CAREL Otto and his wife, Danielle, are the Volkswagen Amarok 2014 Spirit of Africa Trophy champions.
The couple, who received R50000 in prize money for their achievement, were named overall winners after successfully negotiating five days of gruelling 4×4 driving challenges in Botswana last week.
The Ottos mastered 30 stages of the competition, which demanded not only precise driving skills but total concentration from the 20 finalists.
Nearly 500 teams participated in the elimination rounds of the 10th Spirit of Africa in Zeerust between April and June.
Unlike the elimination rounds which take place over three days and with scores updated at the end of each day, the finals are held over five days and the scores only announced at the end of the competition.
“The mystery of the scores in the finals creates suspense and increases levels of competition amongst the finalists, because no one knows where they are on the point list,” Sarel van der Merwe, the host of the competition, said.
“This year, the winners were only decided on the last day of the competition and the points difference between the top three was miniscule. The competition was by far the best we have ever had in terms of scenery, stage challenges and competitors.” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles have sponsored the Spirit of Africa competition for the past five years. This year, 23 Amarok double cabs were used for the competition.
The top three was completed by Christiaan and Pike Otto, who finished in second position and received R30000, while Alwyn Jordaan and Melanie Barnard came third and received R20000.