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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

ISUZU CHALLENGE GETS BIGGER AND BIGGER



Driver Antonie Swart (2nd from left), together with his wife and co-driver Heidi, was named overall winner of the 11th Isuzu 4x4 Challenge held at the Lookout in Kirkwood over the weekend.  He scored 603 points and completed his time trial in an incredible 37 seconds. With them on the far left is Mlungisi Nonkonyana, Isuzu Brand Manager and on the far right, Francois Schellingerhout of the EC 4x4 Club.
This year marked the 11th anniversary of the Isuzu 4x4 Challenge sponsored by General Motors South Africa (GMSA), and its Isuzu brand, at the Lookout in Kirkwood on Saturday, 30 June 2012.

Organised by the Eastern Cape 4x4 Club, this year’s event once again did not disappoint and saw a crowd of 3000 spectators and a total of 51 vehicles participating from all over South Africa.  “Isuzu is extremely proud to be associated with this challenge.  Every year has been bigger and it’s important that we keep growing the event. People are seeing how much fun everyone else is having and more people are starting to participate as well,” said Isuzu Brand Manager, Mlungisi Nonkonyana. Vehicles and driving skills were put to the test as drivers navigated their vehicles through ten challenging obstacle courses. The following classes were represented: Class A modified with diff lock; Class B with no diff lock (open diff modified); Class C1; Class C2 Production vehicles and Class D with two-wheel drive buggies.

The overall winner of the day, Antonie Swart, driving a 2 wheel drive buggy scored 603 points. He completed his time trial in an incredible 37 seconds. “The day was excellent and I am ecstatic that we came out as overall winners. It was a very difficult track today, but with the power we had, we pulled it off and we look forward to defending our title next year,” said Swart.

In second place was Richard Pook with 561 points, driving a 1800 Pipe Frame buggy and in third position was 11-year-old Bradley Schreiber with 521 points, driving a 1600 2 Wheel Drive buggy. This event was Schreiber’s first Isuzu 4x4 Challenge. He said, “I always wanted to compete in this event but I wasn’t allowed to enter last year because I didn’t have enough experience. This event is exciting, it’s much more than I expected and I had lots of fun.”

Five standard Isuzu KB300 4x4’s were entered into the C2 Production vehicles class. “For standard production vehicles, the Isuzu’s have been phenomenal. If you looked at all the other vehicles here, they have all been extensively modified. We wanted to show the public what we can do with a standard vehicle - people can buy these vehicles and they can have a lot of fun and be confident driving them,” said Nonkonyana.

Also present at the Lookout for the event was the Isuzu Off-Road Academy. This initiative is open to customers around South Africa who want to make the most of their 4x4 vehicles in a controlled environment, as well as enhance their off-road driving capabilities.

All proceeds raised at the Isuzu 4x4 Challenge will be donated to the Kirkwood High School and St Reginald’s Primary School. As Michelle Wilson, Public Relations Officer for GMSA, emphasized, “At General Motors we don’t just assemble and sell great products, we also care about the community in which we operate.”


STORY BY GENERAL MOTORS

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//PART 2