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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









LR G4 Challenge: From 10.000 only 18 will go





Over ten thousand competitors, from every corner of the world, applied to become a competitor in the Land Rover G4 Challenge. On Friday, in harsh sub-zero conditions at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, England, 18 men and women from countries as diverse as Brazil and Taiwan, the UK and Costa Rica achieved the goal of a lifetime; to represent their countries in the ultimate global adventure.

Fifty-four finalists, three from each of the 18 nations, have spent the last week being tested to the limits of physical and mental endurance in a bid to win a place on the month-long Land Rover G4 Challenge. The event begins in Bangkok, Thailand on April 23, traverses Laos for 10 days before relocating 10,000 miles away to Rio de Janeiro for the 2-week South American stage in Brazil and Bolivia.

The Land Rover G4 Challenge is a tough mix of the most demanding 4x4 driving on the planet and a series of exacting adventure sports, which will be scored together to determine the overall winner. The prize at the end of four weeks of the global adventure is a brand new Range Rover.

"I feel as if I have won already, but the reality is that this is just the last step before the real challenge begins," says the UK’s successful competitor, train engineer Brian Reynolds. Reynolds has dreamed of representing Britain in the Land Rover G4 Challenge since its inception. "The sense of camaraderie and the amazing level of competition was mind-blowing. I can hardly believe I have won a place. The other two British finalists, Susannah and Andrew, were tough and all three of us deserved to go."

Scored on points for each task, the runner-up from each country will be a reserve for their country in case of injury or illness. The results were incredibly close amongst many finalists. Only in the last few hours of selections were the winners from some countries decided. The level of sporting and driving excellence in the first Land Rover G4 Challenge in 2003 was remarkable. Yet Event Director Niki Davies believes the standard of finalists gathered at Eastnor Castle for the 2006 International Selections has been even higher; this was proven by the fact that even some of the established adventure racers amongst the finalists failed to win a place on the Challenge.

"The level of competition this week has been breathtaking," surmised Davies. "The fitness of the competitors, their driving skills, their ability to cope with the extreme cold and endless days (awaking at 4am and sometimes only getting to their tents at midnight), their initiative and, above all their boundless humour and team spirit makes me believe that the event itself will be a close-fought competition with an immense sense of camaraderie. I can’t wait for the start."

The 18 competitors will use a mix of Land Rover’s latest vehicles to tackle deep jungle tracks in Asia and cross plains and the towering Andes mountains in South America. At Eastnor the multinational crews were tested on their driving ability and given specialist training in how to get the best from the most capable 4x4’s in the world.

Dutch finalist Thijs Maartense was awarded the Goodyear Driving Award for his calm and control behind the wheel of vehicles like the Discovery 3 (LR3) and Range Rover Sport. His prowess will be invaluable on tracks where mud can get as deep as the bonnet and the fording of deep rivers is commonplace.

"To win the Drivers Award in a group of some of the best adventurers and expedition people in the world is fantastic," said the Royal Dutch Army instructor. "The trails and courses at Eastnor are some of the toughest in Europe. It is great preparation for the forests of Laos and the mountains in Bolivia."

In addition to driving, the competitors were put through a variety of hellish individual and physical tasks, designed to test strength, initiative, endurance and lateral thinking. The tasks included rafting a Land Rover across an icy lake, spinning a 200 kg log triangle about its axis, mountain biking at breakneck speed through slippery forests and zip-wiring off the castle battlements. Lastly there was a head-to-head final over a series of obstacles. This final task also determined the starting order for the first event in Bangkok.

"Every muscle in my body and every part of my brain has been tested by these challenges this week," said Pablo Burattini, who will represent Argentina in the Land Rover G4 Challenge. "They could not have come up with more difficult and different ways to test us. It has been fantastic."

2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge Competitors

Argentina: Pablo Burattini
Australia: Tom Landon-Smith
Belgium: Kris Janssens
Brazil: Eleonora Audra
Chile/Costa Rica: Claribett Vega
France: Jean-Baptiste Calais
Germany: Robert Josef Schweiger
Greece: Lambros Argyris
Ireland: Gary Robertson
Italy: Marco Martinuzzi
Japan: Takashi Sugiyama
Netherlands: Thijs Maartense
Russia: Dmitry Timokhin
South Africa: Martin Dreyer
Spain: Gabriel Maldonado
Taiwan: Victor Huang
Turkey: Tolga Senefe
United Kingdom: Brian Reynolds

More informations you will find on the official website [ www.landroverG4challenge.com ].

2006/02/05 I 12:20 CET I Editor: marathonrally.com/lr






















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