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Oldest participant chooses biggest vehicle

Oldest participant chooses biggest vehicle

The oldest participant in the EnergyWise Rally 2002 will be driving the biggest vehicle in the event. 76 year old Rod Coleman of Wanganui will be focussing on the fuel gauge of a new Ssangyong Rexton luxury four wheel drive as he follows the 1500 kilometere route from Auckland to Wellington and back.

Rod Coleman is notable for his win in the Isle of Man motorcycle TT in 1954, as well as victories in a number of European Formula One motorcycle races as a member of the AJS factory team. He later became the Suzuki importer for New Zealand before retiring and selling the successful business to Suzuki Motor Company.

A personality in his own right, Mr. Coleman is looking forward to the challenge, on which he will be accompanied by his wife. “There is an allowance of 100 kilograms for the driver plus luggage, but the both of us together don’t weigh much more than that, so I don’t think we will pay much of a penalty.”

As for the Rexton, despite its size, it is assured of a competitive performance. Its 2.9 litre five-cylinder turbo diesel engine is noted for its frugal use of fuel, and the large dimensions of the Rexton will actually help it when the body size is factored into the formula to decide the overall winner of the event.

© Scoop Media

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