Bridgestone South Africa

Husband and Wife win 2012 4x4 Fundi Challenge

Sep 26, 2012
Johann and Corne Marx

Johann and Corne Marx

Flip Kotze and Herman Steyn

Flip Kotze and Herman Steyn

Joe and Marco Marincowitz

Joe and Marco Marincowitz

Stephan Schoombie and Riku Wessels

Stephan Schoombie and Riku Wessels

Husband and wife team Johann and Corne Marx, driving a Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen, has won the 2012 Bridgestone 4x4 Fundi Challenge. The Marx's went into the last round of the six-leg series, held at Die Oewer farm, some 30km from Bloemfontein in the Free State, in third place on a leaderboard dominated by teams in chest-beating off-roaders like a Range Rover V8 and several Geländewagens.


However, two of the five rounds of the 2012 Challenge had been won by the pint-sized Suzuki Jimnys, meaning the day was ripe for an upset, especially with the presence of two former champion crews in the top four places.


The challenge presented by the route was so extreme that Bridgestone's Daniel Barbosa had forbidden the carrying of spectators in the vehicles, and restricted spectator presence on the trail to a few carefully-selected locations where their safety could be assured.


The first obstacle, a steep decline, was easily dealt with, but Barbosa's warnings about not sacrificing vehicles to obstacles were soon heeded when many crews opted to bypass obstacle two, a hillside layered with glutinous mud which remained unconquered on the day.


The route progressed through sinuous climbs and descents with the route poles just centimetres away, waiting to cost the careless driver valuable points. A further stretch of heavily-cambered track with an axle-twisting section saw the longer vehicles struggle before a muddy ravine took its toll, with several vehicles sliding into the route poles on the steep side slope and losing valuable points. After yet more steep and tricky obstacles, the teams reached the two optional challenges where those who were short on points could make up ground.


These all-or-nothing obstacles require the team to negotiate the obstacle successfully at the first try for full points, or score zero. A tricky section of dongas was almost the undoing of one of the Geländewagens, while the second obstacle was a frighteningly steep ascent. With the teams wanting every point they could get, not many opted out.


But at the end of it all, the Marx team had done enough to subdue the Suzuki Jimny of Flip Kotze and Herman Steyn into second place, with the third step on the podium going to the 2011 champions, father and son Joe and Marco Marincowitz, in yet another Geländewagen.




First prize was a Conqueror off-road caravan to the value of R80 000, with other runner-up prizes from Opposite Lock and Boltons GPS Warehouse. Stephan Schoombie and Riku Wessels, in a Mitsubishi Triton, scooped the R20 000 cash prize courtesy of TUFFSTUFF Insurance Product for the team that showed the best environmental awareness.


The Bridgestone Club Award went to the Mercedes Benz G-Xtreme Club winning R60000 worth of Bridgestone tyres.

The 2012 Bridgestone 4x4 Fundi Challenge will be broadcast on DStv's Ignition channel (channel 265), from next month. The six-part series will kick off on 6 October, and the show will be repeated several times during the weekend, with a prime slot of 20h30 on Saturday nights.








Johan and Corne Marx

Mercedes Geländewagen


Philippus Kotze and Hermanus Steyn

Suzuki Jimny


Marco and Joe Marincowitz

Mercedes Geländewagen


John and Desire Fuller

Mercedes Geländewagen


Graham Jupp and Bruce Hains

Mercedes Geländewagen


Adriaan Aucamp and Gerrit van Wyk

Range Rover


Anton and Connie Coetzee

Mercedes Geländewagen


Johan and Maryke Reichel

Toyota Fortuner


Riaan Goede and Marius van Niekerk

Suzuki Jimny


Johan Terblanche and Marlene Muller

Isuzu KB



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