slowmover advocated for traveling in the straightest possible line,-- no wandering from side to side, take The Line through corners, route planning, etc.

In an S-bend, hold a constant radius to the midpoint, roll the body, and then hold a constant radius out.
I am studying the rules, and have one or two ideas for "gaming the system". The route is not announced in advance though, so I cannot become familiar with it.

I can understand traveling in the straightest possible line on straights, but I would have thought taking the inside line around corners to reduce distance driven would be better where it is not necessary to take a better line to get round the corner without braking.


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Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
1) Will you be alone on the track, or driving close to other vehicles on the course?
2) What is the 'maximum' velocity you're likely to experience?
3) What would your 'average' velocity for each lap around the track be?
4) Does the rulebook allow 'drafting' behind the car ahead?
5) Are 'bald', worn-thin tires allowed?
6) If you're not permitted to 'streamline' the car, can you 'lower' it to the most minimum ground clearance, just short of 'ground strike ?
7) If the car has an 'open' cockpit, like a 'roadster/ spyder', can you wear 'streamlined' apparel, and 'streamlined' helmet?
The competition route will be on the public road with competitors starting at 2 minute intervals. I guess it is possible to catch the previous car or be caught by the following car, but that is probably unlikely. Quite possible to be close to some unsuspecting member of the public though.

I don't know what the fastest average speed requirement will be but the regular speed limits must be obeyed. The speed limit on the fastest road is likely to be 80 Km/h. Possibly 100 Km/h but 80 is more likely I think. Required average speeds must be lower than the speed limit of course.

The competition will not be on a track, but on the public road amongst normal traffic.

The rules I have seen don't specifically mention drafting, but "driving style" will be monitored. I need to find out more about that to check what driving styles might be penalised. It might just be things like stop junctions where it is mandatory to be stationary for 3 seconds.

Tyres have to be road legal and the correct size for the vehicle but there are no other requirements. I currently have quite new tires and had assumed that would be better than worn tires, as the diameter might be slightly greater. Why might worn tires be desirable?

I don't think lowering the car would be allowed. It isn't specifically mentioned but all "aerodynamic changes" are forbidden.

There is no limitation on what the crew wear, but it is a normal saloon car so that is a moot point.
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Old 07-03-2024, 02:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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New tires will be significantly less efficient than worn ones. That's likely the thing working most against you. How is the alignment?

How are they measuring fuel consumption? How are they monitoring driving behavior? I'd accelerate so slowly that I never reach the posted speed limit. You want the average cruising speed to be as low as you can get away with.
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Old 07-03-2024, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
I would have thought taking the inside line around corners to reduce distance driven would be better where it is not necessary to take a better line to get round the corner without braking.
This is just me opining, but.... What I'd called The Line and you call the inside track would take all the width available between dotted lines and other cars and give the minimum lateral acceleration.
Quote:
Why might worn tires be desirable?
In a word -- hysteresis. The tread blocks squirm through an S-curve through the contact patch and that produces heat, which comes from fuel.

edit: If the tires are too new, they might be shaved perfectly circular as mounted on that rim at that time.
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Old 07-03-2024, 02:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ditch the spare tire, and any extra weight.
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Old 07-03-2024, 11:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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OK, I can look into using some older tyres. That's is something new I have learned today.
The alignment is OK at the moment but the competition is a few weeks away so anything might happen before then. I could get the alignment checked in the week before the event, just to be sure.

Fuel consumption will be measured by filling the car at the start, sealing the filler cap, then filling again at the end to see how much fuel is used. The filling procedure is to fill then jack up the wheel closest to the filler cap and top up.

Driving behaviour will be monitored visually but exactly what they will look for is something I still have to check.

I think speed selection will be key. The road book will show a lot of information. It is only issued shortly before the start but I think it will be good to go through that to work out where speed will be limited by low speed limits, junctions etc and how long those sections will take. Then see how much time will be available for the sections on the open road and determine the average speed I will need to do on those sections. A lot of work but important.

Good call about ditching excess weight. There is no spare wheel in the car but I usually carry jack, tools etc that can be removed. There isn't much else I can get rid of though. Maybe the back seat.

One thing I am wondering about is how to avoid driving with a cold engine. I intend to drive immediately before fuel filling at the start so the engine will be as warm as possible at the start, but I don't know how long the car will stand between filling and starting on the route. There will also be a 20 minute break during the event (the route is 250 Km) so the engine could cool down during that period. Would it help to cover the engine at these times to reduce heat loss? Even just an aluminium foil blanket or something similar might help?
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Old 07-04-2024, 01:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It isn't just the engine, but also the transmission and differential. My car gains 10MPH at the same throttle setting after about half an hour.

Check the rule book on a block heater.

Fold back the rear view mirror[s].
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Old 07-05-2024, 08:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would run the minimum amount of oil in the engine and a thin grade like 0w-16 or 0w-20 if it's OK in your engine. Usually going down one grade in oil weight is OK.

Thinner fluid in the differentials should help too. I'd be tempted to go really thin and change back to normal fluid after the event.

You could cover the front of the car when it's not moving to hold the heat in. Or a full car cover. Or just insulate the engine and hood. Even just parking out of any wind could help.

Practicing different driving techniques in the car before the event will help a lot.

Any braking should be avoided. Friction or engine. Can the car coast in neutral?

What part of Finland is the competition? I've enjoyed driving all over Finland.

Since it's on public roads, can you have a friend with a big van drive in front of you?

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