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New Format shines in second Bridgestone 4x4 Event

Hot on the heels of the opening round of the Bridgestone 4x4 Club Challenge, the second round was recently held at the McCarthy 4x4 Club’s venue at the Rhino Park, east of Pretoria. With the venue and obstacles the same as in the first round, it was a chance for the event organisers to see how the quality of the field matched up to the opening event. 

25 4x4s of all shapes and sizes lined up for the start, with plenty of newcomers and a new feature for 2016 season: a celebrity and media challenge, with a Mitsubishi Pajero 3.2Di-D 4x4 for participants to try their hands in. The vehicle, supplied by Mitsubishi South Africa, is fitted with Tough Dog suspension and Bridgestone all-terrain tyres. The first takers were Gerhard Horn and Deon van der Walt from Leisure Wheels magazine.

In the long wheelbase class there was also an interesting turn of events. Former event winner Wimpie Olivier had entered his virtually standard Toyota Hilux 3.0D4-D 4x4 - leaving his heavily modified little Suzuki Jimny, with which he has won several events overall, at home.

The results were a mix of old and new. Seasoned competitor Cobus Bohmer, partnered by Rudi Grobbelaar, won the standard short wheelbase class in their Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Second place in this class was won by another experienced crew, Flip Kotze and Herman Steyn, in a Suzuki Jimny. And in a surprise third place were Wimpie and Leandri van Biljon in a Suzuki SJ. The Van Biljons had travelled all the way from Bloemfontein for the event.

The standard long-wheel base class was won by Riaan and Michelle Coetzee in their Halfway Toyota Hilux 2.5D4-D 4x4. The husband-and-wife team put in a great performance on a track which is demanding for long-wheel base 4x4s. Second place went to Wimpie Olivier and co-driver Wilhelm Meyer in their Hilux, proving that a near-standard vehicle is in with a shout in this year's contest. Third place in the class was won by Chris de Wet and Adriaan Smit.

The overall victory for the day though, went to Bohmer and Grobbelaar in the short wheelbase Rubicon, after racking up an impressive 845 points. The team won a R10 000 tyre voucher from Bridgestone South Africa. And in second place overall with 815 points were Kotze and Steyn in the little Jimny. They won an MRO LED light bar, courtesy of Opposite Lock. The Bloemfontein visitors, Wimpie and Leandri van Biljon, took their Suzuki SJ to third overall. They won an adjustable shovel, courtesy of Opposite Lock.

The next qualifying round – the third of four - takes place on 5 March, again at the Rhino Park complex, east of Pretoria, using the same ten obstacles. 

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tyres in south africa
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