ELRICO AND PIERRE TAKE THE TANKWA

Go! Camp & Drive - - News -

Twenty-two 4x4s re­cently gath­ered at the Stone­henge farm in the Tankwa Ka­roo for the fi­nal round of the Cooper Dust se­ries. The par­tic­i­pants came from four re­gions to com­pete on this spe­cial spot. At the end of the two-day com­pe­ti­tion, Elrico Koen and his brother-in-law Pierre Ge­nis from Bel­lville were crowned na­tional cham­pi­ons. Ger­rie van Ee­den, the or­gan­iser of the Dust se­ries (He is also re­spon­si­ble for the Weg Ry & Sleep Bull Run. – Ed), says the com­pe­ti­tion is aimed at the av­er­age 4x4 en­thu­si­ast. The idea is that mod­i­fied 4x4s don’t nec­es­sar­ily have a bet­ter chance of win­ning than stan­dard mod­els. Elrico and Pierre proved this point by tak­ing gold with their stan­dard Land Rover Dis­cov­ery 3. The only mod­i­fi­ca­tion was a set of 35” tyres. The fa­ther-and-son combo Her­man and Henry Neeth­ling from Ge­orge came in sec­ond in their short­axle Mit­subishi Pa­jero, with the Bloem­fontein broth­ers-in-law Louis Kok en Henri Storm tak­ing third place in a Toy­ota Hilux. The fi­nal round started with a nav­i­ga­tion route through and around the Tankwa Ka­roo Na­tional Park, where the par­tic­i­pants had to stop at var­i­ous con­trol points be­fore the end­ing at a look­out point on top of Ou­berg Pass. You couldn’t pre­tend to be Giniel de Vil­liers, though, be­cause there was a tar­get time for the 240 km route. Elrico and Pierre took the lead with this from the start. The sec­ond day the par­tic­i­pants had the op­por­tu­nity to prove their met­tle over four ob­sta­cles, and they didn’t dis­ap­point. At each ob­sta­cle there was a choice be­tween an eas­ier op­tion and a more dif­fi­cult one, which was worth more points. No one chose any of the eas­ier op­tions. The com­pe­ti­tion ended with a race through an ob­sta­cle course, and this tested the ve­hi­cles to their lim­its. Three 4x4s had to be re­cov­ered. Ger­rie says they might add three more re­gions this year, which would un­doubt­edly mean tougher com­pe­ti­tion. Visit dust­media.co.za if you want to en­ter. >

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