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Mon Mar 27 02:49:15 SAST 2017

Sport heroes team up with enthusiasts in Toyota Fortuner 4x4 Challenge

Staff writer | 2016-11-30 16:11:26.0

Image by: Supplied

SPONSORED | The Toyota Fortuner 4x4 Challenge held recently in Knysna put four professional sports heroes paired with four sport enthusiasts through their paces.

The four enthusiasts competed against each other in seven activities that tested their physical and mental strength. Danie Leonard, a schoolteacher from George, drove away in a brand-new Fortuner worth more than R400,000 – the perfect lifestyle vehicle.

The athletes were former Dakar champion and Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa driver Giniel de Villiers; Toyota Cycle Lab director and multiple Cape Epic winner Andrew Mclean; Currie Cup-winning rugby player and member of the Blitzbokke Ryno Benjamin, of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs; and Currie Cup-winning centre and Under-20 Rugby World Cup winner Raymond Rhule, also from the Cheetahs.

“The Fortuner 4x4 Challenge was designed to test each contestant physically and mentally,” said Kerry Roodt, general manager of marketing communication at Toyota South Africa Motors.

“As such, we put together a mix of tasks that would test these skills and showcase the Fortuner’s capability as well. The tasks had varying levels of difficulty, which led to an interesting two days of challenges. I would like to congratulate Danie and his partner Andrew Mclean on an impressive performance.”

The Fortuner 4x4 Challenge activities were the Garmin Rush, the Conrad Pezula Flame Masters, the Toyota Speed Shot, the SuperSport Fortuner Shuffle, the Salomon Up and Down Trail Run, the Thule Paddle and Load, and the Specialized Mountain Mayhem.

“The event took place at the Conrad Pezula resort set in the scenic Knysna area, which provided the perfect backdrop for the challenge,” said Roodt. “The Fortuner tagline is ‘The Luxury of Freedom’ and this area certainly makes you feel like you are in another world.”

Joining Leonard, the winning enthusiast, were Kristian Fesel (paired with Benjamin), an endurance athlete who has completed many Iron Man races; Harold Durnez (with De Villiers), an athlete from Cape Town; and Stephen Vallaro (with Rhule), a production planner and golf enthusiast from Kempton Park who presented Times Media at the event.

“I would like to congratulate all the contestants,” said Roodt. “The challenge was not easy but you made it through. To Danie, I want to wish you many happy miles in your new Fortuner. You really delivered the next level of freedom.”

Toyota has also acknowledged its sponsors for the challenge: Salomon, Thule, Specialized, SuperSport and the Conrad Pezula resort. Media partners included Media24, Ramsay Media, Times Media, Cars.co.za and RedBulletin.

In addition to the Fortuner 4x4 Challenge, South Africans were given an opportunity to get involved and stand a chance of winning a new Fortuner by backing their hero. The lucky entrant who won this Fortuner is Salmaan Essack.

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