The Volkswagen Amarok is the new vehicle for the Spirit of Africa competition run annually in the Kalahari desert.Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has signed an agreement with Sarel van der Merwe, founder of the competition, to be the main sponsor of the 2010 competition. Graeme Birch, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' marketing manager, said: “Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is proud to be associated with Sarel van der Merwe through the Spirit of Africa competition. Sarel has a long and proud history with VW SA dating back to his rallying days.'Premier competition'"We're glad that the launch of the Amarok has enabled us to rekindle our relationship with him.“Spirit of Africa is the premier 4x4 competition in South Africa and it is an ideal environment to showcase as well as prove the off road capabilities of the Amarok."Moreover, it is conducted in an impartial and objective manner which makes it a credible event to the participants and public." EASY DOES IT: Practising dune descents in the Kalahari. Sarel van der Merwe said: “I am happy to be reunited with the VW family, especially to be associated with a product such as the Amarok which impressed me from the start. Amarok’s of- road capabilities will enable us to make some exercises even more difficult than in previous years.“I am positive that the contestants will experience the same admiration for the vehicle and will have a thrilling time during the 2010 Spirit of Africa competition.”Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has supplied the Spirit of Africa competition with 23 Amaroks.The elimination rounds of the 2010 Spirit of Africa competition started on August 26, 2010 and the finals will be early in November, 2010.