TOUGHEST COMPETITORS: The Spirit of Africa Trophy final will take place in Botswana in September 2015. Competitors from four countries will battle for the coveted prize. Image: Volkswagen
Volkswagen SA is taking its Spirit of Africa Trophy to the global stage by inviting teams from Australia, Namibia and Botswana to compete against South African winners in the first Spirit of Amarok International competition in Botswana from September 13-17 2015.
Each country will be represented by five two-crew teams who must prove their technical off-road driving skills over tough 4x4 terrain.
Jaco Steenekamp, sales and marketing GM for VW commercial vehicles, said: "We've decided to go international with the Spirit of Africa Trophy after six years of sponsorship and 11 years of the competition by inviting teams from neighbouring countries Namibia and Botswana and Australia - our sport arch-rival."
Legendary SA motorsportsman Sarel van der Merwe, the competition's host, said: "The international competition will be hard-core and more technical to make sure we challenge and test the teams' 4x4 skills. Each of the five days of the competition will have different challenges.
"The results from each day will not be communicated to the teams until the prize-giving ceremony on the last day to make the competition more exciting and intriguing for the teams."
HOW TO MAKE THE CUT
The top five teams to represent South Africa will be decided from the 20 teams contesting the local finals in August at the Kwalata game reserve in Botswana - 20 teams emerged from 500 at the 2015 Spirit of Africa Trophy elimination rounds in Zeerust in South Africa's North-West Province, in April and June 2015.
During the elimination rounds each group from the 20 teams will tackle different challenges over three days - speed tests, reversing tests and off-road technical driving to determine the best and most precise drivers.
The format for the Spirit of Amarok International Final will be similar to the local finals which are held over five days.