What Kind of Fuel Economy Do You Get On Track?

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Update by David S. Wallens to the Mini John Cooper Works project car
Aug 11, 2016

What Kind of Fuel Economy Do You Get On Track?

We have been keeping track of our MINI’s fuel economy. Around town we get right around 25 mpg. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what the EPA says we should get.

During our Sebring track day—three 20-minute sessions—we used 7.571 gallons while covering 91.3 miles. (That distance includes driving to and from the gas station.)

A little math shows that we saw 12 mpg on that tank.

So, a question for the floor: What kind of economy numbers do you see while on track?

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captdownshift GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/11/16 12:50 p.m.

I used to get 7-8mpg on track back when I had my Subaru on corn syrup.

ross2004 Reader
8/11/16 12:52 p.m.

Depends on the track, but we burn anywhere from 10 to 12 gallons an hour. Never figured it in MPG.

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/11/16 12:54 p.m.

I burn 8 gal/hour in our Civic race car, which is very roughly 14mpg.

akylekoz Reader
8/11/16 12:55 p.m.

With my 5.0 mustang I get about 10 gal/hr. Two miles per lap, 30 laps, 6 mpg. With the 2.3 race car its about double that at 5 gallons per hour 12 mpg. Same track relatively same speed. Can you tell how slow I am at two miles per lap?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/11/16 1:01 p.m.

Oh man, a word problem!

I got into our new Fiat 124 Spider the other day and the fuel economy gauge said "14.2 mpg average". For a 40 mpg street car, we must have been working it a little hard

No odometer on the real track car, but I wouldn't trade its speed for efficiency. If I was running enduros, then we'd pay attention.

ultraclyde UberDork
8/11/16 1:02 p.m.

Back when I was local autocrossing regularly I was getting about 9mpg from my 05 Mustang GT and about 8mpg from my wife's '05 Cooper S. That's just using the onboard meters reset just for the runs.

Bobzilla UltimaDork
8/11/16 1:05 p.m.

Interestingly enough for my one 20 minute session I reset the onboard computer version. IT showed 7.8mpg. The whole tank netted 27.x on that one. I think that was 12 or 13 laps at Putnam. I probably spent 80% of the time WOT with the Forte after I got comfortable.

markwemple SuperDork
8/11/16 1:07 p.m.

Is it wierd to say that I don't keep track?

bigev007 Reader
8/11/16 1:16 p.m.

According to the trip computer, my 328is gets 6.0 MPG autocrossing. My Civic used to get close to 30.

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/11/16 1:18 p.m.

The saturns we ran in chumpcar would go 1 hour 45 minutes on 12 gal. At beaverun that was about 76 laps. I don't have data for other tracks handy.

Bobzilla UltimaDork
8/11/16 1:24 p.m.
bigev007 wrote: According to the trip computer, my 328is gets 6.0 MPG autocrossing. My Civic used to get close to 30.

Auto-x'ing weekends (including 240 miles of round trip driving) net me 26-28. with AC and XM. and cruise.

bigev007 Reader
8/11/16 1:28 p.m.

In reply to Bobzilla:

I'm not sure what I get for a weekend. I just like to reset it in grid shortly before my first run.

Kylini HalfDork
8/11/16 1:30 p.m.

Autocross and rallycross net me 20-24 mpg tanks in my Miata. Considering how little of that tank is spent at the limit, it's pretty worthless for y'all track guys!

Bobzilla UltimaDork
8/11/16 1:30 p.m.
bigev007 wrote: In reply to Bobzilla: I'm not sure what I get for a weekend. I just like to reset it in grid shortly before my first run.

I've done that too, but that return trip to grid usually brings me back up to 10.

Mike GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/11/16 1:31 p.m.

I'm driving a 2013 Honda CR-V EX manual. Running autocross in HS, I took some numbers. At first, I had fairly bald factory low rolling resistance tires:

Later, I picked picked up some new Bridgestone RE760 based on suggestions here.

If you are actually putting power down, it seems to cut efficiency. My times were actually just below the middle of the pack, which I felt was a fair showing.


Streetwiseguy PowerDork
8/11/16 1:33 p.m.

Our Chumptegras are good for about 15 imperial mpg over 24 hours.

codrus GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/11/16 1:46 p.m.

I see about 6 mpg in my Miata on track. 340 rwhp and a turbo will do that. :)

KyAllroad UltraDork
8/11/16 1:47 p.m.

20 minutes on the track burned through 1/4 tank in the 1.8 Miata. $ separate times so I think it's pretty accurate. Slightly interestingly a friend with a 1.6 Miata used about half as much fuel.

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/11/16 2:11 p.m.

924s 6.6 - 6.8 MPG
MR2 7.2 - 7.4
FC RX7 6.3 - 6.6
280Z 6.5 - 6.6

Since we did endurance racing I kept very accurate records of this.

iceracer PowerDork
8/11/16 2:51 p.m.

My zx2sr got around 10. It would vary with the track and temperature.

trucke Dork
8/11/16 3:00 p.m.

When I tracked a 4age powered FX16 years ago, it would get 15 mpg.

wearymicrobe UltraDork
8/11/16 3:06 p.m.

Dodge Viper Built motor, 3.6 mpg at the track, 4.7 on DE days.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/11/16 3:33 p.m.

About 6.5 when I'm actually pedalling the RX8 reasonably quickly, about 7 if I'm not. And I get between 20-25 in normal street driving.

Karacticus GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/11/16 3:48 p.m.

