4X4 CLUB CHAMPS: Jaco van Zyl (left) and Gerhard Jacobs triumphed in Zeerust to claim overall victory in the Bridgestone 2014 4x4 Club Challenge Champions. Image: Bridgestone.
ZEERUST, North West - Jaco van Zyl and Gerhard Jacobs have been crowned the Bridgestone 2014 4x4 Club Challenge champions.
Driving a 50-year-old Series II A Land Rover, they took overall victory in an event which was eventually halted by torrential rain over the Doornrivier 4x4 trail near Zeerust in North West Province on November 22.
The top 30 teams from the knock-out rounds had 10 obstacles separating them from the championship laurels.
TOUGH 4X4 CHALLENGE
The first two featured steep and rocky climbs so daunting that some competitors opted out. While the route to the third obstacle began as a scenic drive, it ended with an unexpectedly awkward river crossing.
Bridgestone, in partnership with Ford SA, supplied a fleet of Ford Ranger 3.2TDCi 4x4s with which the teams were to compete in over the next eight obstacles. This was done to level the playing field and forced teams to adapt to unfamiliar vehicles.
Unsurprisingly, the points tally at obstacles three, four and five was frequently zero.
Obstacle six required a driver to wear darkened goggles, relying solely on co-driver's instructions. Then came more of the golf-ball-on-a-pole challenges which the organisers have favoured throughout 2014.
Many teams struggled to make just the right amount of contact with the poles to knock the balls off, but others methodically raked in the points.
All the effort was for naught though as rain hit the route. Organisers decided that only the first five obstacles would count towards the results.
With the bedraggled crews gathered for the prizegiving, the R8000 Bridgestone SA Environmental Prize went to Corne van der Merwe and Freddie Siebert driving their Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
The third-place went to the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen crew of Graham Jupp and Lyn Zabel who received R10 0000. A Gelandewagen crew was in the runner-up spot too as father-and-son duo Marco and Joe Marincowitz won a R25 000 gift voucher from co-sponsor Opposite Lock.
Van Zyl and Jacobs received a Conqueror off-road trailer worth R50 000. Their remarkable result included a perfect 100 points on osbstacles one and two, followed by excellent scores on the remaining obstacles in a Ranger.
You can catch all the Club Challenge action on DStv’s Ignition channel to be broadcast from December 13:
Dec 13, Saturday - 11:30am
Dec 14, Sunday - 5:30pm
Dec 15, Monday - 2:30pm
Dec 16, Tuesday - 12:30am
Dec 17, Wednesday - 4:30am
Dec 18, Thursday - 8:30pm
Dec 19, Friday - 8:30am and 5:30pm.
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