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2008-03-31 13:51

Hailey Philander

Land Rover's recent sale to Tata does not appear to have disrupted operations too much and the manufacture is going ahead with this year's planned G4 Challenge.

Entries for the latest round of the Challenge are open - and this year's gruelling adventure race takes the competition to a whole new level of toughness.

Do whatever it takes

Previous G4 Challenges were run in 2003 and 2006 and required competitors to run, kayak, abseil, ski, drive (basically anything necessary) across some of the most unforgiving territory on the globe, to get the ultimate prize - a brand new Land Rover.

Similarily, the 2008/2009 event will have entrants from 18 countries vying for top honours in a race that pits the toughest athletes from different disciplines against one another. The most significant change this year is that each country will be represented by a mixed-gender team.

If you think you've got what it takes to win a brand new Land Rover and have, what by all accounts, would be the time of your life, apply online at www.landroverG4challenge.com.

Locally, the top 20 competitors will meet for the regional selections in a remote section of the Karoo for two nights and three days before the national selection party moves into the unspoilt Lesotho for seven days.

Following the selection of the top four national candidates, they will then be whisked off to the UK where the final selection will take place in November this year.

The finals are due to be held over three weeks "somewhere in Asia" in March or April next year in a mix of urban and remote settings. The teams will be required to complete compulsory and optional tasks that will match their strategic thinking with physical activities.

More than a competition

With Land Rover as its chief sponsor, the event undoubtedly has off-road driving at its core and the entire fleet is called into action, from the supercar-slaying Range Rover Sport to the utilitarian Defender. Of course, all competition vehicles bear distinctive Tangiers Orange livery, which would make them hard to lose in the densest jungle or the most barren desert landscape.

To limit the environmental impact, the Challenge promises to be fully CO2 offset and the entire fleet will be run on diesel power. The competition is designed to have a neutral impact on the environment and an environmental specialist will analyse the route from start to finish.

Land Rover also has a strong humanitarian consciousness and as part of its International Federation partnership will donate a vehicle to the Red Cross or Red Crescent Society associated with the winning team.

Seasoned Dusi marathon campaigner took up the previous G4 Challenge - and has a Land Rover to show for his efforts. He was triumphant in the 2006 event.

"The last Challenge was an amazing experience and it was a fantastic feeling to win after such a tough competition against competitors from all around the world. I am sure that the new format, with national teams and more female competitors, will make the next Challenge even more exciting."

Who better to endorse this year's challenge than the current title holder? Dreyer and Land Rover promise it will be fun. I'm not too sure, but enter here if you're up to the Challenge.


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