The Voetspore team recently-completed 4×4 odyssey around Madagascar and their tyre of choice was the Mickey Thompson ATZp3.
For those who aren’t aware, Voetspore is a popular motoring and travel show hosted on SABC2 and in the last decade has explored Africa from top to bottom and side to side. Their 10th and most recent trip – to be screened in the second half of 2016 – is also the first time they’ve left mainland Africa.
The enigmatic island is well-known for its unusual and unique fauna and flora (80 percent being endemic) and also provided the full gamut of off-road challenges. From tropical rain forests to desert-like dunes, the Mickey Thompson rubber fitted to a trio of Toyota Land Cruiser bakkies took everything in their stride. Their 9 000-odd kilometres on the island was a challenging mix of dirt and poor tarmac (with a rare stretch of decent national road).
Regular contributor to Leisure Wheels magazine and frontman of the Voetspore TV series, Johan Badenhorst explains: “What our most recent adventure lacked in outright distance it certainly made up for in variety. We were a little worried beforehand as we thought it might become a bit monotonous, but Madagascar never ceased to amaze us.
“Mickey Thompson’s hybrid/all-terrain ATZp3 was the right tyre – it really had to cope with anything and everything, including driving from Pretoria to Durban and then back to Pretoria three months apart and tackling mud, rocks, sand, potholes, river crossings and narrow ‘Zebu-cart’ cattle tracks in between,” Badenhorst explains.
Despite each vehicle having an all-in weight approaching four tonnes, the adventurers confidently deflated the tyres down to 1.5 Bar, and ran at that setting for the duration of their stay on the planet’s fourth-largest island. At the end of it all the sole ‘issue’ was one slow puncture – the result of large cacti encountered in the southern-most reaches of the island.
“We probably did about 1 000 km in low-range so the conditions were truly hardcore, and proper 4x4ing skills and equipment were required. I can’t fault the tyres on any score and when we got back on tar – even wet tar – the grip was excellent and the noise levels low. And judging by the minimal wear, it looks like these will be good for our next expedition too,” concluded Badenhorst.
Read Johan Badenhorts account of one of the best days on the Madagascar expedition here.