• The fifth edition of the Toyota Fortuner Challenge took place in Gauteng.
• The Challenge was won by Mark Keeling.
• Keeling was partnered by athlete Hanneke Dannhauser.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
The fifth instalment of the Toyota Fortuner Challenge just concluded, with Capetonian Mark Keeling walking away as this year's winner.
Keeling (21), a pro paddler who entered the competition through Media24, was partnered with Hanneke Dannhauser - an obstacle racing legend. Throughout the event, Keel amassed enough points to win the Challenge and a brand-new Fortuner.
The fifth edition of the Fortuner Challenge was the first to be held in Gauteng, rather than the traditional backdrop of the Garden Route. Despite the change in scenery, as well as a shortened one-day format, the event retained its core mechanics and offered a stern test to both contestants and heroes.
Mark Keeling and Hanneke Dannhauser discussing their next plan of action (MotorPress)
Heroes joining participants
As is the case with the Fortuner Challenge, contenders are partnered with 'heroes' who are connected to Toyota in one way or the other. This year's heroes were Toyota Gazoo Racing SA driver Giniel de Villiers, Toyota Cheetahs rugby player Junior Pokomela, fitness athlete and obstacle racer Hanneke Dannhauser, and fitness queen Mapule Ndhlovu.
Toyota Cheetahs player Clayton Blommetjies was the reserve hero.
The four contestants were Carla Erasmus from Johannesburg, Harold Durnez from Cape Town, Andries Kruger from Pretoria and Keeling, who hails from Fishoek in the Cape.
The event saw the heroes and contestants paired into teams of two, who then took on five challenging tasks during the day. These included pulling a Toyota Fortuner across a field; driving a testing 4x4 course; and taking on an urban obstacle course in the ruins of the old Syringa Spa at Avianto, near Muldersdrift in Gauteng.
While winner Keeling is best known for his prowess as paddler, he persevered in the tough conditions to take the win - and bag the keys to a Fortuner in the process.
Mark Keeling and Hanneke Dannhauser during one of the challenges (MotorPress)
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond