- Jack Paulsen/Francois Crous (Hilux) win gymkhana
- Christo/Karien van Wyk (Land Cruiser) win mountain challenge
- Rudi/Yolaine van der Merwe (SVM) win overall
Hundreds of 4x4 enthusiasts and their families descended on the picturesque Rust de Winter campsite and picnic resort on the banks of the Elands River in Limpopo over the Freedom Day holiday long weekend to celebrate the 21st running of the 4x4 Jamboree under the Toyota banner.
It was the 33rd time this unique gathering and competition had been staged at the historic campsite, the home of the organising 4x4 ATV Club of Pretoria, at an idyllic venue beneath hundred year-old apiesdoring (monkey thorn) trees in an area renowned for its bird life.
Overall winners of the two-day competition, which was held in warm and sunny weather, were Rudi and Yolaine van der Merwe in an SVM, whose consistency over Friday’s 50-kilometre mountain test, in which they finished second, and Saturday’s all-day gymkhana, in which they placed third, saw the husband and wife pair emerge the victors.
Their prizes included the prestigious Toyota floating trophy and an RSG adventure trip with Francois Roussouw valued at R10 000.
Runners-up for the weekend among a full-house entry of 150 crews in a variety of 4x4 vehicles dominated by Toyotas were Juan Vosloo and Jean-Pierre Dellemyn in a Toyota Hilux. They finished second in Saturday’s gymkhana. The husband and wife pairing of Dirk and Verna van Wyk were third in a Toyota Hilux.
The weekend’s activities started on Friday with the testing mountain 4x4 route, laid out by route director Peter Claasen for the 33rd year in succession. The 50-kilometre course, which took competitors from the campsite past the Rust de Winter dam and into the hills in the south, was designed to test off road driving skills and provided a stern challenge to the crews. The winners were Christo and Karien van Wyk in a Toyota Land Cruiser pickup from the Van der Merwes and Johan du Plessis and Francien de Beer in a Mitsubishi Pajero.
Speaking at the prize-giving, Toyota’s general manager of internal communications and motor sport Ferdi de Vos assured the ATV Club of the company’s continued support of an event he said had popularised recreational 4x4 driving and introduced many enthusiasts to Toyota’s products over the years.
Clerk of the course Dirk van Wyk of ATV commented that the jamboree had grown from a small gathering of die-hard 4x4 owners in specialist vehicles into a jamboree that attracted enthusiasts and their families in mostly standard production 4x4 and 4x2 modern-day SUVs and leisure pickups.
The predominance of Toyota vehicles like Hilux, Fortuner, Land Cruiser and FJ was an accurate reflection of what was happening in the market place, added De Vos.
Saturday was devoted to a variety of imaginative and entertaining short driving tests within the Rust de Winter area, along the river banks, which were watched by a large and appreciative crowd of family members and supporters. The gymkhana winners were Jack Paulsen and Francois Crous in a Toyota Hilux from Vosloo and Dellemyn and the Van der Merwes.
Children enjoyed the site’s extensive playground, sponsored by Continental, and their own competitions, which saw many of them share in Sunday’s grand prize-giving (with prizes awarded down to 20th place in the overall competition) under the Toyota lapa.
To celebrate its 21 years of sponsorship, Toyota invited owners of Toyota 4x4s 21 years and older to join the jamboree. Special awards and prizes were won by Louis Cronje and his 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser pickup (the oldest running Toyota), Willie Naude and his 1987 Toyota Hilux 2.2 4Y (the most original Toyota) and Johan Lock and his extraordinary 1984 Toyota Hilux double cab (the most accessorised Toyota).
Lock’s double cab features over R300 000 worth of extras and special treatment, including a Lexus V8 engine, powder-coated chassis and a state-of-the-art sound system that fills the entire load box
All three of these winners, together with 30 lucky draw ticket holders, were treated to an adrenaline-charged ride alongside multiple South African off road racing champion Duncan Vos in Toyota Motorsport’s Castrol Toyota Hilux that competes in the Absa Off-Road Championship
The sight and sound of the V8-engined Toyota racer, which finished 10th overall in the Dakar Rally in South America in January in the hands of Vos and fellow South African co-driver Rob Howie, was one of the main attractions on Saturday and attracted a large and appreciative crowd as it charged around a short, 2,5-kilometre bush course alongside the Rust de Winter camp site.
1 Christo and Karien van Wyk (Toyota Land Cruiser pickup) 235 points
2 Rudi and Yolaine van der Merwe (SVM) 230 points
3 Johan du Plessis and Francien de Beer (Mitsubishi Pajero) 227 points
1 Jack Paulsen and Francois Crous (Toyota Hilux) 485 points
2 Juan Vosloo and Jean-Pierre Dellemyn (Toyota Hilux) 482 points
3 Rudi and Yolaine van der Merwe (SVM) 475 points
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Jack Paulsen and Francois Crous
Louis Cronje and his ‘oldest running’
Toyota Land Cruiser pickup’
Yolaine and Rudi van der
Merwe and Ferdi de Vos
Willie Naude and his ‘most original’
1987 Toyota Hilux.