By SYDNEY MORWENG & ERIC PHIRI
Pretty faces, glitz and stilettos’ will be set aside when South Africa’s renowned celebrities and current Miss SA Earth will be embarking in the gruelling Total Economy Run to invade Thaba-Nchu, outside Bloemfontein (The City of Roses) from September 9 to 11 2010.Well, unfortunately no roses will be spared this time, folks! Powered by Total Evolution fuel and Nitrogen the Total Economy Run celebrating its 34th birthday is an annual event sponsored by the world’s fuel giant Total, having begun in 1976 as an initiative to various motor manufacturers and dealers to enter their cars in appropriate engine class and drivers to navigate and compete over the same route under the same set of circumstances over two days.
Sanctioned by Motorsport South Africa, the Total Economy Run is the only legitimate and unbiased barometer of fuel efficiency in passenger vehicles in South Africa.“Total is constantly looking for ways to provide increased value to South African motorists. With the cost of fuel on the rise, we want to show our customers how far exactly our products will take them,” says Total South Africa’s Marketing Manager, Reina Cullinan.According to Cullinan, manufacturers take this event seriously, especially since fuel consumption figures are a major consideration to someone who is in the market to buy a new car.The Total Economy Run will begin and finish (and klaar) at Black Mountain Leisure and Conference Hotel with day-one kicking off with over 100km to cover. Day-two increases to 600km, and the event ends on day-three with a crucial 400km to the finish line.
Competitors will face a variety of road conditions – teams consisting of a driver, navigator and an appointed observer, must adhere to strict requirements. In order to prevent the teams from travelling at unrealistic speeds, teams are required to check-in at various points at specified times. Should a team reach the designated check-in too early, points are deducted. This ensures that competitors adhere to the speed limits.Stiff competition will range from motor manufacturers’ and teams such as Total Green team in a Toyota Prius, featuring Miss Earth, 3 celebrity teams in BMW’s and 2 teams from the S.A Guild of Motoring Journalists.”This will also be the first Total Economy Run with nitrogen tyre top-up, Total’s latest offering, which will provide correct tyre pressure and reduced friction to all teams, meaning less energy consumption,” says Cullinan.The Total Economy Run is a popular event loved by the nation; it is also a great way for us to demonstrate the technical benefits of our product range in a fun and interactive manner, says Cullinan.This will also serve as the economic and development booster for the masses of Thaba-Nchu and neighbouring communities.
Well, according to those who had the luxury of attending this show-piece “bloody agents” this is not for the faint-hearted, and hopefully our Miss Earth will be considerate enough not to pollute the earth, one way or the other!