Bridgestone South Africa

Huge Field in Final 4x4 Qualifier with Bridgestone

Oct 30, 2014
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Bridgestone's 4x4 Club Challenge saw the biggest field of the year turn out for the last of the qualifying rounds, with almost 40 teams lining up at the De Rust outdoor facility on October 25. The event, hosted by the 4x4 Off-Road Adventure Club, sported every type of 4x4 vehicle imaginable, from pint-sized Suzuki Jimnys to brawnier Land Cruiser 100s.

The course was notable for the difficulty of its obstacles, even by the standards which have been set on previous rounds. The first task was a rude introduction for most crews, with a climb in reverse up a slippery 33-degree slope. The task was to nudge a pole at the top of the hill, but not hard enough that the golf ball perched on top of it dropped off. Daunting, to say the least!

Another notable task was an obstacle which had to be negotiated while the driver wore blackout goggles, relying only on the co-driver for direction. With the drivers having their sight restored for the next obstacle, the task was to drive a sponsored vehicle towing an off-road trailer through a sinuous selection of dongas and turns.

The obstacles got tighter as the day wore on, and size certainly did matter - the smaller and more nimble machines had a distinct advantage on some of the tight turns. However, organiser Alan Goodway had designed some of the obstacles especially to trip up the nippy Suzuki Jimnys, and the bigger machines were able to fight their way back into the points

Prizegiving kicked off on a charitable note: the De Rust Outdoor venue had agreed to forfeit its venue rental fee, so the 4x4 Off-road Adventure club and Action Ford who had supplied the sponsored vehicle and trailer, donated R5 000 to The Vrede Foundation which aims to raise awareness about cancer amongst young people and also assists cancer patients who don't have a medical aid.

The environmental prize, a R2 000 voucher from Bridgestone South Africa, was won by the Ford Ranger crew of Michael du Preez and Gareth Sieberhagen, who impressed the marshals with their 'as slow as possible, as fast as necessary' approach.

On the podium, third place went to John and Desire Fuller, in a Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen. The Fullers won a Mean Green recovery kit from co-sponsor Opposite Lock.

Freddie Siebert and Corne van der Merwe came second in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, winning a set of Opposite Lock driving lights.

But the top honours were scooped by youngsters Armand Schaap and Werner Jansen van Vuuren, also in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. They bagged a R10 000 tyre voucher from Bridgestone South Africa.

With the 2014 qualifying rounds now something of the past, the top crews from each round will gather in the North West Province for the final, to be held on November 22 - 23. At stake will be an R8 000 environmental prize from Bridgestone, a R20 000 voucher from Opposite Lock and a R50 000 Conqueror trailer for the winners.

Don't forget to catch all the Club Challenge action on DStv's Ignition channel.

The broadcast schedule is: Saturday at 11:30am; Sunday at 5:30pm; Monday at 2:30pm; Tuesday at 12:30am; Wednesday at 4:30am; Thursday at 8:30pm and Friday at 8:30am and 5:30pm.

More information: www.bridgestone.co.za.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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