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Land Rover G4 Challenge Starts Global Adventure in New York On Sunday, March 30

Spirit of International Cooperation Embodied in New Event That Features Competitors Representing 16 Countries

NEW YORK, March 27 -- The inaugural Land Rover G4 Challenge adventure competition will get underway on Sunday, March 30th with an extraordinary urban challenge in Manhattan.

Sixteen adventure athletes -- 14 men and two women -- representing 16 countries, will drive Land Rover Freelander all-wheel drive vehicles over a series of man-made obstacles set-up especially for the event in the canyons of the garment district of Manhattan. They will then head north into upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire for the first week of competition.

The Land Rover G4 Challenge will test the stamina, strategy, driving skills and athletic capability of the competitors for the next four weeks. They will use a variety of skills including on- and off-road driving, kayaking, skiing, climbing, GPS navigation and orienteering as they seek hidden points. At night they will pitch tents while nursing sore muscles and begin to plan the next day's strategy.

From here, the event travels to South Africa and Australia before returning to the western U.S. for the finale. Over the next four weeks, they will cover more than 4,000 miles, driving four different Land Rover models on three continents.

After the first leg in the eastern U.S., the second stage will travel into the wilds of South Africa using Defender vehicles (Defender is not available in the U.S.). The third stage will cross the Australian Outback using Range Rovers. The final stage is in the Southwestern U.S. where they will use the Land Rover Discovery to travel from Las Vegas, Nevada to Moab, Utah. The event finishes on April 26th.

Each stage of the competition will encompass activities in both major urban centers and remote rural areas. The contestants will be paired with a different nation on each leg, and will have to work together as a team over the course of that leg as they seek scoring points that require the use of different skills to reach. At the end of the event, there will be one person who will have amassed the most points and he or she will win a new Range Rover.

The Land Rover G4 Challenge is not a race and will not venture off approved roads and trails. The competitors were chosen from among thousands who applied and then prevailed in national and international selection events held late last year. They come from all walks of life and are not professional athletes. Representing the United States is Nancy Olson, 29 of Arlington, VA. Nancy has been a track and running enthusiast since junior high in Southlake, TX and was on the track team for the US Naval Academy. She is now a Captain of Marines working in the public affairs offices of the Pentagon.

In commenting on the Land Rover G4 Challenge Matthew Taylor, Land Rover managing director said, "This unique event reflects Land Rover's spirit of adventure and brings together people from many nations in the spirit of cooperation and friendly competition. We are pleased that all contestants are anxious to proceed and work together to make this inaugural event a success."

The final 16 are, in alphabetical order of the country they will represent:

  Arabia            Chris Perry        Japan          Shinichi Yoshimoto
  Australia         Guy Andrew         Netherlands    Erik den Oudendammer
  Belgium           Rudi Thoelen       Russia         Sergey Polyanksy
  Canada            Jim Kuhn           South Africa   Chester Foster
  France            Franck Salgues     Spain          Inigo de Lara
  Germany           Dirk Ostertag      Turkey         Cuneyt Gazioglu
  Ireland           Paul McCarthy      UK             Tim Pickering
  Italy             Alberta Chiappa    USA            Nancy Olson

The Land Rover G4 Challenge will be featured in a two, one-hour broadcasts to be seen this Fall on the Outdoor Life Network as well as on the official website .

Land Rover North America, established in 1986, imports and distributes Range Rover, Discovery and Freelander vehicles manufactured for sale in the U.S. by Land Rover in Solihull, England. Land Rover's worldwide operations are wholly owned by Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan

NOTE TO EDITORS: The Land Rover G4 Challenge web site hosts a dedicated media section where the latest news and images for download are available on Land Rover related press releases and electronic photos of the company's products are available on-line in the Land Rover section of Ford Motor Company's news media web site ( ).