This investigation describes the dynamic modeling of a PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cell applied to a commercial 1kW dead end anode configuration. The system is tested and validated through some initial experiments. The model allows the characterization of the polarization curve, the evaluation of cell performance in terms of efficiency and consumption and the estimation of water production. To this purpose, an experimental set-up has been created using an electronic DC load (connected to a computer by RS232 serial communication) and an NI DAQ CompactRio evaluation board. The target is studying and testing solutions to improve performance, in particular with reference to hydrogen recovery solution from the purge valve.The fuel cell model has been interfaced with a 3D race simulator that is able to reproduce the environment of the competition and the specification of the vehicle. This allows the analysis of the driver's single lap results in terms of performance and fuel consumption according to the goals of the competition. In the present investigation the rules of the Shell Eco Marathon 2012 competition have been taken into account.Thanks to the developed tool, the driver is able to choose the best race strategy both interactively or with the help of a external optimizer.