Round seven of the 2014 Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge was hosted by the Lichtenburg 4×4 Club, and the course, set up on old mine dumps outside the North West town, was so tough that even the Lichtenburg locals were overheard expressing disbelief.
Thirty 4x4s from all over the North West Province and Gauteng lined up for the start, including a 1961 Land Rover and 1964 Toyota Land Cruiser, both in near-original condition. The event also marked the introduction of Bridgestone and Supa Quick’s Pink Valve Cap Project to the 4×4 Club Challenge. For R50, the contestants could buy a set of pink valve caps, with all proceeds going towards the fight against breast cancer. And there was extra incentive for the crews to get into the pink swing, with a bonus prize going to the team displaying the most ‘pinkness’.
Many vehicles were adorned with pink trimmings and the event’s start saw crews sporting pink hair, fairy wings and even a pink dress thanks to a burly North-West farmer with an adventurous spirit.
But at the business end of things, ten tough obstacles had to be conquered, and from the startline it was clear that the organisers expected the crews to work for their scores. Many score cards displayed a sparse return after the first five obstacles, and despite the crews’ success at ‘Mission Pink’ it seemed as if the overall averages on the course itself would struggle to climb above 50 percent.
However, the scores of the podium finishers definitely stood out. Third place went to the Suzuki Jimny of Raymond and Anel Martin who scored 93 percent. This team won an Opposite Lock snatch rope kit.
Second place belonged to the tiny but very capable Suzuki SJ Samurai piloted by Danie Tait and Wilma Fourie. The team scored an impressive 94 percent, and bagged a set of Opposite Lock spotlights.
But the winners were the Jeep Wrangler crew of Shaun Niemand and Dominique Cholewka who scored an astonishing 98 percent despite the extremely tough conditions, scooping a R10 000 tyre voucher from Bridgestone South Africa. And it was Henry Barnes who won the Pink Prize, while the total amount raised in the fight against breast cancer was almost R3000.
Three Lichtenburg crews booked their places in the final, where a Conqueror off-road trailer to the value of R50 000 will be up for grabs. They were Wimpie Oliver and Jaco van Zyl (Suzuki Jimny), Johan and Mayke Reichel (Toyota Fortuner) and Johnny Britz from Klerksdorp (Land Rover Defender pick-up V8).
The next event on the 2014 Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge calendar will be hosted by the Jeep Club of South Africa on 20 September in the Cape Town area. An 11-part television series, documenting each club event, will be screened later this year on DStv’s Ignition channel.