The four-day 2010 AA ENERGYWISE Rally starts on Monday in Auckland with a 7am rush-hour loop through the CBD before heading south to Wanganui via New Plymouth.
In high-level traffic congestion, the 49 drivers and vehicles take a loop from the Ellerslie Function Centre before moving on to join the Southern Motorway.
Running until Thursday, the two-yearly AA ENERGYWISE Rally is organised by the AA, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), and Gull Petroleum New Zealand.
“As well as rush-hour traffic, this first stage will test drivers’ fuel efficiency techniques on motorways and rural state highways; but there will be more challenges to come,” says EECA chief executive Mike Underhill.
The day one route continues south on SH1, through Huntly and Ngaruawahia to Hamilton and then joins SH3 to continue through Te Awamutu and Otorohanga to Te Kuiti where the Rally team and drivers take a lunch break between 11.30am and 12.30pm.
Following lunch the route continues on SH3 to Taranaki via Mokau, then into the centre of New Plymouth before driving through Inglewood, Stratford and Hawera to reach Whanganui between 4.50pm and 5.50pm – where they will refuel at a Gull service station and spend the night.
The total distance for the day is approximately 540 kilometres. It is the first stage in the 1,780km North Island route that tests drivers and vehicles on a combination of motorways, unsealed roads, rural state highways and rush hour traffic.
“The whole purpose of the Rally is show Kiwi motorists how they can slash their fuel bills by choosing a fuel-efficient car and driving it in a fuel efficient manner,” says Mr Underhill.
AA General Manager Motoring Services, Stella Stocks says “Most motorists can achieve a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 20% through more efficient techniques, and at today’s petrol prices, that adds up to some significant savings.”
This year there are eight award categories depending on the size and make of the vehicles (small, compact, medium, large, small lifestyle, large lifestyle, micro and commercial).
The overall Supreme Winner is the vehicle that costs the least to complete the 1,780 kilometre route - including both fuel and road user charges.
On top of the eight award categories, there are additional awards for most efficient hybrid vehicle, most efficient diesel vehicle, most efficient petrol vehicle, most efficient driver, most environmental (least CO2 emissions) vehicle.
Motorists are encouraged to get online @ aaenergywiserally.org.nz and enter the competition to win a $2,750 ultimate fuel efficient driving package competition.
Ten manufacturers have entered vehicles this year - Suzuki, Volkswagen, Holden, Subaru, Hyundai, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz.
There are 32 petrol vehicles, including a record 9 hybrids, and 17 diesel vehicles, competing in eight different categories.
Celebrity drivers will be among the contestants battling it out for top honours including Marc Ellis, Chris Amon, Steve Gurney, Emma Gilmour, Geoff Bryant and Energy Spot’s Jared Turner.
For more information contact
Team Manager – Corporate Communications
T. +64 4 495 8269
M. +64 27 222 2943
E. [email protected]
Public Affairs Manager
M: +64 21 659 029
Visit the AA ENERGYWISE Rally website: http://www.aaenergywiserally.co.nz/
Follow the Rally on Facebook: http://goo.gl/UCrB
Twitter (@energywiserally): http://goo.gl/N2Gp
and the Twitter hashtag (#aaewr): http://goo.gl/r00k