SMCC Road rally plus Economy Run combination event!

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Mike Kamm
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SMCC Road rally plus Economy Run combination event!

Post by Mike Kamm » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:44 pm

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Interesting news! On June 12th, the Sports Motor Car Club Montreal will hold the first fuel economy rally to happen in years in Quebec. It will be held on June 12th near Montreal.

More details have just come out and this sounds cool! The SMCC is adding to the challenge considerably by combining the Economy Run with a Road Rally! The goal is not only to get the best mileage we can, but also to stay on time. There will be multiple elapsed time controls along the way.

Full details HERE.

Mike
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Mike Kamm
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Re: SMCC Road rally plus Economy Run combination event!

Post by Mike Kamm » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:41 pm

My navigator for this event will be Steve McKelvie. He's got a high end Alpha rally computer system. It uses an "EZ-Pulse" pickup attached to a rear wheel as it's input. Below is an example as seen on Paul Choiniere's Mazda.

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Today I built the parts I needed to install Steve's EZ-Pulse unit onto my '93 SE-R.

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I had a set of tall lug nuts that I drilled and tapped for four 6mm x 100 screws, which I coated with LocTite and installed from the inside out. I then cut out a simple 5" round sheet metal plate with a 1/2" hole in the center. That's all you need. You can add additional bolt pattern holes to suit any car.

It will be interesting to see if the smaller, more fuel efficient cars in the event will be more successful than a more powerful, but well rounded car like the SE-R.
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Re: SMCC Road rally plus Economy Run combination event!

Post by Mike Kamm » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:42 pm

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Three Ecomodder teams have now firmed up plans to attend this [in my opinion] very interesting challenge. Martin Deschenes will be competing in his Jetta TDi with his wife and son as the navigation team. I have firmed up plans with Steve McKelvie to participate in my Sentra SE-R, and it appears that Darin Cosgrove will navigate for Will Meredith in his newly completed CRX [with a 1.0 liter Metro engine swap] project car.

Looking forward to it!

Mike
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Re: SMCC Road rally plus Economy Run combination event!

Post by Mike Kamm » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:43 pm

Here are the details of this event from SMCC event organizer, Jeff Dungen.....

The rally is divided into sections.

Checkpoints can only be located at the ends of sections (EOS).

There is a given maximum time to complete each section

If there's a checkpoint at the end of the section, you can arrive early or on time without penalty.

If you arrive late at a checkpoint, your fuel economy score is penalised 2% for each whole minute.

If there's no checkpoint at the end of section, any "spare" time carries over to the next section.

The instructions are super-easy, even for novices (distance to turn with tulip diagrams).

The maximum time to complete any section is based on between 70% to 90% of the posted limits.

About half of the rally is in hilly terrain on not-so-straight roads. The other half of the rally is on level terrain mostly rural roads/highways (70-90km/h) with a bit of urban (30-50km/h) and two short autoroute transits (100km/h).

The start of the rally is in Celine Dion's hometown of Charlemagne. So if you ever needed a reason to convince your wife or girlfriend to come out... There's also a great rally-sympathetic restaurant at the end with a nice big parking lot on the water for a photoshoot of the cars (let's hope it doesn't rain).

I'm really not sure which cars will do best. The small urban component should make the hybrids happy, and the diesels should be pleased with the hilly sections. But given that a few sections are fairly brisk, a good-handling gas car may have some advantage (at least in the fun department). I suspect that competitors going for maximum economy will have to take small time penalties in the hilly sections.

I'm really hoping to get some Smarts out and also some Kei cars (the little 600cc Japanese Domestic Market cars). There are a bunch of those that have been imported to Quebec.

I think that the most fair scoring system takes into account vehicle weight (the net weight value written in the door is good enough). For instance litres per 100km per metric tonne. But at the end we'll calculate the stats (at least) three ways:

litres per 100km
litres per 100km (including time penalties)
litres per 100km per metric tonne (including time penalties)

And then subdivide into as many categories as we see fit. But at the least, gas, diesel and hybrid.

The 5.7L/100km I got with my 1090kg Toyota Levin converts to about 41mpg. Shouldn't be hard to beat that!

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Re: SMCC Road rally plus Economy Run combination event!

Post by Mike Kamm » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:46 pm

Well,

We had a very entertaining and successful weekend!

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It started off on Friday afternoon finishing the installation of Steve McKelvie's Alfa Rally Elite computer. We tested it all the way to Montreal and it worked perfectly. Unlike at home, the weather for the entire trip was perfect. No rain all weekend.

We all got together at SMCC organizer Jeff Dungen's place in downtown, Montreal on Friday night. Saturday morning we arrived at the Ultramar fuel station in Charlemagne, QC [30 minutes outside Montreal]. All cars were topped off to the owner's preference of the "one click" method or the "to the rim" method that I prefer. They were all refilled the same way, and at the same pump after the event.

