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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
5 September 2008

Sudhir's 10 hours in Chery Endurance Run

CAR Magazine associate editor tells about his experience of driving a 0,8-litre Chery QQ3 TX for 10 hours in the Chinese manufacturer’s effort to set the 48-hour endurance record at Gerotek.

Chery South Africa, a division of McCarthy Limited set new 48-hour endurance records for 0,8- and 1,1-litre vehicles this week. As part of the record-setting run, sanctioned and overseen by Motorsport SA, three 1,1-litre Chery QQ3 TXE and two 0,8-litre QQ3 TX models, powered by Shell Helix, lapped the three kilometre oval track at Gerotek Test Facility. One of the 20 drivers participating in the run was CAR associate editor Sudhir Matai, who drove three sessions of more than three hours at the time.

He told that driving non-stop, and under full throttle, for three-hours at a time without the aid of an air- conditioner, or even a ventilation fan or interior heater, presented him with a number of unique challenges. Although none of the vehicles encountered technical problems, there had been a few incidents, notably a collision between one of the record-run QQ3s and a stray dog, that added drama to the event.

“I drove my three stints from 3am to 6.30am, then from 11am to 2.30pm and from 11pm to about 2.20am,” Sudhir said on Thursday. “The challenge was essentially to run the car from a full tank until it was almost empty. The middle session was particularly challenging because it was a warm Highveld day with no cloud in sight.

“You’d get in the car (Sudhir drove the 0,8-litre Number 2 Chery) and get up to full speed immediately. In the interest of fuel economy, the windows were all winded up and the interior fan was switched off. It got really hot in the car, especially considering that I was wearing a closed helmet and therefore couldn’t drink anything for three hours.

“It really was difficult to keep your concentration for more than three hours at a time. And, because the QQ3 was going flat out all the time (the speedometer needle hovered at just under 150 km/h), my right foot got tired and I had alternate with my left foot to keep the pedal flat. I got about 440 km from a tank during one of my three and a half hour stints.

“Night time driving was easier because the headlights of the faster-lapping 1,1-litre cars (which reached top speeds in excess of 170 km/h) gave me early warning that I had to get out of their way… It got a bit chilly though, in my final stint behind the wheel I wore racing gloves to keep my fingers warm,” he added.

And although Sudhir reported that the Cherys did not suffer any mechanical breakdowns, there were two collisions on the circuit. In the first, one of the cars collided with a porcupine and in the other, the number 5 QQ3 sustained damage to its radiator and power-steering pump when it collided with a stray dog. The QQ3 was repaired and later rejoined the circuit, although it meant that the Number Two Chery, which was driven by Sudhir and team-mates Pieter Oosthuizen, Wynter Murdock and Steve Mearns, became the leading contender for the record in the 0,8-litre class.

After two days of non-stop running, the leading 1,1- and 0,8-litre Chery QQ3s covered distances of 7 262 km and 6 369 km respectively. Chery claimed that total mileage covered by the five QQ3s was more than 33 351 km.

The 1,1-litre QQ3 consumed an average of 7,4 litres/100km and the 0,8-litre model 8,6 litres/100km. The number one car, a 1,1-litre QQ3, managed a claimed average speed of 151,2 km/h and the 0,8-litre model averaged 132,7 km/h over the two days.

"To our knowledge, it is the first time that a Chinese vehicle manufacturer has managed to set a 24-hour record, which is the international standard for endurance records, and it is definitely a first here in South Africa," said Brett Soso, managing director of Chery South Africa.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
East Coast Radio gives away Chery cars to winners

October 03, 2008

When times are tough, East Coast Radio (of South Africa) can always be relied upon to bring some welcome relief in the form of a great on-air promotion. The station once again makes radio history with the "Chery for my Cherry" competition which will see six lucky winners each win a Chery QQ3 car.

Over the next few months, finalists will literally be 'smacking their lips' at the opportunity to win - the last person with their lips still firmly pouted on the car, wins a spanking new Chery QQ3. East Coast Radio together with Chery cars will give away a total of six fabulous Chery QQ3 vehicles.

"These fabulous QQ3's are the perfect solution to our strained economic times. They are completely fuel efficient and environment friendly…so in addition to winning a fantastic prize, you will be able to do your bit for the environment and help 'Make Here Happen'," says East Coast Radio's Marketing Director, Paulette Holmes.

The station has embarked on a new all encompassing campaign - "Make Here Happen," where the underlying concept focuses on optimism and positivity. So not only is winning a Chery QQ3 competition a great boost when money is scarce, you can also help "Make Here Happen" as you will be driving a fuel efficient vehicle that ultimately helps protect the environment.
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