The winners of this year’s GT1 WEC WRC and WTCC competitions took part in an informal ecodriving race before the annual FIA prize giving ceremony on 7 December. Unlike a usual race the purpose on this occasion was to be the most energy efficient driver. The race was held to promote awareness of the benefits of ecodriving to the public: it has been estimated that ecodriving can lead to 10-15% fuel reductions and cost savings of more than 300 Euros per year. But not only does ecodriving reduce emissions it is also considered to be a less stressful and safer driving style.

The EU-funded iMobility Challenge project (co-ordinated by the FIA) hosted the competition in the Yildiz public park in Istanbul. Participating drivers included the recently crowned 9-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb. Among the attendees were FIA Club Presidents Turkish politicians and the co-hosts the Turkish Automobile Club TOSFED.

An ENERFY on-board device monitored the energy efficiency of the drivers’ performance while LeasePlan supported the FIA by providing the vehicle brands of the different series winners (GT1 WRC WTCC and WEC). FIA President Jean Todt said “Today’s ecodriving competition among outstanding champions demonstrates how we can all use intelligent driving behaviour to be both safer and more efficient”.

The key rules of ecodriving are:

  • Anticipating the traffic flow
  • Maintaining a steady speed at low RPM
  • Shifting gears up early
  • Checking tyre pressure regularly and
  • Refraining from using extra energy by using air conditioning and other electrical equipment wisely

The iMobility Challenge is a European Commission funded project to promote efficient clean and safe mobility through ICT systems. Intelligent vehicle systems such as gear shift indicators tire pressure monitoring systems and start-stop systems which can improve every day driving efficiency are increasingly becoming available as are ‘cooperative systems’ which provide vehicles with real time information about traffic disruptions and the most efficient routes available.

At the end of the afternoon’s race the GT champions Marc Basseng and Marcus Winkelhock were declared the 2012 iMobility Challenge ecodriving winners.

For more information contact Niall Carty.

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Original Publication Date: Fri 14 Dec 2012