All in for TDI in Vegas
by Phil Berg
The third and final day of Wave 3 routed the competitors along the
legendary Route 66, across the engineering marvel that is the Hoover
Dam and onto the Las Vegas Strip, which provided another challenge of stop
and go traffic to cap the 1,000 mile-plus stage.
In the A4 TDI class, Detroit auto writer Kami Buchholz and Amy Mattinat
of AskPatty.com - or Team Vacation" as they have nicknamed themselves -
were the marvels of Wave 3. Stopping frequently for pictures and
postcards, and to "do a lot of shopping" according to Mattinat, didn't
hurt their numbers. The team finished the stage with average
consumption of 36.7 mpg at 49.3 average mph.
"We knew the (A4 TDI) engineers did their job, so we just drove it,"
With the exception of the A4 class, Wednesday's winners mirrored the
overall stage winners. Tom Wilson, of MSN Autos, and Zach Bowman of
Autofiends.com, completed the day by averaging 28.9 mpg with 53 mph for
the Audi Q7 TDI class. It was the duo's first daily win, but it was
enough to put Wilson and Bowman to over the top to finish first
overall, with an average of 29.5 and 52.4 mph.
"The goal was to stay in the top three and we knew we had a chance,"
Bowman said. He and team member Wilson have been crunching the numbers
on diesel versus gasoline prices as they drove through the mountain
West to calculate which is the better value for Americans over the long
Bowman believes Americans will take to diesel, but they're going to
need to understand the math - not to mention test drive an Audi Q7 TDI.
"As long as you get Americans to drive them, I think they're going to
do well," he said.
For the Q5 TDI class, it was a French sweep with Yves Maroselli of Le
Moniteur and Christophe Boulain of Action Auto Moto reeling in the win
among their six competitors in the class. The team finished the three
days of driving with 36.8 average mpg and an average speed of 52.8. The
two noted that France has quite a few police officers with radar, so
they are accustomed to driving slowly - a practice that paid off in the
In the A3 TDI class, Sebastian Blanco of Auto Blog Green, and Don
Bufamanti of Autospies.com, returned an impressive 43.2 mpg and 54.9
over the 1,021 miles they had driven since Denver. It was enough to
bring in the class win.
Thursday marks the start of the fourth and final leg of the Audi
Mileage Marathon, which heads to Mammoth Lakes, California.