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RAC Business to keep 2015 MPG Marathon on the move

RAC Patrols David Groves and Paul Bird have been preparing for the event by developing specialised equipment which will not only ensure vehicles are topped up when necessary, but also measure precisely how much is going into the tank.

The team will support the organisers in checking all cars and entrants comply with the regulations of the event, and will be positioned at strategic points along the course ready to fill up competitors’ vehicles as and when necessary.

The event is the first time the RAC Fuel Patrols will be putting brand new Renault Master vans into service, after taking delivery of the new vehicles in September.

RAC Business corporate sales director Jenny Powley said: “RAC Business is proud to play a key role in supporting the 2015 MPG Marathon. Our patrols will be on hand to ensure all participants keep on the move, just as our comprehensive range of products and services ensures businesses and fleets across the UK stay on the move 24/7.

“The RAC has a long history with the MPG Marathon dating back to the first ever event in 2000. So it’s great to be involved once again, especially as our own RAC Patrol of the Year Ben Wilson will be taking part following on from his breakdown support role in the Record Road Trip across Europe in June.”

Ahead of the event itself, RAC Business has some top tips for making every drop of fuel go further. The tips have been provided by the team that helped the RAC and Audi set a new world record for the most countries driven through on a single tank of fuel.
Motoring journalist Andrew Frankel and racing driver and TV presenter Rebecca Jackson succeeded in driving an Audi A6 2.0 TDI ultra to 14 countries, covering a distance of 1,158.9miles on a single fill-up of the car’s 73-litre tank, achieving an average fuel-economy figure of 75.9 miles per gallon.

RAC Record Road Trip fuel economy top tips:

  • Slowest speed, highest gear – the secret to achieving a high mpg figure is driving at the lowest speed you can, in the highest possible gear. This optimum fuel economy speed will be different for every car.
  • Maintain momentum – keeping the car moving is key to fuel economy. Obviously this depends on traffic conditions and what’s happening on the road ahead, but slowing down and having to accelerate again naturally uses more fuel
  • Gentle right foot – having a light right foot and ensuring all acceleration is gentle is definitely important, but fuel-efficient driving is all about not upsetting the equilibrium of the car
  • Lighten the load – don’t keep unnecessary items in your boot as they add weight to your vehicle, which affects fuel economy. On average, every 50kg will increase your fuel consumption by 2%. This is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight so it affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones
  • Don’t get dragged down – don’t leave your roof bars on because they create wind resistance and cause your car to use more fuel through the ‘drag’ effect. Roof bars tend to weigh between 3kg to 5kg but the aerodynamic factor is greater. An empty roof rack affects fuel consumption by about 10%
  • Keep the pressure up – make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure as indicated in your owner’s manual. This will vary depending on the load you are carrying: if you have four passengers and luggage then you will need your tyres inflated to the maximum recommended pressures
  • Warm engine – consider making one round trip rather than several short trips. Once the engine is warm it will operate at its most efficient, whereas several cold starts will increase fuel consumption even though the total mileage could be the same. This is why the Record Road Trip team kept going almost continuously, only stopping for 20 minutes at a time
  • Might have to lose your cool – don’t use your air conditioning unless you really have to as it uses engine power and therefore increases fuel consumption
  • Don’t forget the basics – make sure you maintain your vehicle as regular maintenance and servicing improves efficiency, and can therefore improve your fuel consumption

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams added: “We’re currently enjoying a period of low fuel prices but if we can all make our cars go further on less fuel that’s got to be good for the pocket and the environment. These tips can really make a difference and, applied with good technique can help to make you a better and safer driver.”

For more details of the MPG Marathonplease phone 01727 739160, email [email protected] or visit the event website at http://www.thempgmarathon.co.uk/

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.