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Bridgestone Suzuki Club Challenge

Date: 30 Apr 2014

 

 

Last month the Suzuki 4x4 GP Club hosted the Bridgestone Club Challenge at Rust de Winter north of Pretoria. Well done to all the participants and to the club on a well organised, fun filled and challenging day. We look forward to seeing Suzuki perform their magic in the Bridgestone finals at the end of the year! For all the details from the day - as well as the preparation of the event - have a look at the story by Jan van Heerden from their club newsletter, and why not join them at their next event.

Bridgstone Club 

CLUB NEWSLETTER                                

BRIDGESTONE SUZUKI CLUB CHALLENGE

RUST DE WINTER - 29 MARCH 2014

This year the Suzuki Challenge was held at the Rust de Winter 4x4 track about 100 km north of Pretoria. The competition was open to all makes of vehicle and we had 35 entries which is excellent. There were mostly Jimnys with a scattering of Vitaras and Jeeps, a Gelandwagen and a Nissan Sani. There were about 120 souls all in all, 70 drivers and navigators, 20 marshals, 10 from the sponsors and another 20 family and friends.

The competitors had to negotiate 10 obstacles with gates. A competitor started an obstacle with 100 points. Points were deducted for mistakes, minus 25 for touching a pole, minus 5 for a stop and minus 5 for reversing. Environmental points were also awarded. Here the marshals looked at driving over sensitive areas and excessive spinning.

The top three Suzuki teams go through to the Bridgestone finals at the end of the year. Ten teams will take part in the finals which promises to be a bumper affair!

1The Campsite at Rust de Winter

The course builders arrived on the Tuesday before the event. The 4x4 track is about 1 km from the campsite as the crow flies and you had to cross the Elands river to reach the obstacles which they call the Gymkana Grounds. (I did not see any horses!)

Crossing the river was an obstacle by itself. It was flowing strongly because of the recent rains and Henry walked it before we crossed. Louis, the camp manager, warned us about 2m crocs in the river. So, Henry was understandably edgy when he waded in to test the depth and strength of the flow.

There are many obstacles to choose from. Some are easy, while others are too difficult for a competition. We selected and tested ten obstacles on the Tuesday keeping in mind the flow of cars and parking space. Thirst drove us back to the camp by late afternoon.

Monty arrived on Wednesday morning with a trailer full of obstacle building stuff. Droppers, poles, banners and what have you. Obstacle building started in earnest.

2

Monty, Raymond and Henry doing their thing.  (What was I doing? Supervising of course)

Wednesday and Thursday were spent building, testing and refining the obstacles. The marshals and many of the competitors started to arrive on Thursday afternoon and the campsite got really busy.

3

Some of the disreputable characters.

On Friday morning Monty took the Chief Marshal, Mike Cliff, to inspect the obstacles and make any changes. They also erected obstacle numbers, route markers and banners.

Saturday morning dawned with the promise of a beautiful and hot day. Drivers' briefing was at 07:00 so there was no late sleeping for those who indulged a bit the night before. Driver registration was next where each driver received a unique number and was told which obstacle to go to. The obstacles were divided into three groups. Driver no 1 went to Obstacle 1 first. Driver no 2 went to Obstacle 5, Driver no 3 to Obstacle 8, etc.

 

4Driver registration

Next in line was vehicle scrutiny where they checked for recovery gear, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, driver's license and water. They also peeked under the hood to make sure your engine was not about to fall out. Sponsor stickers were handed out. Then it was off to the course.

Obstacle no 1 was a tester to start off with. It was narrow and snaking with difficult axle twisters. The poles were positioned in strategic places which made it very challenging, especially for bigger vehicles. The Jimny's did well here.

5

Next up was an obstacle with a very tight left turn almost immediately after the entrance. Most competitors did not make the turn and had to reverse which carried a 10 point penalty.

6

In the Hot Cross Bun you had to start on a steep paved incline and could not build up momentum. This proved to be too difficult and the start was moved back about half a car length.

7

The Mud Bath was a lot of fun. It had the shape of a semi circle. There were five gates and the further you progressed the more points you got. The 1st gate was worth 20 points, the 2nd 40 points, etc. Initially everybody got stuck and had to be towed out. As the day wore on the mud dried out and the going got easier.

