The countdown to the start of the third annual International Spirit of Amarok has begun.
The competition, which will see teams from South Africa, Australia, Botswana, Germany, Namibia, Russia and the United Kingdom battling it out to be named the toughest amateur 4x4 precision driver, takes place in the Kalahari Desert on 13-19 August 2017.
The event, as always, will be hosted by motorsport legend and Amarok brand ambassador, Sarel van der Merwe and will see a total of 21 teams of two (driver and navigator) from seven countries showcasing their off-road driving skills in this gruelling off-road challenge.
Van der Merwe said: "This international competition tests the 4x4 technical skills and abilities of the drivers in some of Africa's toughest terrains and this year will be no different."
"The drivers need to show skill and endurance in the following areas: advanced off-road vehicle handling accuracy; exceptional driver and navigator relationship; ability to handle an intense and pressurized environment; quick thinking and even quicker reaction times; ability to drive on dirt and sand with confidence and agility at high speeds; ability to handle intense off-road driving and all this within a specified time frame," added Van der Merwe.
The teams will use 132kW manual 4MOTION® Amaroks to contest various challenges over five days. The challenges will be split into two categories, namely technical and speed. The speed challenge will simulate motorsport rally stages with long narrow farm style paths and longer distances. The technical challenges will involve extreme off-road conditions with inclines, declines and deep sand.
This year, apart from the most spirited team award, there are prizes for the top team per country, the top three countries, as well the top three teams overall. The prizes include trophies, medals and cash prize, whilst the overall winning team will get awarded with the coveted Wolf Trophy.
In the three years since the first International Spirit of Amarok, the competition has grown to include seven countries spanning across four continents.
"We are incredibly happy with the growth of the International Spirit of Amarok over the past three years and the support we receive from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Germany who are as determined as we are locally to expand the event to include even more countries from around the world," said Jaco Steenekamp, General Manager: Sales and Marketing for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.