CLOSE COMPETITION IN 22ND TOYOTA RUST DE WINTER 4X4 JAMBOREE
The picturesque Rust de Winter campsite and picnic resort on the banks of the Elands River in Limpopo was again the venue for the annual Toyota 4×4 Jamboree, which attracted a full-house entry of 150 vehicles that competed in a mountain route and a gymkhana in perfect weather conditions.
It was the 34th time this unique gathering and competition had been staged at the historic campsite, the home of the organising 4×4 ATV Club of Pretoria, at an idyllic venue beneath hundred year-old apiesdoring (monkey thorn) trees in an area renowned for its bird life.
Overall winners of the competition were Deon Fourie Jnr and Avon Vosloo, whose consistency over Saturday’s 60-kilometre mountain test, which they won, and the gymkhana, in which they were fourth, saw them emerge the victors.
Runners-up for the day among a full-house entry of 150 crews in a variety of 4×4 vehicles dominated by Toyotas were 2012 winners Rudi and Yolaine van der Merwe. The husband and wife pairing lost out on a second successive overall victory by just 3,85 points after taking the honours in the gymkhana and finishing fifth in the mountain route. Jaco Pieterse and Zani Terry were third overall.
Unlike last year, when the Freedom Day holiday fell on a Friday and saw the mountain route completed on the first day and the gymkhana on the second day, both elements of the competition took place on Saturday, with the first vehicle setting off on the mountain route at six in the morning.
The 60-kilometre mountain test, which took competitors from the campsite past the Rust de Winter dam and into the hills in the south, required four-wheel drive with low range and was a serious test of drivers’ off road skills. Competitors were reduced to walking pace as they encountered rocky sections and tight corners on a scenic route that included rocky overhangs and roadside waterfalls.
Just 5,9 points separated the top three, with Ryno Botha and Francois Kruger in a Toyota Land Cruiser finishing 5,8 points behind the winners and third-placed Adriaan de Beer and Renier Muller in a Toyota Hilux a mere half a point further back.
Clerk of the course Dirk van Wyk, a former chairman of the 4×4 ATV Club, was at the helm for the 23rd time and has seen the jamboree grow from a small gathering of die-hard 4×4 owners in specialist vehicles into a jamboree that attracted enthusiasts and their families in a mixture of modified off road vehicles and standard production 4×4 and 4×2 modern-day SUVs and leisure pickups.
“Safety is a primary focus of this event and we are very pleased to once again report that there were no injuries this year,” he said. Two fully-equipped off road rescue vehicles were stationed along the mountain route together with vehicle recovery units. Three vehicles ran out of fuel and one suffered a broken diff. All safely made it back to the campsite after receiving assistance.
The gymkhana was made up of a variety of imaginative and entertaining short driving tests within the Rust de Winter area, along the river bank, which were watched by a large and appreciative crowd of family members and supporters.
Lucky draw ticket holders were treated to an adrenaline-charged ride alongside multiple South African off road racing champion Duncan Vos in Toyota Motorsport’s Castrol Toyota Hilux that competes in the Donaldson South African Cross Country Championship. The sight and sound of the V8-engined Toyota racer attracted a large and appreciative crowd as it charged around a short, 2,5-kilometre bush course alongside the Rust de Winter camp site.
Deon Fourie Jnr and Avon Vosloo 279,5 points
Ryno Botma and Francois Kruger 273,7 points
Adriaan de Beer and Renier Muller 273,6 points
Rudi and Yolaine van der Merwe 506,8 points
Johan and Belinda van Wyk 503,1 points
Jaco Pieterse and Zani Terry 500,6 points
Deon Fourie Jnr and Avon Vosloo 777,13 points
Rudi and Yolaine van der Merwe 773,28 points
Jaco Pieterse and Zani Terry 731,94 points