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Like no Other – Spirit of Amarok – Media Challenge


Like no Other – Spirit of Amarok – Media Challenge

I first of heard of Spirit of Amarok a few years ago, last year sometime VW Motorsports brought Amarok V6s that had been used at the prestigious event for our Amarok Drive Experience, judging by the condition of those bakkies, it was no child’s play. And these bakkies were strong enough to make it through all those stringent conditions.

For the Media Challenge were flown to Nelspruit where we met the Legendary Sarel VD Merwe , the Spirit of Amarok is his brainchild and project with the assistance from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. He had designed an obstacle course to test all of participants with his team as judges compiling our points we score as we go through the courses.

The setting was an awesome outdoors experience, where were sleeping in tents, traditional food, and laid back vibe was the order of business. One with Nature as they say, we are such a spoilt bunch us motoring scribes, it was about time we get down to bare essentials, and it was fun doing so.

We were paired up for the competition , my team mate was Andrew Middleton, an off road specialist of sorts, the stories I heard about that one , shook me to the core , but there was no turning back. Plus he had injured his one arm on a bike accident weeks prior, and was adamant about driving, being the team player I am , I obliged. The courses were very technical and required substantial concentration, team work and incredible co-ordination. Some were timed in an odd manner as we discovered when we lost all our points for being too fast through one course, yes too fast. We aced the high speed obstacles, but we did poorly on the reverse driving course, I take full responsibility for that one. We had absolute fun!!!!

We ended up winning the BlindFold Challenge , and were awarded the Spirit Award for having the “Spirit” during the competition , Ferdi de Vos and Gero Gileike took the title for Media Challenge Champs for 2019. Sarel also gave away some his Autobiographies.

I can pen another 500 words on the whole detail of the course and driving , I would rather showcase the camaraderie with all those that  were  in attendance, we even chanted a “Toyi-toyi” of sorts  against the “Tyre change challenge” , which was initiated by your truly.

If you ever get a chance to attend or participate the Spirit of Amarok, do it, it worth every second, the experience allows you to realize and come appreciate what life has to offer. Another highlight for me was the area, Nelspruit is lush, peaceful, and has that take me back vibe going for it, a small airport with some serious toys which was a sign of big money going in and out. The place is always in the news for one thing or another; it was just great to tick it off the list of places I have been to.

I spotted Politician Bhuti Manamela, and one of my favourite actresses Florence Masebe on our way out at the airport.

I suspect we may have been driving the more powerful Amaroks out there, the badges were slightly different, I will investigate and revert back. Noone from VWSA or Commercial vehicles wanted to deny or confirm this though.

Thanks to   Oom Sarel VD Merwe and his superb team for a great experience.

Thanks to Andile, Siya, Nozi, Yusuf, and Shaun , as always yall brought your A Game.

Thixo la Bag that was full of goodies, I doubt anyone will match it anytime soon…no pressure!!!


Kind Regards

Wezile Lorenzio Bonani

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