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The inaugural WesBank South African Fuel Economy Tour in partnership with FNB, got off to a flying start today (Tuesday, November 12) with none of the 40 participating vehicles being penalised for late arrival at control points, all while recording very competitive fuel consumption figures.

“Managing to complete the 590 km route without any penalties for lateness is an outstanding achievement, considering that many of the competitors are new to an event of this type,” commented Clerk of the Course, Willie du Plessis.

The day’s route took competitors from the WesBank head office in Fairland, Johannesburg, to the Durban beachfront. Total travelling time was 5 hr 30 min on this first part of the route, which is a regular journey for many South African motorists.

Fortunately, the expected rainstorms did not arrive until all the cars had reached the finish of the first day’s route, but the drivers still had to contend with long sections of roadworks near the Van Reenen’s Pass. The vehicles are continuously monitored by Ctrack to ensure that they stick to the correct route and obey traffic signs. Ctrack has also fitted the cars with dashcams to keep a further check that drivers obey the rules of the road.

“What made the day’s run particularly interesting is that there was a good spread amongst the 12 brands entered, in terms of class leadership. Suzuki was ahead in six classes, while Renault, Ford, and Hyundai each topped the results in two classes with Fiat, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and Lexus each leading in the other classes,” commented Chief Organiser, Charl Wilken.

Renault came out tops in terms of the average fuel consumption for its best-performing three vehicles, followed by Suzuki, Ford and Hyundai.

“However, it is early days as there is almost 2 000 km of mainly coastal route still to be covered before the finish in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon,” added Wilken.

The aim of this five-day Fuel Economy Tour is to provide consumers with accurate fuel consumption figures that can be obtained on a road trip over well-travelled main roads in South Africa.