FUEL MISERS DRIVE INTO RECORDS
JAMIE Whincup lost the Bathurst 1000 last year when he ran out of fuel on the last lap. There will be no repeat this year thanks to one of the world’s more unusual married couples, John and Helen Taylor.
The British pair have just set their 93rd Guinness record for fuel economy and, during a round-Australia run backed by Caltex, dropped in on Whincup in Brisbane to give him a few tips on getting the best from the tank in his V8 Supercars Commodore.
“We hope we helped him,” John Taylor says.
If anyone can help, it’s the Taylors, as they make their living from travelling the world in search of fueleconomy records.
On their most recent trip in a Volkswagen Passat, the pair covered a total of 18,830km in 38 days on a figure-of-eight route around Australia, averaging 5.36L/100km using 98-octane premium fuel. Their result was 25.5 per cent better than VW’s official fuel economy figure of 7.2L/100km — significantly better than their own target of a 15 per cent improvement.
The result meant they managed to eke more than 300km extra on each tankful.
“We do it because we really want to make a difference in people’s lives,” John says. “We’re trying to educate people to do things moderately, not to put the airconditioning on full blast or stamp on the accelerator.”
Their technique is all about maintaining momentum, doing things gently and looking ahead to anticipate any challenges. “It’s not about crawling along. On the open road we set a target of driving no more than 5 per cent under the speed limit, so we’d be sitting at 95 to 100.”
The pair promises to be back in Australia this year.
“Over the next couple of years we’ll be doing some diesel drives. Before the end of the year we’ll be definitely doing some caravan drives, with diesel and petrol, so we can give the right advice to that group of people.”
A most efficient couple: John and Helen Taylor