HONDA CIVIC Expedition Eco Drive Challenge 2012 Started: Will Lithuanians Beat Latvians?
On 7 May, Monday, seven identical petrol Honda Civiс 1.8 Elegance AT started the route Vilnius – Nordkapp – Vilnius. 10 men and 4 women, randomly paired up, are driving on a week-long trip; so far, all of them are determined to win the title of the most economic crew of the expedition. Will they succeed in challenging Latvians and Estonians, who’ve just been on the expedition to Nordkapp from the capitals of their countries, driving the same cars?
The Estonians went on the expedition first; they drove brand new cars – as people used to say, without the run-in. The winner of the Estonian crews covered 3 580 km in total via the route Tallinn – Nordkapp – Tallinn and used 182.2 l of petrol. The average speed of the travelling crew was 54 km/h, and average fuel consumption – 5.1 l/100 km.
Latvians improved the Estonian result significantly. Their winner, having covered 3 841 km (261 km longer) distance via Riga – Nordkapp – Riga, used only 181.8 l of petrol. Their average speed was 50 km/h, and average fuel consumption – only 4.73 l/100 km.
Remember: according to the official data of the car producer, Honda Civic with 1.8 l engine capacity and automatic transmission can go 100 km using 6.4 l of petrol at the average, in the city – 8.7 l, on the highway – 5.0 l. So the Estonians and especially the Latvians managed to show better results than promised by the producer.
It is essential to plan the route well – the proof is the crews, both Estonian and Latvian, which showed the weakest results, as they used more fuel – respectively 5.72 and 5.53 l/100 km – and the distance of their trip was noticeably longer. The Estonian outsiders drove as many as 203 km, the Latvians – 64 km more.
So far, we can only make guesses about the ambitions of the Lithuanians. Looking through the member profiles, most of them are obviously into travelling. It is also pretty clear that the majority of them have no idea what economy driving is.
Marius Pareščius is accustomed to driving “insatiable” cars: a truck and an off-road SUV. His crew member, Martynas Rūkas, loves speed and excitement. Nerijus Kiseliovas is a fan of slalom. And Rytis Markevičius is prepared to exhilarate his friends by his economy driving as nobody has ever expected it from him… For the incapability to drive economically, Darius Noreika jokingly blames his… shoes.
Andrius Firantas, an automotive sportsman for more than a decade, is among the members of the expedition. He’s a member and winner of the Baltic country races and long-distance racing, Fast Lap, Mini Žiedas, Sprintas and many others.
The seventh and the last crew of Artūras Žukas and Linas Butkus are most likely to win the expedition and surpass others. Although they named their team 8000 RPM, their car will doubtfully reach such rotations… Artūras has been into economy driving for several years now, and he’s put his knowledge to practice; he never misses the chance to demonstrate his skills in annual ecodriving contests. In the Lithuanian ecorally of 2010, he was the fifth among 19 crews, and last year, in 2011, he became the winner of ecorally and received the title of the “Ecodriver of 2011”. The team member of Artūras Žukas crew, Linas Butkus, has also practiced ecodriving. According to his words, economy driving, similarly to fast car driving, produces loads of adrenalin, which seems to increasingly excite him.
Or who knows, maybe the fortune will favour the only 100% female tandem – Gentrūna Gabartienė and Neringa Joneikytė, who, according to the crew name – High Heeled Honda – are planning to wear heels throughout the trip? We can be sure heels will take a well-respected place at least in their suitcases…
We shall soon have a chance to see how each crew manages to strategically plan their actions and how well they’ve done their homework – what they’ve independently learned about economy driving within the last week before the expedition – intermediate results will be updated every morning on ekspedicija.lt website. There, you can also watch the location of every expedition crew live on an interactive map.