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SMCC organizer Jeff Dungen's right hand drive Toyota Levin GT Apex [think Corolla]. This is a RHD Japanese domestic market car that has a high performance 1.6 liter engine with five valves per cylinder. It produces 158 h.p., but like my 2.0 liter Nissan, can also be very fuel efficient if driven right.

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The SMCC crew getting ready for the start of the event. Some of you may remember Jeff and his Levin from the A.M.E.C. Economy Run IV event last Fall, where he achieved 51 mpg!

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Despite a more than adequate job of getting the word out for this new event, there were several last minute drop outs and in the end just six cars participated. The list consisted of two 1.6 liter Honda Civics, a Focus wagon [not pictured], a Jetta TDi, Jeff's Toyota Levin, and my '93 Nissan Sentra.

The event distance was 198km, or 123 miles. I didn't take any pictures during the event but here's how it all played out. As promised, this was not going to be a leisurely drive through the Canadian countryside. Speeds were quite brisk and during some sections, we really had to drive to make up time. This made the event a lot of fun. Some mountainous sections were very challenging, with narrow twisty switchbacks, occasional rough pavement, and big elevation changes. There was one caution in the route instructions that warned of a "yump" where one could certainly have gotten some air time [or have flattened their oil pans] if they didn't slow down their approach. But it was all well marked in the route instructions and no one had any issue, [although I love a challenge and thought it was great].

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Steve's "office" in the passenger seat of the SE-R. He's navigated in rallies all over the world and has amassed quite an interesting array of tools for the job at hand. None of the fancy rally equipment was necessary to successfully participate in this event, but Steve had all of it already and was accustomed to using it, so we did.

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This is the Alfa driver's remote display unit, Velcro'd in place on my side. With this, I could tell how much we were early or late for each stage section, plus what the CAS [constant average speed] was for that particular section.

Back to the rally. There were many strategies that could have been employed for this event. We could have driven for absolute best mpg and taken the penalty points for being late to controls but we chose to try to stay on time, while pulsing and gliding as much as possible. The SE-R is good at this approach, because it is not underpowered. I could briskly accellerate up to 100 km in fifth gear and coast it out to maximum effect. As we have seen in our own economy run series, the more mountainous the course, the more opportunities to coast, and the better the mpg's. The highly mountainous course in this event really paid big dividends at the end with some very long coasts available. I didn't write down the official results as Jeff announced them, but I will post the official results when they are available. I do have my own personal result however and here it is:

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This equates to 2.13 US gallons for the 123 miles. Steve and I were really surprised to have achieved 57.74 mpg!

Scoring:

Raw scores before penalty points showed that Will Meredith's '95 Honda Civic EX had the best mpg at 58 and change. But unfortunately Will 's team accumulated more penalty points than Steve and I for being late to check points. So the official results credit Steve and I for 1st place overall.

Additionally, the SMCC used the factory shipping weights to declare a winnner in the ton-miles category. It will come as no surprise that the Jetta TDi won this award as pound for pound, diesels are more economical than gas engines.

Footnote: There always seems to be a glitch for someone at every economy run type of event regarding consistent fill ups. Martin's TDi did not get the result he should have gotten, because of a problem with the initial fill. The Ultramar station we were using did not sell diesel. Martin had to go down the road to another station that did. Diesel foams up and is hard to fill to the rim. Even after being careful to fill it slowly, upon Martin's return to the official start, he found that his fuel level had now settled and could not be seen in the neck any longer. So he left with a fuel volume disadvantage to everyone else. I don't remember his official result, but it was quite low [for him] at something in the high 40's low 50's? We all know he did better than that, but unfortunately we'll never know exactly how much.

All in all we really enjoyed this unique challenge and that was only part of this excellent weekend. We toured downtown Montreal in the evening to an awesome F1 street festival with live bands, historic Italian cars on display and lots of night life!

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Relaxing back at Jeff's place on the roof of his apartment building in downtown Montreal. The F1 cars could be heard from this vantage point the following day. We also enjoyed a 30 minute fireworks show over the skyline at 10:00 pm and dined on Lebanese food on Sat night. What a cultural experience this trip turned out to be. Simply a terrific weekend!

Congratulations to Jeff and the Sports Motor Car Club for putting together an interesting, fun, and challenging event!

Mike
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Mike Kamm
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Re: SMCC Road rally plus Economy Run combination event!

Post by Mike Kamm » Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:29 pm

Official results are now up.

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Jeff also provided this nicely photoshopped image of the cars showing off their stats (these are the figures that include 2%/minute penalties).

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