New Zealanders love their cars, and the number of talented racing drivers we produce as a small nation is a testament to this. Despite our small size, we seem to have no problem producing drivers that mix it with the world's best.
In light of Hayden Paddon's recent second place finish in the Swedish round of the World Rally Championship (WRC), it's the perfect time to analyse what lessons the country's fuel card users can gain from the best drivers our country has to offer.
From the pains of running out of fuel at the worst possible time, to the value of staying safe at the pump, there's plenty to learn from New Zealand's finest automotive exports.
1. Hayden Paddon – Have the right car for the conditions
While New Zealand may not be at the mercy of the same weather extremities that challenges Australian drivers, no part of the country is immune to heavy rain, and the South Island experiences regular snowfalls throughout the winter.
It's fitting then, that the inspiration for these tips, Hayden Paddon's personal best finish in the WRC, came on the ice and snow-covered roads of Sweden. Like all WRC cars, Paddon's Hyundai i20 is equipped with four-wheel drive, a system that makes dealing with adverse conditions significantly safer.
2. Scott Dixon – Running out of fuel can be heartbreaking
While not every fleet driver's daily role is as dramatic as fighting for the win in an IndyCar race, running out of petrol can still be devastating. While some drivers are happy to push well past the point the reserve light comes on, it's not always the smartest idea, and means drivers postpone receiving rewards on their fuel cards.
No Kiwi knows this quite like four-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, who had to forfeit a sure win at Long Beach in 2014 after realising he didn't have enough fuel to reach the finish.
3. Greg Murphy – Stay safe at the pump
As one of New Zealand's most celebrated V8 Supercars Drivers, Greg Murphy has been through the highs and lows of the sport. Few fans will be able to forget his now infamous 5-minute penalty at the 2002 Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst 1000.
Greg Murphy pulled away from a pit stop before the fuel hose was disconnected, spraying dangerous petrol across the lane and knocking over crew members. The unprecedented penalty put an end to his chance of being competitive, as well as compromising the safety of his team in the process.
There's plenty more to learn from New Zealand's best drivers. If you want to know more about a fuel card, contact the team at Card Smart today.