Round nine of the 2014 Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge, hosted at the Leeuwenkloof 4×4 facility near Hartbeespoort Dam, saw enthusiasts from the Land Rover Owners Club of South Africa battle it out. Competition was fierce, because only a handful of places are left in the Club Challenge Final, to be held just a few short weeks away in November.
The Land Rovers ranged from old classics to much younger models, and the day got off to a serious start with a number of steep and rocky climbs, followed by even steeper descents. The 110 Defenders struggled here – with their wide turning circles, they had a tough time getting through some of the gates.
And after fighting their way through the course, the last series of obstacles proved that one can never let one’s guard down in this competition. The driver had to stop next to a dam, get out of the vehicle and with one hand in contact with the vehicle, move round to the passenger side (and the water), pick up five rocks and attempt to hit a pole with a carefully aimed throw.
Each ‘hit’ was worth five bonus points and some of the more creative teams discovered the best way to get close to the pole was to simply drive into the dam!
With the scores tallied, prizegiving saw the environmental prize – a R2000 voucher from Bridgestone – go to the event’s only lady driver, Geraldine Castwright.
In third place overall, and booking the first Landy seat in the 2014 Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge final, were Brian and Shelly Cotton, in their Defender pickup. The Cottons won a Mean Green recovery kit from Opposite Lock.
Second place belonged to Bridgestone 4×4 veterans Adriaan Aucamp and Gerrit van Wyk, in a Range Rover, winning themselves a set of Opposite Lock driving lights.
But in the most day’s most surprising result, it was Jaco van Zyl’s 50 year-old Series 2A that took overall honours with an outstanding score of 885 points. With the win, van Zyl, partnered by Wimpie van Zyl for this event, secured his spot in the Club Challenge Final, and also won a R10 000 tyre voucher from Bridgestone South Africa.
The next round of the 2014 Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge will be hosted by the 4×4 Off-Road Adventure Club near Hartbeespoort Dam on 25 October. In the meantime, watch all the Club Challenge action unfold on DStv’s Ignition channel.
The 4×4 Club Challenge broadcast schedule is: Saturday @ 11:30am; Sunday @ 5:30pm; Monday @ 2:30pm; Tuesday @ 12:30am; Wednesday @ 4:30am; Thursday @ 8:30pm; Friday @ 8:30am and 5:30pm.