10.10.2011 MPG Marathon winner exceeds 99 mpg
Hyper-milers taking part in the 2011 ALD Automotive/Shell FuelSave MPG Marathon have once again demonstrated that the use of smarter driving techniques can indeed save a considerable amount of money at the fuel pumps.
The highly competitive annual economy driving event, now in its eleventh year, aims to get motorists thinking about the way they drive, and the impact this has on their vehicle's fuel consumption.
The event challenges the country's leading eco drivers to get the best possible miles-per-gallon performance from their vehicle and the winner for the third year in succession was the SMART for-two CDI driven by eco-driving champion and former racer, Mick Linford.
Mick Linford and co-driver Ella Flynn needed less than four gallons of diesel to cover the 370-mile course, clocking up an astonishing 99.24 mpg in the process. His performance left Mick agonisingly short of the 100 mpg barrier, which has never been broken in the history of this driving event.
Second place in the competition for Best MPG went to motoring journalists Peter Cracknell and Dave Randle who clocked up 86.4 mpg in a Suzuki Swift 1.3 DDiS, while former BBC Top Gear presenter Sue Baker turned in a truly remarkable performance in the family-sized Skoda Octavia Greenline, achieving 85.98 mpg.
Drivers also sought to find who could register the greatest percentage improvement over the motor manufacturers' published fuel consumption in the sternest test of skill and anticipation. Clear winners in a Vauxhall VXR8 were Andrew Duerden and Chris Mooney who with 32.14 mpg crafted their way to a 53% improvement over the car's combined cycle figure of 21.0 mpg.
Second place in the percentage improvement class with a 48% uplift went to twice former winners David Madgwick and Ashleigh White in a VW Golf R 4 Motion, with Cracknell and Randle also claiming a rostrum position here with a 28% improvement on their car’s official 67.3 mpg combined cycle figure.
MPG Marathon organiser Ross Durkin said, "Mick Linford's performance was up to his usual incredibly high standard and we were all holding our breath at final refuelling, but the dial clicked agonisingly past the vital point. There were plenty of other notable performances with almost every team taking part beating the manufacturer's published figures for their vehicle – something that every car driver should aim for."
"The people who took part are some of the best economy drivers in the world. But the overall aim of the event is to raise awareness among normal motorists that a few simple techniques – such as better anticipation of the road ahead, smooth acceleration and correct use of gears – can bring about significant savings at the fuel pumps," he added.
There is a general concern amongst motorists that official mpg figures are too ambitious, with average real life mpg values often being 15% lower than manufacturer's calculations. The majority of motorists and those within the industry feel that the test cycle should be adjusted to provide more realistic estimates. The MPG Marathon has proven that with extra careful driving techniques, the official figures can be met, and in most cases improved on, in real life situations.
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