It began with a phone call in the 1980s, French woman Michelle Mouton asking Italian Fabrizia Pons to be her co-driver. It became the most famous female pairing in rally history, leading to Mouton becoming the first and only woman to win a round of the world rally championship. The two are competing in the Otago Classic event this weekend, behind the wheel of a Ford Escort RS1800. Mouton was also the first woman to win the Pikes Peak hillclimb in the United States, a victory that got under the skin of male competitors. "A man who doesn't like being beaten by a woman is not a man," says Mouton. These days, Mouton makes the occasional guest appearance. Pons, on the other hand, is still in the co-driver's seat, mostly with Volkswagen team-mate Jutta Kleinschmidt in off-road events such as the Dakar.
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Greg Murphy's 2007 V8 Supercar is up for grabs at a charity auction in Auckland on May 31. Part of the proceeds will go towards the fight against cystic fibrosis. The top bidder gets the real deal - Holden Commodore race car, 475kW V8 engine, Hollinger H-Pattern gearbox and full V8 Supercar differential, suspension and brake systems. The auction has attracted huge interest here and across the ditch. "This turns a big charity event into a huge one - tickets are selling fast all over Australasia," says Cystic Fibrosis Association chief executive Kate Russell. Those wanting to bid have to register - firstname.lastname@example.org - with the CFA.
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What's with the u-turns in Auckland? Everyone seems to be doing them: at lights, in congested traffic, on corners - even when the vehicle they're driving can't even come close to completing a u-turn. The road code says: "You are normally allowed to make u-turns, as long as the road is clear in both directions and it is safe to do so. Make sure you have enough room to complete the turn and don't create a hazard for oncoming vehicles." Whoever wrote that stuff should spend a few peak-hour days in Auckland.
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Nissan sold more than one million vehicles fitted with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the year to March 31, allowing it to reach an interim worldwide target set under its Green Programme 2010. It is part of a goal to reduce CO2 emissions of its vehicles by 40 per cent over 10 years.
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Finding 20-year-old Angelo Trujillo was a piece of cake for police in Santa Fe, New Mexico - he was soaked to the skin with petrol and drawing a crowd. Trujillo tried to rob 83-year-old Bernice Garcia while she was filling her car with gas. But the grandma turned the pump on him.