THE 2024 SPIRIT OF AFRICA TROPHY WILL BE USING THE NISSAN NAVARA PRO4-X DOUBLE CAB
Sarel van der Merwe, a legend in South African motor racing and rally circles, created the Spirit of Africa Trophy with a view of providing the "average" driver with an opportunity to test their off-road driving ability in a competitive environment.
In 2023 the Spirit of Africa celebrated its 19th year as the "toughest 4x4 challenge in Africa". The Spirit of Africa commenced in 2005 with Mitsubishi providing the competition with their Colt single and double cab bakkies. In 2008/9 the Triton replaced the Colts. Following the successful relationship that the Spirit enjoyed with Mitsubishi, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles sponsored the Spirit of Africa between 2010 and 2022, providing the Amarok as the official competition vehicle. Volkswagen launched the Amarok during the 2010 Spirit of Africa Trophy which took place in the harsh setting of the Kalahari Desert pans, with temperatures exceeding 50 degrees C.
2024 sees the Spirit of Africa joining up with Nissan South Africa and the introduction of the new 140Kw Nissan Navara 2.5 DDTi PRO-4X 4X4 AT Double Cab.
“Having worked for the company in the late 60's, it feels like I am returning to my roots. The first rally win of my career and my first championship were won in a Nissan product. Apart from that, I also raced a 160U SSS and won a class championship. It is great to be back with the Nissan family.” remarked Sarel.
The South African leg of the Spirit of Africa Trophy is divided into two competition rounds – the eliminations and the finals. Only the toughest, top 20 teams with the highest scores from the elimination rounds will be invited to compete in the finals, where the title and overall champion of the Spirit of Africa Trophy will be fiercely contended.