Taking it by the horns

Taking it by the horns

Round six of the 2014 Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge saw the participants traverse some demanding off-road obstacles at the Rhino Park, east of Pretoria. Almost 30 crews lined up for the McCarthy 4×4 Club’s hosting of the event as they contended with these tough 4×4 hurdles, the stopwatch and a set “target time”.

Bridgestone says that while most teams scored some points, only one team eventually scored full marks on the initial test of steep gradients and slippery turns. “The same could not be said for the second obstacle, where mud and narrow gates saw most teams score zero,” the tyre maker adds.

This pattern repeated itself at the third obstacle, and the teams were glad to get out of the mud into obstacle four, the Rhino Park’s famous sand pit. “The last two obstacles of the day were set in Rhino Park’s infamous ‘Die Walle’,” notes Bridgestone. “This quarry features some hair-raising climbs, mud and axle twisters, but at least most of the teams bagged some valuable points.”

Each team’s time was recorded when they returned to the McCarthy 4×4 clubhouse. “This was then used to calculate an overall time for each team – and compare it to the ‘target time’, set by the organisers.”

In third position, overall – and the first of three McCarthy 4×4 Club teams to qualify for the Club Challenge Final in November – were Henry Barns and Bert van der Merwe in a Suzuki Jimny. Their efforts also saw them make off with an Opposite Lock snatch rope recovery kit.

Second place belonged to Heinz and Blanche Kusel in a beautiful classic Range Rover V8. The team also qualified for the final and won a set of Opposite Lock spotlights.

The winning team was the Jeep combo of Shaun Niemand and Dominique Cholewka, who also bagged the environmental prize as they had spotted some strategically placed litter and collected it (winning R2 000 from Bridgestone). The team also won a R10 000 tyre voucher from Bridgestone South Africa.

The next event on the 2014 Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge menu will be hosted by the Lichtenburg 4×4 Club on August 23.

An 11-part television series, documenting each club event, will be screened later this year on DStv’s Ignition, channel 189.

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