We interview last year’s #ToyotaFortuner4x4Challenge winner, Danie Leonard ahead of this year’s challenge…
Don’t you miss out, enter here.
LW: What made you enter the 2016 Toyota Fortuner 4×4 Challenge?
DL: I am a very adventurous person and believe that if you don’t have a line in the water you can’t catch a fish. There is another quote that says, ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’. Whenever there is a physical challenge you will find my name among the entrants.
That’s the reason that I ended up doing the qualifications for the old “Camel Trophy” (I ended up being nominated as team reserve), being a finalist in MTN Gladiators and competing and completing two Expedition Africa expedition races. When I saw the Toyota Fortuner 4×4 Challenge competition for the first time last year and and saw that you actually had to compete to win the car and it is wasn’t only a lucky draw, I was all in!
The fact that I actively compete in three of the disciplines that we were to compete in was even more encouragement. The only drawback was my cooking and my biggest handicap in sport – golf.
LW: We are sure that when you arrived at the finals, it was with the intention of winning, but how sure were you of the outcome when you weighed up your competitors?
DL: I always start a race with the intention of being competitive. I had already researched two of my competitors before the finals. I knew that my biggest competition would come from either Kristian Fesel or Harold Durnez, but more Kristian because of his Ironman background. I did not know anything about Stephen Vallaro. When I heard we had to cook and play golf as well, I knew that my chances of winning were becoming slimmer and that I had to try and win most of the other events. With Herold ending up second in all the events and us being in last place in the golf (with them winning) I thought that we lost it, but somehow we managed to win the cooking competition as well. The rest is history.
LW: What was the most fun part the challenge?
DL: The whole event was just awesome, I enjoyed every aspect of it, but the cooking (because Andrew McLean and myself know nothing about cooking) and the mountain biking (because of the sheer intensity of the ride) will remain with me for life. O yes, and the banter from my friends about my wonderful round of golf.
LW: Why would you recommend that adventurers/athletes enter the competition?
DL: This has been one of the most exciting and most stressful experiences of my life. The people from Leisure Wheels magazine and Toyota SA were amazing and treated us like celebrities. The event was extremely well organised and the fact that we did not know who the winner was until right at the end made it even more special. It was an awesome two days with a bunch of very professional and special people. The different activities were planned very well and tested all of us to our limits. Not knowing what the next event is makes it even more exciting and levels the playing field as there is no time to prepare yourself. All in all it was a dream that came true and I was truly blessed by our Heavenly Father for being able to compete.
Andrew McLean and Danie Leonard during the 2016 Toyota Fortuner 4×4 Challenge
Enter the 2017 Toyota Fortuner 4×4 Challenge here
…and stand a chance to #win a new Fortuner worth R450 000, plus other prizes, such as a #Specialized mountain bike or a #Garmin.