Adventure Begins With the Land Rover G4 Challenge on the Streets of Manhattan
NEW YORK, March 31 -- "I've met them all -- Cruise, Pacino. They've all shot here in New York, but what you guys are doing is the best thing I've seen in 16 years with the NYPD." Officer Wallace of the New York Police Department's Traffic Division has worked many movie sets on the streets of Manhattan. But today he and his team have closed off seven blocks of Broadway for the opening day of the world's newest and most challenging adventure, the Land Rover G4 Challenge.
Throughout the next four weeks, 16 international competitors from 16 countries will contest a unique mix of driving and adventure sports, spiced with a liberal dose of mind-bending strategy to complete the ultimate global adventure.
The competitors will visit four stages -- New York and the Eastern Seaboard, South Africa, Western Australia and finally, the Wild West of America, ending on April 26th in the Moab desert.
"New York is such a cultural center, an iconic city and a wonderful location for the start of the Land Rover G4 Challenge," enthused Matthew Taylor, Managing Director of Land Rover, before he announced the official "kick-off" of the event amid a spectacular and specially-designed 4x4 driving course constructed throughout the previous night.
Arguably the hardest test of the day came before the teams even began to tackle the 4x4 obstacle course down Broadway, which was followed by a city- wide orienteering race. Based on scores achieved at the International Selections event in the UK two months ago, the top eight performers had to pick a teammate from the remaining eight with whom they face the first Challenge stage -- without knowing the relative scores of those eight competitors.
"I have been preparing myself for this day since the International Selections in January," said U.S. competitor Nancy L. Olson, who selected Sergey Polyansky of Russia. "I am confident with my teammate selection and am eager to see how this dynamic of the Challenge works."
Stage One scores will be used to determine who does the selecting for the second Stage in South Africa, starting on April 6th.
After completing the urban events in New York City, the teams head north in convoy to the snow-covered Catskill Mountains, hoping for a good night's sleep before remote competition begins at dawn tomorrow. "There's been a foot of snow and temperatures are well below freezing," said Event Director, Nick Horne. "It's going to sort out the men from the boys (and women from the girls!) very quickly."
Land Rover G4 Challenge Stage One New York Maximiser Results Team Team Member 1 Team Member 2 Vehicle Position UK/Ireland Tim Pickering (UK) Paul McCarthy Freelander 1 (Ireland) Netherlands/ Erik den Oudendammer Cuneyt Gazioglu Freelander 2 Turkey (Netherlands) (Turkey) South Africa/ Chester Foster Guy Andrews Freelander 3 Australia (South Africa) (Australia) Canada/Belgium Jim Kuhn (Canada) Rudi Thoelen Freelander 4 (Belgium) USA/Russia Nancy Olson (USA) Sergey Polyansky Freelander 5= (Russia) Germany/Japan Dirk Ostertag Shinichi Yoshimoto Freelander 5= (Germany) (Japan) Spain/Italy Inigo de Lara Alberta Chiappa Freelander 7= (Spain) (Italy) Arabia/France Chris Perry (Arabia) Franck Salgues Freelander 7= (France)