With Vodacom now being as red as a ripe tomato, the extremely chilly Saturday morning was countered by some very bright red Vodacom jackets that were dished out to all involved.
The Vodacom team arrived at Gerotek's Sidibane Restaurant and Conference Facility from around 08:30, with a couple of guests joining in throughout the morning. Our guests were presented with their exclusive line-up of vehicles to play with on the day: the 2011 Defender Limited Edition, a beauty, the Big Body Range Rover 5.0 Supercharged, Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 SE and the Freelander 2 SD4 HSE & SE models!
Activities started at the Dynamic Skid-pad, where a tricky gymkhana track was set out with cones. The tar surface was made wet and it was time for some exhilarating fun! Team members raced against time, and also tried to better on each other’s times. The Land Rover Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) did its part by controlling the vehicles when traction was at a minimum, just showing how effective this system is in real life scenarios. Great fun and an awesome team builder with everyone cheering each other on all the way!
After getting all hearts racing with excitement on the skid-pad, it was time to continue with more speed, water and tyres screeching on the Aquaplaning track! Vehicles are driven at 90km/h around a circular track; 8mm of water flows over a certain area on the track which causes the vehicle to float/aquaplane for a split second. The vehicle looses traction when floating, but then grips with force when it reaches the dry tarmac surface. Because the vehicle is coming out of a corner, the rear end starts to move out, but the outstanding DSC system distributes the braking force to provide the driver with full control of the vehicle. A brilliant piece of technology and awesome fun in a controlled environment! Each member got a turn to take either the Discovery 4 or Big Body Range Rover around the track, learn the counter steering maneuver and become accustomed to the fabulous DSC system!
And then the moment everyone was waiting for... lunch! Not really... the cars were more fun, but a warm buffet lunch on a cold day is always a winner, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all!
After lunch, the team headed through to the Gradients, a series of steep inclines and declines that demonstrate how truly exceptional the Land Rover off-road systems are! The Gradients are very daunting at first. Seat belts, as always, are required to be worn, or you would literally find yourself lying face-down on the dashboard, that's how steep they are... Effortlessly the Vodacom team negotiated these obstacles in their Land Rovers, with Hill Decent Control and the Rock Crawl mode assisting to crawling down the slope and more than enough power coming up. Very intimidating, but the most fun you'll have going that slow!
The final activity for the day saw the Vodacom team heading through to the 4x4 tracks at Gerotek. The Duck Pond and later on Central Experience tracks showed the group just how capable these amazing machines are! Ample time was given, as well as regular driver changes gave every member the true off-road Land Rover experience.
Special thanks to Caudia & Bobby from Vodacom.
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Johann Kasselman - Land Rover Experience Gerotek & Inchanga
Event date: 28 May 2011