Ford Fiesta breaks Brands Hatch record

The record was set during Ford’s first ever Econo Check ‘One Gallon Challenge’, which saw five teams vying to set a new record in eco-driving.

Swapping his speeds laps for a more gentle drive, Ben Collins (the former Stig on BBC’s Top Gear) was just one of the racers to take part in the challenge.

Others included land speed record holder Wing Commander Andy Green, Tom Onslow-Cole, Shane Lynch and Josh Hill.

However, it was British Touring Car Championship driver Tom Chilton who recorded the furthest distance after driving 82 miles (66.9 laps) in two hours, 27 minutes and 51 seconds.

All of the teams used a Ford Fiesta Titanium with a 1.4-litre engine in the challenge, and all drivers completed over 60 miles on one gallon of fuel, an improvement over the official fuel consumption figure of 49.6mpg.

The race was part of Ford’s message to advise customers to save fuel when fuel duty increases to around 58.19 pence per litre. VAT will also rise by 2.5 per cent to 20 per cent in January, adding further financial pressure to motorists.

Andy Barratt, Ford customer service director, said: "With fuel prices already high and getting higher, fuel economy is more important than ever for customers.

"By combining smarter driving with the latest fuel efficient vehicles, our ‘One Gallon Challenge’ has shown just how far you can make your fuel go, which is key to keeping down your motoring costs."

Ford is offering an ‘Econo Check’ to its customers for £29.99. The check involves installing a data logger into the car that can reveal how a driver can maximise fuel efficiency through gear shifts, acceleration and braking.