4x4 com­peti­tors en­ter knock­out phase

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

ROUND Five of the 2016 Bridge­stone 4x4 Club Chal­lenge pro­duced some star­tlingly dif­fi­cult ob­sta­cles and nu­mer­ous ‘zero’ scores at the 4x4 tracks of the Swan­dani Game Lodge near Cul­li­nan.

Al­most 60 teams lined up for the event, the first of four knock­out rounds, some hav­ing come from as far afield as KwaZulu-Natal.

The teams were se­lected from about 200 teams who had battled it out in four qual­i­fy­ing rounds held ear­lier in the year. Route mas­ter Sakkie Coet­zee pre­pared some daunt­ing ob­sta­cles that suited the short-wheel­base teams.

Top spot went to Gar­reth Gon­calves and Chantelle van Niek­erk in an Isuzu Fron­tier 320 V6, who earned the max­i­mum 50 cham­pi­onship to set them­selves up as the team to beat in the next round.

In the short-wheel­base class, Hans Stry­dom and Jo­han Cil­liers earned a very handy 775 points in a clas­sic SVM3000, a South African Jeep-in­spired off-roader man­u­fac­tured in small num­bers to­wards the end of the 1980s. Former cham­pi­ons, Marco and Joe Mar­in­cowitz, clinched sec­ond place in their Merc Ge­landewa­gen with an out­stand­ing 815 points. But tak­ing the more ex­pe­ri­enced teams to the clean­ers were Jo­han Bekker and Jo­han van den Heever, with 820 points, in their light­weight Suzuki Jimny. — WR.

PHOTO: MOTORPRESS.CO.ZA

Don’t hit the pole! Jo­han Bekker and Jo­han van den Heever gar­nered the most points in Bridge­stone 4x4 Club Chal­lenge in their Jimny.

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