For two days and 1105km, 21 passenger vehicle manufacturers and 53 crews took to the Mpumalanga Lowveld this weekend for the Total Economy Run. The 36th edition of this annual motoring and motorsport event is the only legitimate and unbiased barometer of fuel efficiency for passenger vehicles in South Africa, and once again it was a hotly contested affair to name the most fuel-efficient petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles in the passenger market today.
This year’s event is paired with a corporate social investment initiative that aids the deserving efforts of the Leopard Conservation Project to create a much-needed rehabilitation centre for injured leopards that have been rescued and to relocate these big cats to safer spaces in South Africa. Our leopards are fast becoming one of the most endangered species in South Africa. Fred Berrangé and Chris Pearce from the Leopard Conservation Project contested the event in a Citroën DS3 e_HDi 90 diesel model. For every litre of fuel used by this team on its first-ever motorsport event, a cash donation will be made towards the establishment of the rehabilitation centre and Total South Africa has pledged to double the cash donation.
Motor manufacturers and dealers enter their petrol, diesel and hybrid-powered models in various classes for engine capacities from 1 100cc to 3 001cc. Each vehicle must have a crew of two – driver and navigator – and an appointed observer monitors the crews on the route. Drivers must keep to specific speeds and arrive at check points at specified times. This prohibits drivers travelling at unrealistic speeds. The Total Economy Run 2012 was measured in litres/100km and was calculated to five decimal places. The winner of each class was awarded with a trophy for the lowest fuel consumption.
The most fuel efficient vehicle in South Africa is the Ford Fiesta 1.6 Trend Auto diesel model driven by Stuart Greig and Wynand Gerber with a fuel consumption of 4.48524 litres/100km. This team was also the winner of the diesel category too and in their class. For the overall petrol category, the winning trophy was presented to Jeannette Kok Kritzinger and Riette Wannenburg in a Peugeot 107 with a fuel consumption of 5.063 litres/100km.
Fred Barrangé and Chris Pearce recorded a fuel consumption of 5.503 litres/100km in their Citroën DS3 e_HDi 90. This result will be long savoured by these motorsport rookies and their enthusiasm and efforts were rewarded.
South Africa’s largest privateer rally team in the hotly contested South African Rally Championship, Team Total once more accepted the challenge from sponsors Total South Africa to put to the test their adaptability and their driving skills. Defending petrol category winners in 2011’s event, Robbie Coetzee and Craig Trott took to the route once more in a Toyota Aygo and claimed third position in the petrol category with 5.121 litres/100km.
Team-mates Mohammed Moosa and Andre Vermeulen took to this competition in the biggest class of the event in a Renault Megane 1.6 diesel-engined hatchback. They achieved third place in the diesel category with 4.982 litres/100km.
Jean-Pierre Damseaux and Stefanie Botha teamed up for this event in a Lexus GS460h, a performance hybrid sedan. They recorded a result of 7.924 litres/100km and finished 21st overall in the petrol classification and first in their class.
“Our aim is to link a meaningful CSI activity to the staging of the Total Economy Run. We are a sponsor of the Leopard Conservation Project and believe that helping them to build a rehabilitation centre for these beautiful, but increasingly threatened animals, is a very worthy cause for Total South Africa to be involved in,” said Nadia Vosloo, Total South Africa’s Brand and Dealer Communications Manager.
Celebrities including actor, television- and radio presenter, Maurice Carpede also competed in this year’s edition with television personality Pearl Thusi in a Toyota Auris Hybrid. They achieved a fuel consumption of 6.357 litres/100km and placed ninth in the petrol category and third in their class. Miss Earth SA was represented by finalists Tamerin Jardine and Aurelia Nxumalo, who competed in a Toyota Prius. Their results were impressive, with 7.241 litres/100km to finish 17th overall in the petrol classification and fourth in their class.
Television actor David Vlok was partnered with Werner Otto in a Peugeot 3008 and recorded a fuel consumption of 9.155 litres/100km and finished seventh in their class.