Wednesday, 2 September 2009


MITSUBISHI SAYS: Following a tough week in Mozambique, the Spirit of Africa Trophy finals saw a close finish right to the end of the competition.

The fourteen finalist teams and the Spirit of Africa crew used the service roads in and around a plantation near Bilene, the beautiful coastal town three hours drive North of Maputo, Mozambique, for their activities. Headed up by South Africa’s motorsport icon Sarel van der Merwe, the finalists set their sights on the task at hand and braved the bruising Mozambique terrain where only the most competent got to call themselves undisputed winners.

With only decals needing replacing for the Bilene finals, the 2,5 D-iD 4x4 Mitsubishi Triton Doublecabs have, as they did in last year’s competition, proved their die-hard reliability and unrivalled performance yet again.

“Service and maintenance has been absolutely remarkable,” says Arrie Froelich, Product Specialist, Mitsubishi Motors. “Considering the severe terrain and extreme conditions that these vehicles have operated under during the past few months, their performance has been remarkable.”

“Continuous hammering on the suspensions by 313 teams pushing the vehicle to their limits is bound to necessitate some maintenance,” Froelich adds. “That said however, we are extremely pleased that all the Tritons performed well in the finals.”

“The standard of competition this year throughout the finals and semi-finals was extremely tough and all the competitor’s energy and adrenalin levels were at an all time high the entire week. The high level of 4x4 expertise at this year’s finale was phenomenal and I thank all the teams for giving their all,” said Sarel Van der Merwe.

“A slight lack of concentration or one minor error in judgement on any of the unforeseen obstacles meant the difference between the prize of R50 000 or a runner-up or third place prizes of R30 000 and R10 000 respectively,” adds Van der Merwe.

With the ingenious scoring and Sarel and his team’s superb event management, no stone was left unturned by any of the finalists to grab one of the top three positions.

The Spirit of Africa Trophy 2009 is without doubt the pinnacle of performance motoring proudly sponsored and endorsed by Mitsubishi Motors. From the Kosi Bay preliminaries, right through to the Beline finals, Team Mitsubishi has ploughed back into the local communities. “Not only have we rehabilitated the courses we used throughout the competition,” Van der Merwe points out, “but we interacted with the local communities, which was a beneficial experience for all the participants.”

Competition, comradely and most importantly spirit is the essence of an event bigger than the sum of its equal parts. As shown in years past, the Spirit of Africa Trophy and Mitsubishi Motors’ proud association with this unique event celebrates way more than champions – it applauds the very people who make the Mitsubishi Motors brand great and that, like the competition itself, is extraordinary.

The Spirit of Africa Trophy finalists were:

FIRST Koedoe van der Westhuizen & Cliff Oosthuizen (pictured with Sarel van der Merwe) from Upington and Warenton near Kimberley

SECOND Renier Boshoff & Renza Boshoff from Modimolle

THIRD Juan Grand and Conrad Herbst from Pretoria

MOST SPIRITED TEAM – sponsored by Campmor - Lopie Jonck & Toppie Myburgh from Pretoria