8

The Walkies obstacle was something different. You put your car in 1st gear low range. Then you had to get out and steer it through the obstacle while walking next to it.

9

Another tough obstacle was the paved axle twister. The twists were quite severe and the gates were tight. There was much wheel spinning, banging and scraping. Thanks heaven for under body protection!

10

The flow of cars between obstacles went pretty well. Bottlenecks did form at some obstacles, but the marshals quickly sorted that out by redirecting competitors to other obstacles. Mike Cliff and his team of marshals did a sterling job and we thank them for it.

We went back to the camp at about 12:30 for a welcome burger and coke prepared by hardworking club members. At R10 that was a bargain. Thanks to Thomas van den Berg for supplying the eats and drinks. We would also like to thank Beverly Grieve and her team for building the burgers.

By 13:30 the last competitors completed the course. Everybody gathered at the lapa for prize giving which started just before 15:00.

 

Ivan and Andries was first in Chilli-Pip

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Second went to Raymond and Anel in Zuk-Zilla

12

Danie and Wilna in Mongoose came third.

13

 

The team from Suzuki Boksburg, JJ and Eric, walked away with the environmental prize in their beautifully prepared Jimny. Build by Wizerd from SDE 011 892 5498

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Congratulations to everybody. I am sure Ivan, Raymond and Danie will do us proud at the Bridgestone finals at the end of the year.

At the end of the day the feedback from the competitors were very positive. Words like well-run, fair, interesting, tough, we-will-be-back were heard. Everybody was in agreement, it was one big jolly event!

For that we have to thank our sponsors:

1516 17 18 19

 

 

A special thanks to Bridgestone and welcome to the new "Big Chief Organiser", Guthrie Blaine.

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As usual, thanks to Grant for sponsoring our printing.

Grant Esterhuyse 082 802 3300

 

Of course, none of this would have happened without the hard work and dedication of our Chairman Monty. Poor Monty was so stressed out he had five nervous breakdowns! Thanks Monty and the other club members that made this possible.

21

Photos and videos

Photos can be viewed on our site www.suzukiautoclub.co.za under Gallery and on Facebook. Follow the link on the website to Dropbox to view videos.

Newsletter by janvanheerden@mymtnmail.co.za

SUZUKI AUTO CLUB COMPETITION RESULTS

RUST DE WINTER  - 29 MARCH 2014

Position

Driver

Navigator

Points

1

Ivan Lerm

Andries Kemp

750

2

Raymond Martin

Anel Martin

710

3

Danie Tait

Wilna Fourie

690

4

Marius van Vuuren

Esme Minnaar

675

5

Idmar Marx

Ruan Oosthuizen

660

6

Sudhir Misra

Jurie du Preez

650

7

Corne van der Merwe

Freddie Siebert

635

8

Shaun Niemand

Johan van Niekerk

620

9

Werner Schaap

Arno Schaap

605

10

Reuben Heydenrych

Wendy Lambert

600

11

Natalie Shepard

Brett Bailey

600

12

Kobus Bohmer

Wayne Harvey

595

13

Armand Schaap

Barend Vermeulen

580

14

Anton Stolts

Adri Vermaak

575

15

Wimpie Olivier

Jaco van Zyl

565

16

Pieter Gundlach

Manfred Gundlach

565

17

Mitch Viljoen

Letisha du Toit

560

18

Tony van den Berg

Lynette Human

555

19

Graham Jupp

Johann Marx

545

20

Dannie Daniels

Tjaard Scheepers

545

21

Gerhard Snyman

Lucas Jansen van Rensburg

535

22

Henry Barns

Frans Labaschagne

515

23

Collen Rautenbach

Susan Carter

505

24

Conrad Auckamp

Hermien Auckamp

505

25

Adriaan Auckamp

Camren Engelbrecht

485

26

Steve Grieve

Jaco de Jager

485

27

Pieter Smit

Diandra Swanepoel

470

28

Paul du Toit

Amanda du Toit

470

29

Richard Botes

Robert Odendaal

445

30

Roald Vermaak

Sharin Lawson

440

31

Jan van Heerden

Marcus van Heerden

425

32

JJ Botes

Eric Calverley

400

33

Lisa Weston

Ivan Berrios

370

34

Mathew van der Merwe

Garth de Jager

365

35

Victor Rundel

Adam Griffits

335

 

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