A fair turnout of 6 Minis met at BP Takanini at a very reasonable 9am. After filling the fuel tanks and refusing to share our fuel-saving secrets, we gently departed one at a time.
The Muries' route was cleverly planned to avoid traffic lights, and even managed to avoid a fair amount of traffic.
Some of the twisty, scenic roads around Clevedon and Hunua were sheer torture to drive so lightly, though on a couple of long downhill stretches we managed to get up to the speed limit in neutral (or "6th gear" as Kevin called it, not so subtly bragging that his Mini has 5 gears).
The questions along the way were very easy, and were mainly to reassure us that we'd gone the right way. Even still, I managed to go the wrong way a couple of times; conserving speed through a roundabout doesn't do any good if you're going too fast to count the exits.
After a couple of hours and 113km of pleasant, relaxing driving we all made it back to the Friend of the Farmer Cafe in Takanini, where we shared our stories and fuel-saving tips:
Alan Murie had the clever idea to fold down the Moke's windscreen to reduce wind resistance. As a result navigator Michelle received a (small) bird to the face at speed. Ouch!
Adam and Jessica's orange Mini was loaded down with 4 people, so they decided to aim for the "most fuel used" award. Their wildlife encounter was a wasp inside the car, while negotiating a very challenging piece of road at speed.
Richard and Anthony were driving Steve's yellow track day car, which seemed to save fuel when going downhill only to blast it all out the exhaust pipe when the throttle came back on. Time to do something about those valve stem seals, Steve!
Kevin's injected Sport 5 just seemed to cruise along with no drama, though it rolled faster downhill than my car. Something to do with the extra weight of that 5th gear I think.
We didn't see Simon's Mini 1000 until well after we'd finished, it turns out he'd been taking it very seriously indeed, even going so far as shutting the engine off while going downhill. Those of us with vacuum assisted brakes considered this an unfair advantage, especially since he won the economy run by a huge margin.
1st - Simon Lawrence, 4.82 litres
2nd - Richard Undie, 6.14 litres
3rd - Grant Bowyer, 6.45 litres
4th - Alan Murie, 8.93 litres
5th - Adam Jenkin, 11.84 litres
1st - Kevin Taylor, 6.31 litres
No new MINIs entered. Maybe next year? Speaking of next year:
Thanks again to Alan and Shelagh Murie for planning and organising such a great run. It sounds like we're all looking forward to doing it again next year, if you're still keen!