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Round-The-World Driver To Represent Council

Round-The-World Driver To Represent Council On Energywise Rally

A passionate driver who's driven a Land Rover around the world is to represent Manukau City Council in the four-day EnergyWise Rally 2002 later this month. The aim of the rally is to show how ordinary drivers, driving wisely and choosing the right car, can slash their fuel bills and therefore their vehicle running costs.

It should be a piece of cake for Jocelyn Watkin, a council staff member who drove across the globe in 1998 with two 4-wheel drive vehicles. As team leader for the Lucas Trans Global Expedition, she travelled 50,000 km through 26 countries over a year to help celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Land Rover.

The EnergyWise Rally will cover 1500 kilometres and runs from November 11 to 14. It begins and ends in Manukau. Competitors will circumnavigate the North Island and almost all major car manufacturers will have vehicles taking part, competing against each other for fuel economy. The target for drivers will be to complete each stage in the most fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly way.

However it is not a case of desperately trying to squeeze every metre per litre of fuel. The cars are also expected to be driven normally, like everyday vehicles, in order to show how anyone can achieve top fuel efficiency.

Jocelyn Watkin is a self-confessed driving nut and has a long history with motor vehicles and car clubs. "It came from having grown up in a family with four brothers, I guess," she says. She was the first woman president of the Rover Car Club of Auckland and has been rallying and taking part in club economy runs for years. Jocelyn currently works for the council championing sustainable business and energy efficiency.

The council is supporting the rally and has a staff member taking part because it supports the drive for more fuel efficiency and environmental sustainability. Its own energy saving measures have already substantially cut its energy usage and power bills, and it is committed to finding more savings in future.

Jocelyn will be driving a Honda CRV in the rally. She says, "My target will be driving carefully to show that anyone in a well maintained vehicle can get an extra 50 kilometres a week out of a full tank by driving sensibly. That's quite a saving over a year and would amount to hundreds of dollars, as well as significantly reducing the impact on our environment."

With rising fuel costs, it makes sense to use less and to drive with a light foot because the cost of fuel is now 30% higher than three years ago.

In her rally class Jocelyn will be will be up against well-known disabled athlete Mark Inglis, who lost both legs in a storm on Mt Cook. He is one of a number of celebrity drivers taking part.

Mangere councillor John Kerr will also be taking part in a portion of the rally. He will drive a "hybrid" Toyota in the last leg.

For rally details: visit

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