American Expedition Vehicles
Thursday, 05 April 2012 07:32

Team Lerner Reina Win 1st Place in the Logica Challenge for Eco-Driving

After nine days of intense competition through the Sahara Desert, Olympic Gold Medalist and vetern off-road racer Carole Montillet and navigator Julie Verdaguer won the 2012 Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles. However, U.S. Team # 107 Amy Lerner and Tricia Reina, won the coveted Logica Challenge for eco-driving.

Established in 2009 by Logica, a global business and technology service company based out of the U.K., the Logica Challenge coincides with the Gazelle Rally's continued environmental responsibility. The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles takes every step in its commitment to environmental efforts, as the competition is not based on speed but rather the shortest distance traveled for competitors. Not only is the rally the only motorsport event globally with ISO 14001 Certification having adopted strict environmental mandates and commitment, the event also includes various initiatives which take place during the event. The Gazelle has proven a rally raid can successfully practice eco–friendly techniques.

For the third consecutive year, Logica has spearheaded a challenge for Gazelle Rally participants - reduce CO2 emssions and practice a commitment to eco-driving. Logica accomplishes this task through emissions monitoring by placing a box connected to the On Board Diagnoistics (OBDII) in each vehicle, capturing real time information on how drivers perform eco driving. The box was developed by Logica and measures real time carbon dioxide emissions.  

Every day, after teams arrived at the bivouac, each vehicle's EMO was checked. Points were calculated, earned, and adjusted based on set, acceptable averages and driver technique. This places the responsbility on drivers, highlighting the importance of a driver's influence on emissions as opposed to the vehicle alone. In the Crossover Class, Logica scoring was actually factored into the competition results.

For the entire eight-day competition including the prologue stage, prerformance was measured and penalties were given based on the following criteria which violate eco-driving practices:

-Engine idling
-Hard braking
-Hard acceleration
-High speed - above 80km/hour

Amy Lerner, driver for Team #107 stated, "If I can perform strongly during the dunes and this intense competition, that means a driver can practice eco-driving on the road as well." Amy and her sister, Tricia Reina, participated in the Gazelle Rally last year and came in 4th place in the Logica Challenge. This year, the sister duo made up their minds to win. "Within the challenge last year, we landed in 4th place. This year we're 1st in the 4x4 class. It wasn't our primary focus to win the Logica Challenge in 2011, but Tricia and I were hypersensitive about it this year, and it paid off." It certainly did.