Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone 4x4 Challenge Crowns New Champion

Nov 27, 2015
Danie & son Daniel Tait, Winners of Short Wheelbase Category & The Overall Championship

Danie & son Daniel Tait, Winners of Short Wheelbase Category & The Overall Championship

Danny Daniels &  Rob Wallace - Long Wheelbase Class Winners

Danny Daniels & Rob Wallace - Long Wheelbase Class Winners


After four qualifying rounds and five elimination events, the grand finale of the 2015 Bridgestone Club Challenge was held at the Four Wheel Drive Club of South Africa's Base 4 venue near the Hennops River on 21 November.

With the teams having been ranked by points earned on the elimination events, the starting order was reversed for the series decider, with the top-ranked teams setting off last. The 30 finalists tackled an extremely demanding trail put together by the series route master, Sakkie Coetzee, and a new champion was crowned as Danie and son Daniel Tait took the laurels in their Suzuki SJ413 with a near-faultless performance.

Having already put in some impressive scores throughout the year, the Taits scored a breathtaking 975 points from a possible 1000 in the final, clinching both the Short Wheelbase Category and the overall Championship. The team won a tyre voucher from Bridgestone SA as well as a new Tough Dog suspension from Opposite Lock.

"It was a perfect day for us," said an elated Danie Tait. "It's our third year competing, but this year it all came together for us," he added. Tait also gave notice that the SJ was being retired from competition and that he would be competing in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon V6 in 2016. "The Jeep is extremely capable but obviously much bigger than the SJ, so I'm looking forward to a new challenge," he said.

Second place in the Short Wheelbase class went to Henry and Alta Barnes in a Suzuki Jimny. The team won an MRO LED light bar and a Melvil & Moon canvas seat cover set. The final Short Wheelbase podium position was taken by Shaun Niemand and Tjaart Scheepers, in a Jeep Wrangler TJ. They won a Snomaster fridge and battery pack.

In the Long Wheelbase class, it was Jeeps all the way - former champion Danny Daniels, partnered by Rob Wallace, took the win in their Grand Cherokee CRD. The team also won a Bridgestone SA tyre voucher and an adjustable Tough Dog suspension, courtesy of Opposite Lock.

Wollie Wolmarans and Tienie Minnie, were second in their Cherokee, winning a Snomaster fridge and battery pack. The third-placed Cherokee was piloted by Ben and Francois Pretorius, who bagged an MRO LED light bar and a Melvil & Moon canvas seat cover set for their efforts.

Another major award was the 'Club of the Year'. The organisers used the average overall score per club member to determine the winning club, and it was the McCarthy 4x4 Club who took top honours. The club won R20 000 from Bridgestone SA, to spend as they see fit.

Bridgestone's Guthrie Blaine, who oversaw the competition, said he was pleased about the way the Club Challenge had developed over the years. "2015 was an exciting year of competition, and I think we've found a good balance between the different classes and the types of obstacles," he said. "Next year we want to get more 4x4 families and more clubs involved, so in the Elimination rounds we will follow the recipe we used in the Final - a 4x4 trail or track, with the obstacles as part of the route," he explained. "What we're aiming for is a great day out in nature for the family," he concluded.

=============================== strlen:3261
Bridgestone South Africa

About Bridgestone

The Bridgestone Group is eternally committed to serving society with superior quality.

The group will fulfill our responsibilities decisively. As you reach for the future, the Group will remain by your side.