How to Use the Fuel Calculator

Sim Racing screenshot of a McLaren 720S GT3 stopping in the pits after using Fuel Calculator, Image by Albert György,
Screenshot by Albert György

The Fuel Calculator is now online. This tool allows any driver to calculate their required fuel for races. You can access the calculator via this link:

Fuel Calculator Possibilities

This tool will allow you to calculate the fuel you need to finish a race. You just need to know a few things:

  1. How long is the race?
    • If the race is based on time, what is your average race pace lap time?
  2. How much fuel do you need per lap?

The fuel calculator then automatically calculates what amount of minimum fuel you need to finish the race. A further result is the safe fuel needed to finish the race. Using the safe result is preferred!

You should always use the Safe Fuel Recommended because it gives you a bit of leeway in case of input inaccuracies. However, here are a few tips to get accurate results:

1. Have enough Data!

Practice your race pace beforehand and do many valid laps. This will give you a more accurate race pace lap time and more consistent fuel usage figures. Make sure to run at least 10 representative laps, however, more is definitely better. This will help receiving accurate results from the fuel calculator.

Addendum: This doesn’t mean that after doing 10 laps of practice, you are done. 10 representative laps require you to be on pace with your actual race pace. After some practice time, drivers usually find a groove and become faster and more consistent. The 10 representative laps are supposed to be taken in such a groove.

2. Know your Car and Track Combination!

Different cars behave differently on different stages of the race. While 20 minutes sprint races typically don’t change too much about the car behaviour, longer races will change the cars behaviour. One exception for that could be aggressively abrasive races like oval races with classic NASCAR cars. Such races could affect car behaviour early.

So, levels of tyre wear will affect your race pace, in turn affecting the fuel calculators calculation basis. To have accurate results, we therefore recommend to always do a full race stint before the race. This is the only way you can accurately measure your average race pace over the time of the race. Either this, or already having data from a previous race in similar conditions. Since you must not forget that even though you may have had a race with the same car/track combination in the past, if the circuit was 10°C colder, the data cannot be used directly.

3. If in Doubt, use Safer Fuel Calculator Inputs!

We don’t always have the time to do excessive amounts of practice, which is understandable. However, try to get in at least a minimal amount of practice. This won’t only help with fuel calculation but also with just being safe racing around the circuit. Coming back to the calculation, though, if you know that your data basis is not sufficient, adjust your inputs to be a bit safer. Slightly increasing your fuel used per lap will ensure you have enough fuel. However, do stuff like safely guessing only if you have a good understanding of the car. Also, only do it if you don’t mind potentially losing a bit of time.

On the other hand, making it through the race without a splash and dash will be quicker than having to enter the pits.

All in all, this fuel calculator will help you get good estimations of the fuel you might need. This only works, however, if the inputs it receives are good, too!

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