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Rally drivers focused on gas, not grunt

Rally drivers focused on gas, not grunt

The flag dropped for the start of the EnergyWise Rally in Auckland this morning with barely an engine rev to be heard. Feather-footing will be the order of the week as some of our top auto aces drive to the speed limit on New Zealand roads in an effort to meet the performance test of a new era - fuel economy.

Heather Staley, Chief Executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the primary sponsor of the Rally, congratulated the motor industry for initiating the event and car manufacturers for getting in behind the event with so much enthusiasm.

"The EnergyWise Rally is a whole new ball game for many of the drivers. The purpose of a car rally is to get the most out of a car. Normally it's about speed, this time it's about distance. Many of the drivers will demonstrate that what's behind the wheel is just as important as what's under the bonnet and by driving wisely you get more for your money.

"The EnergyWise Rally is a showcase for the fuel efficient cars available in car yards around New Zealand, and for new generation vehicles in the hybrid class and vehicles with low or zero CO2 emissions such as LPG and biodiesel.

"Supporting the EnergyWise Rally is one way EECA is promoting the wise use of energy in New Zealand. Improving the fuel economy of the New Zealand vehicle fleet will help us achieve our goal of a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2012.

"The Rally will show that putting fuel economy on the buying list for a new vehicle doesn't mean you are restricted to compact cars. Many of the bigger 2 litre cars are expected to show impressive results," Ms Staley said.

The Rally will travel around North Island roads from today till 14 November when the cars return to Auckland. For tips on EnergyWise driving, further details on the Rally cars, the drivers and a map of the route the cars will take visit:

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