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 South Africa’s Toughest Vie for Spot in Ford’s Ranger Odyssey    

DATE: Will be calculated from "Release Start Date" field.

PRETORIA, South Africa Hundreds of adventure-hungry South Africans have entered Ford’s Ranger Odyssey Africa 2013 competition: a cross-continent challenge that’ll see the Ranger and its drivers put to the test in Africa’s most extreme terrain. Heat, dust and thousands of kilometres in some of Africa’s most awe-inspiring but technically tough routes await the 10 participants that will be chosen to take part by an independent panel of judges.

Beginning on 24 June, the Ranger Odyssey starts in Nairobi and weaves its way via the Amboseli National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater through historical treasures such as Bagamoyo – the centre of the world’s slave trade and Ilha de Mocambique – site of the Portuguese/Dutch war. The untouched beaches of Inhambane will provide a much-needed reprieve towards the final part of the trip, allowing participants a brief rest before tackling the final stretch of the Odyssey, which ends in Pretoria on 14 July.

The competition has now closed* and entries have been received from all corners of South Africa with Johannesburg and Pretoria delivering the strongest show by far. Seasoned 4x4 enthusiasts join aspiring adventurers and loyal blue-oval lovers to make up the 61 per cent of entries received from Gauteng. Cape Town natives constitute 18 per cent of the overall entries, with Durban following at 9 per cent. The remaining would-be participants hail from more remote areas of the country and pride themselves on their experience in taking on technically difficult terrain on a daily basis.

Although the judges are looking for skilled 4x4 drivers, other factors such as communication skills will also be taken into account when selecting the 20 finalists that will go through to the next round of the competition: the boot camp which takes place from 30 May to 2 June at a secret location in South Africa**. The 10 participants that will be selected to join the Ranger Odyssey will each have their own blog on the website (
www.rangerodyssey.com), where they will be giving the public a day-by-day account of their adventures.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest in this competition and the enthusiasm and passion for Africa and 4x4 driving that is evident in everyone that has entered,” says Ford Marketing Manager Gavin Golightly. “We’re excited to meet the top 20 at the boot camp later this month where they will demonstrate whether they really have what it takes to tackle some of the toughest, but most awe-inspiring terrain in the world.”

  

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5/15/2013 5:50 AM