Ong Lin Kern has done it all, from winning the Think Blue. – National Challenge 2013 in Melaka to representing Malaysia in the global Think Blue. World Championship 2013 in Germany. Here is the excerpt of an exclusive interview between Ong and the crew from Fly FM and TV3’s Malaysia Hari Ini (MHI).
How did you prepare yourself for the Think Blue. World Championship 2013?
I studied as much as I could on the fuel saving tips provided by Volkswagen and I did my level best to apply what I learnt previously in the National Challenge. I also did additional research on more fuel efficient driving techniques and applied them in my everyday driving as practice to prepare myself for the World Championship.
Volkswagen was also kind enough to loan me the Golf 1.4 TSI for a few days so that I could practice on driving efficiently.
You got to drive on European roads – all the way from Wolfsburg to Frankfurt. Do share with us your experience of your journey.
I am honoured to have represented my country on an international driving platform as such. Competing in Germany was nerve-wrecking but at the same time thrilling because I had the opportunity to compete among the most fuel efficient drivers from all over the world. It was a great opportunity for me to learn more on fuel efficiency through my interactions with winners from other countries.
It was challenging in a way as I needed to try to get used to how the Germans drive on the road. Learning new roads signs and learning how the TDI engine works and shifting gears was quite interesting as the challenge car was a manual one. Overall it was a once in a lifetime experience.
Which part of the drive did you find most challenging and why?
Driving up to Torfhaus was by far the most challenging part of the challenge as we had to go up the mountains. Driving through the village was also tough as there are loads of trucks, tractors and trains crossing that can slow you down.
Are you surprised with the efficiency of the car you drove throughout the competition?
Most definitely. The Golf TDI BlueMotion is certainly a very fuel efficient car. Usually only a hybrid can give you such a good fuel consumption. Also, despite the additional weight we had to put on so that each car had an equal load of 294.4 kg, we still managed a fuel consumption of 4.08 litres per 100 km.
Do you think Volkswagen is one step closer in inspiring change in drivers’ behaviour through the Think Blue. Challenge?
Volkswagen has indeed taught drivers a great deal about the efficient use of fuel and the impact of driving behaviours on the environment. In my opinion, Volkswagen successfully inspired change in drivers’ behaviour through the Think Blue. Challenge and is one step closer in achieving their goal of a sustainable future. Not only did this challenge had an impact on me, I am very sure others gain tips and knowledge on fuel efficient driving too. I will definitely participate next year if I can.
Do you see a difference in your driving before and after the Think Blue. Challenge?
Without a doubt. Before this, I’ve never really taken into consideration the way I drove and how it would affect my fuel consumption and impact the environment. Since I joined and won the Think Blue. – National Challenge 2013, every fuel saving tips count.
I try to discipline myself and also to anticipate the overall traffic and road conditions to watch my fuel consumption. This was truly an eye-opener and being more responsible on the road and more environmentally conscious is now one of my goals.