Bridgestone South Africa

Third Bridgestone qualifier gives action aplenty

May 04, 2015

Everything from a Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen to pint-sized Suzuki Jimnys lined up at the start of
the Leeuwenkloof 4x4 facility near Hartbeespoort Dam for the third round of the 2015 Bridgestone
4x4 Club Challenge late in April.

With a track consisting of nine obstacles - and an optional tenth obstacle reserved for shoot-outs
should competitors end up with the same points - it soon became clear that this round would be a
stiff test of both driver and vehicle.

The closest escape of the day came when Danie and Daniel Tait, in a Suzuki SJ413, bounced totally off
the track during the long, steep and rocky climb at obstacle three. The Suzuki came to rest at a steep
angle, perched precariously sideways on a rock outcropping. Fortunately the Marshalls were close at
hand, and they sprung into action to keep the vehicle from turning turtle. Danie wasn't deterred, and
with the vehicle restored to the trail, he scooped third place in the day's standings.

Another crew with big ambitions was the father-and-son team of Marco and Joe Marincowitz, in a
Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen. The former Bridgestone 4x4 champions put in a great driving display
on the tough obstacles to eventually finish in second place overall, with 875 points.

But it was a Suzuki Jimny that took the top spot on the day. Ivan Lerm and Steven Grieve put in a
near-perfect drive to record an amazing 895 points from a possible maximum of 900!

Although the focus is usually on the top-three positions, there was some additional excitement when
several competitors finished on the same overall points. A shoot-out brought the optional tenth
obstacle into play, with the winner of each 'drive off' earning the higher overall ranking, and a shot at
a better prize if they finished inside the top ten.

The last of the four qualifying rounds will take place in May, before the main battle starts at various
4x4 tracks in Gauteng. Six elimination rounds will see the lowest-placed finishers depart the
competition, and by the final event in November the field will have been whittled down to the year's
top 40 teams, which will do battle for overall honours and the grand prize of a R30 000 voucher from
aftermarket accessory company Opposite Lock.

The Bridgestone 4x4 Club Challenge is presented by Bridgestone SA (www.bridgestone.co.za) in
conjunction with Opposite Lock (www.oppositelock.co.za).

The 2015 Bridgestone 4x4 Club Challenge will be a screened as a 10-part series on DSTV's Ignition
channel.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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