Teams brave 4x4 Fundi Challenge
G-WAGEN WARRIORS: Johann and Corne Marx celebrate winning the 2012 Bridgestone 4x4 Fundi Challenge outside Bloemfontein.
Johann and Corne Marx have won the 2012 Bridgestone 4x4 Fundi Challenge, held just outside Bloemfontein, in their Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen.
The husband-and-wife team went into the last round of the six-leg series, held at Die Oewer farm outside Bloemfontein in the Free State, in third place.
SUZUKI JIMNYS VERSUS THE REST
Two of the previous five rounds had been won by the pint-sized Suzuki Jimnys and while the leaderboard was dominated by big off-roaders such as a V8 Range Rover and several Geländewagens, an upset was always on the cards.
The final challenge, however, was so extreme that organiser Daniel Barbosa, for Bridgestone, banned spectators from the vehicles. Spectators on the trail were also restricted to locations where their safety would be assured.
Heeding Barbosa’s warning to not sacrifice vehicles to obstacles, the teams readily bypassed the muddy second obstacle to make their way along a route featuring treacherous climbs and descents, axle-twisting sections and daringly cambered tracks.
A muddy ravine took its toll as several vehicles slid onto the route poles, losing valuable points. Crews were, however, presented with two optional challenges to help them make up points.
A tricky donga section and a frighteningly steep ascent saw may teams make a go at the bonus points, guaranteed with point points on the first try or a score of zero.
By the end of the course, the Marx team had done enough to subdue the Suzuki Jimny of Flip Kotze and Herman Steyn into second place. The 2011 champions, father-and-son Joe and Marco Marincowitz finished in third position in yet another Geländewagen.
First prize was a Conqueror off-road caravan valued at R80 000, with other runner-up prizes from Opposite Lock and Boltons GPS Warehouse.
Stephan Schoombie and Riku Wessels (Mitsubishi Triton) scooped the R20 000 cash prize for the team that showed the best environmental awareness, while R60 000 of Bridgestone tyres went to the Mercedes Benz G-Xtreme Club.
The 2012 Bridgestone 4x4 Fundi Challenge will be broadcast on DStv’s Ignition channel (265), from October 6, 2012 at 8.30pm.
TOP TEN TEAMS: 2012 BRIDGESTONE 4X4 FUNDI CHALLENGE
Johan and Corne Marx Mercedes Geländewagen 428.340 points
Philippus Kotze and Hermanus Steyn Suzuki Jimny 426.450 points
Marco and Joe Marincowitz Mercedes Geländewagen 424.590 points
John and Desire Fuller Mercedes Geländewagen 422.930 points
Graham Jupp and Bruce Hains Mercedes Geländewagen 417.920 points
Adriaan Aucamp and Gerrit van Wyk Range Rover 417.100 points
Anton and Connie Coetzee Mercedes Geländewagen 412.450 points
Johan and Maryke Reichel Toyota Fortuner 409.650 points
Riaan Goede and Marius van Niekerk Suzuki Jimny 407.320 points
Johan Terblanche and Marlene Muller Isuzu KB 407.020 points
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