Land Rover jokes are legion, but here’s one that you probably haven’t heard before: How many Toyotas does it take to recover one Land Rover?
Well, as it turns out, three Toyotas. And it all went down at the recent Land Rover Owners Club round of the Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge.
On a Saturday morning, a collection of Land Rover products gathered at the Leeuwenkloof Environmental 4×4 facility near Hartbeespoort Dam. They were a mix of fancy, basic, standard, modified, bland and colourful, the more than 30 Land Rovers which were assembled to compete in the penultimate qualifying round of the 2013 Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge.
Hosted by the Land Rover Owners Club of South Africa, (LROC), the line-up was made up of new and old Defenders, older Range Rovers and Discoverys with a lot of kilometres behind them, and a few Disco 3s and 4s.
In this event, the LROC used their own scoring system, with a twist of Bridgestone regulations. The event was essentially divided into three obstacles, but obstacles one and three had several sections of gates – courtesy of those familiar white poles. So, each section in the obstacle counted as a normal obstacle would on other Club Challenge events – hit a pole, and lose points.
Another difference here was that competitors were allowed to stop in the obstacle, which would normally mean a 10-point penalty, but not on this day. Instead, the teams were judged per gate successfully completed.
The first set of gates covered a steep climb, followed by an even steeper decline. Most of the crews did really well here, managing to clamber up and down the rocks. However, they did not do as well with the gates – many white poles were laid to rest on this section.
The next “obstacle” was a novel one. The drivers had to select low-range, get their vehicle moving at idling speed, then jump out and steer the vehicle through a series of gates by means of an arm through the driver’s open window, while walking (or jogging!) next to the Landy. It proved to be quite an interesting exercise, but it was the last section of gates, (or the last obstacle, really) that would prove to be the top entertainment of the day.