And this past weekend at Mpumalanga Province, White River it hosted its 36th edition with over 53 crew members and 21 passenger vehicle manufacturers, who over two days attempted to cover 1105kms of the serene which the Province is synonymous with.
The history of the TER is abounds with humorous anecdotes, most involving well known motor sport personalities and celebrities.
From Samcor which entered 22 cars in one year and at office the management was unhappy with staff absenteeism to former cricket skipper and racing driver Clive Rice whose car rolled and made headlines the following day.
Who can forget Ian Crowhurst, a well known driving instructor who crashed his BMW through a game fence near Loskop Dam (hopefully he did not loose his head). Someone later used the hole in the fance to gain access to the farmers house and stole his TV set. This followed with threats of law suits agisnt the organizers but peace was restored when eventually BMW paid the damages.
Since then onwards, no incidents have been reported and this year, all celebrities from radio presenter, Maurice Carpede to Miss Earth finalists Tamerin Jardine and Aurelia Nxumalo, David Vlok to Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere, everything was smooth-sailing. High fives, folks!
And the most fuel efficient car in South Africa went to Ford Fiesta 1.6 Trend Auto diesel model with a fuel consumption of 4.48524 litres per 100km. For the overall petrol category, the winning trophy was presented to the Peugeot 107 with a fuel consumption of 5.063 litres per 100km.
With the super weather on board and birds whistling unabatedly, unfortunately, leopards (which are becoming endangered species in the country) and are beneficiaries through the Conservation Project identified by Total SA, were not on sight.
On the Total Economy Run, motor manufacturers and dealers enter their petrol, diesel and hybrid-powered models in various classes for engine capacities from 1100cc to 3001cc. Each vehicle must have a crew of (two drivers 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 traveling at unrealistic speeds. The Total Economy Run 2012 was measured in litres per 100km and was calculated to five decimal places. The winner of each class was awarded with trophies for the lowest fuel consumption.
“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,” says Nadia Vosloo, Total South Africa’s acting Marketing Manager.
Zimbabwean born but SA based Simba, says although the thought of participating was not so popular at first stage, owing to the adrenaline that comes with speed etc…he did admit to himself that, he needed to do try something out of the ordinary.
“At first, it was goose-bumps but eventually it sank-in. I wouldn’t mind doing it again next year to improve our standings, “he said during the awards on Saturday evening, at our table which we shared with other celebrities.
In her own words Vosloo said, the importance of the event is to highlight two critical objectives:”To make awareness on the environment through the use of fuel efficiency and through our CSI to give back by supporting the endangered species,” she concluded.