The Z4 would get indicate 8-9 mpg for a tank of gas on track days, maybe even down to 7 at places like Road America.

What's really fun is to fill the tank for the drive home and watch the calculated miles to empty increase the whole trip home!

Huckleberry MegaDork
8/11/16 3:52 p.m.

We use 9-10gph give or take a little for tracks with more or less WOT. That lets us do pit stops on the 2hr mark with 2-2.5g in reserve with a 22g cell if the pits are closed or we are not ready for some other reason. Two 11g Hunsacker jugs with 10g in each so it does not dribble out the vent is a perfect fill.

MPG? Who knows... it ain't a useful number for racing.

PseudoSport Dork
8/11/16 4:09 p.m.

Our Lemons Datsun 280Z gets around 7 MPG on track.

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/11/16 4:42 p.m.

We use 6.5 to 7.5 gallons per hour in our 2nd gen rx7. Track dependent.

stan_d Dork
8/11/16 6:51 p.m.

Prius 12mpg on rallycross

irish44j UltimaDork
8/11/16 7:22 p.m.

We get about 12mpg in the (M42 1.8) rally e30 on stage, but since our wheels are spinning a lot more mileage than we're actually going, it's probably more like 15 lol. Car still pulls 30mpg on the highway while towing a tire trailer though

Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/11/16 7:46 p.m.

The Civic gets about 11 mpg. The Thunderbird before that got 6.

sesto elemento
sesto elemento SuperDork
8/11/16 8:11 p.m.

Did a full day trackday with my turbo'd mr2 spyder and a 3hr total drive time to and from the track. Totaling almost a full tank of gas during which I averaged 23 mpg.

snailmont5oh Reader
8/11/16 9:35 p.m.

When I had the 302/575 Speed Demon in the Fairmont, it would get 24 highway, 16 city, and 12 track. Now, with the 347/Holley Terminator EFI, I get 15 if I'm lucky on the highway, and 6 at the track. I am still working on the tune, though.

I'm also jealous of my buddy, who took his CRX to his first track day. He drove 2.5 hours to the track and four 20 minute sessions, and averaged 30 mpg.

chuckles HalfDork
8/11/16 9:55 p.m.
markwemple wrote: Is it wierd to say that I don't keep track?

Not at all. But it's interesting trivia.

Cobalt SS turbo, mild tune, Hallett. 9.0 mpg on 1.8 mile track run in 3rd gear including warmup and turbo wind-down idling. My data is your data.

Klayfish UberDork
8/12/16 6:34 a.m.

Hopefully Sonic will jump on and correct me if I'm wrong, but by my rough math:

Our '89 Civic hatch uses about 4gph in LeMons. This equates to roughly 16-17mpg. Pretty amazing considering my minivan gets that in suburban gentle driving.

"The boat" which was a '94 S10 with a Seasprite boat body ran the GM 4.3L V6. It burned roughly 6gph IIRC which is roughly 11-12mpg.

Sonic SuperDork
8/12/16 6:41 a.m.

In reply to Klayfish: Yes, the Honda reliably gets just more than 4 gph at race speed. The boat was usually 8-10, and about 25% less if we only use 4th gear.

JBasham Reader
8/16/16 1:06 p.m.

Glad to hear snailmont5oh was getting 12 on the track with a 302, because that's what's going in the new track car, and that's twice what I'm getting with the E92 M3. With the '79 3 series coupe, I'm still only getting like 10, because I have to run it WOT at 5800 RPM damn near the whole time I'm not on the brakes. But at least it doesn't eat tires and brake pads like the E92, Christ almighty . . . .

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
8/16/16 1:47 p.m.

Interestingly, a 1975 Ford LTD Landau with a big block gets approximately the same fuel economy on track at a LeMons race as it does driving on the street.

Approximately 8-9 gallons per hour, or roughly 7 mpg.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
8/16/16 2:48 p.m.

The rally RX7 gets right around 5 mpg on gravel, and lower if the stage is sandy or muddy. It's not a very efficient engine

barrowcadbury Reader
8/16/16 3:03 p.m.

At a test'n tune event this weekend, my 2015 WRX returned ~6.5mpg.

ZOO GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/17/16 7:37 a.m.

We measure it a bit differently in Canada, but my old C4LT1 Corvette showed 54 litres per 100 kms . . . 54l/100.

In contrast, driving to the track, at a steady highway speed, with the AC on, showed just under 7l/100 kms.

My M3 measures it in km per litre -- track work shows around 4 km per litre on track, compared to 11 km per litre on the highway. No one else uses a km/l measure that I am aware of.

Tom1200 Reader
8/18/16 1:05 a.m.

Bone stock 68BHP Datsun 1200 got 22 mpg, now 105-110whp 12 mpg.

1.6 Showroom Stock C Miata got 9 mpg, never let the motor go below 5000 RPMs

F500 AMW power 4-5 mpg; the Rotax 494 is supposed to get 8-9

SnowMongoose SuperDork
8/18/16 2:50 a.m.

Averaged 10.1 MPG at my first (last) track day, including the hour drive each direction.
Considering my Evo gets under 20 MPG normally, pretty happy about that result.

Armitage HalfDork
8/18/16 7:12 a.m.

The FD with a ported engine running stock boost/stock fuel gets 6-8 on track.

DaewooOfDeath SuperDork
9/13/16 11:50 p.m.

My Daewoo got about 12 mpg with the 1.5 and about 10 mpg after the 2L engine swap.

The turbocharged Tuscani (2g Tiburon) with triple the Daewoo's power- we'll find out soon.

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