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Star line-up of Drivers in EnergyWise Rally

2 November 2006

Star line-up of Drivers in next week's AA EnergyWise Rally

A number of motorsport champions, record-holders and key transport decision-makers will put their driving skills to a different kind of test in the 2006 AA EnergyWise Rally, which starts in Auckland on Monday morning.

One of the headline acts featured is Greg Murphy - more familiar with the thrust of a Holden V8 Supercar, he will instead be challenged driving the Rally route in a Holden Astra.

Fresh from his victory in the Dunlop Targa New Zealand, Smokin' Joe McAndrew will be competing in the AA EnergyWise Rally's 'Large / Luxury' Car Class in a new Honda Legend. Competing in the same class, but in a Holden Commodore SV6, will be V8 Supercar driver Jason Richards.

Other rally champions featured are Paul Adams in a Kia Cerato diesel and Mike Marshall in a Peugeot 407 diesel.

Also included are some land-speed record holders including current holder of the New Zealand record for diesel cars, Maurice O'Reilly, who will be at the wheel of a Volkswagen Jetta diesel. Bill Ritchie, former holder of the New Zealand diesel speed record and Walter York, speed record holder for saloon cars on Ninety Mile Beach, will be sharing the driving in an Alfa Romeo 159 diesel.

"The AA EnergyWise Rally is a way of promoting smarter choices in car purchasing and also better driving practices," she says. "The latter of which is going to be fundamental to the outcome of the Rally," says Stella Stocks, General Manager of AA Technical Services.

"The focus of the Rally is fuel efficiency - a point that some of our competing speed demons wouldn't traditionally bother with in their usual race to the finish line."

"The overall winner and outcome of the Rally is determined by three key factors - the type of fuel used; the choice of vehicle, but most importantly - the driver's attitude."

In the Demonstration Class, Stephen Rainbow - responsible for transport in Auckland City, will be driving a Ford Focus Hatch that is run on a bioethanol blend of fuel - E85.

Previous economy-driving champs who will be testing their skills again include Leo McKendry in a Honda Jazz, Glenn Johnston in a Honda Civic hybrid and Guinness Record holder Donn Anderson, who will be making tracks in a Peugeot 307 diesel.

The AA Energywise Rally involves 54 cars and over 100 drivers - including some of New Zealand's leading motoring journalists. It will take cars and their crews from Auckland to Wellington and back again, covering more than 1600km's over four days.

Vehicles will compete in a range of classes including - Small Cars, Compact Cars, Medium / Executive Cars, Large / Luxury Cars, Small Lifestyle / Leisure Vehicles, Large Lifestyle / Leisure Vehicles and Commercial Vehicles.

The winners for each class will be based upon the total of the pump price of the fuel used, plus any applicable road user charges. Winners of the 2006 AA EnergyWise Rally will be announced at an awards dinner held in Auckland on November 9.


The AA EnergyWise Rally is designed to identify the most fuel efficient new cars and the most effective fuel-saving driving techniques over a four day period. The Rally is held every two years and is organised by the AA and EECA, (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority). Fuel is being supplied free of charge to all vehicles by Gull New Zealand Ltd.

Further information is available at www.aaenergywiserally.co.nz .

ENDS


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