January 27, 2003

Land Rover selects sixteen finalists for G4 Challenge

Eastnor, England – After a grueling five-day training and assessment program, the final 16 competitors who will represent their countries in the 2003 Land Rover G4 Challenge were selected. From now until the event kick-off in New York City on March 30th, they will undertake training and preparation programs in readiness for the rigors of the Challenge itself – four consecutive weeks, four time zones and intense physical and mental competition.

The International Selections event took place at the 5,000 acre Eastnor Castle estate, home to the Land Rover Driving Experience for off-road driving. During the program, which ran from
Sunday, January 19th through Friday, January 24th, a total of 32 prospective competitors, two from each of 16 participating countries, were put through a series of demanding assessment sessions, including GPS and navigation, off road driving, mountain biking, climbing/abseiling and kayaking.

The purpose of the event was not only to select the final competitor for each nation based
on quantitative scoring systems, but also to train all 32 competitors in each discipline to give them all the skills and knowledge required to complete the Challenge safely. In the event of the selected competitor being unable to take part, the reserve competitor will step in to fly their national flag.

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

  • Arabia: Chris Perry

  • Japan: Shinichi Yoshimoto
  • Australia: Guy Andrews
  • Netherlands: Erik Den Oudendammer
  • Belgium: Rudi Thoelen
  • Russia: Sergey Polyansky
  • 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

Niki Davies, Land Rover G4 Challenge Project Director, commented: “We have been overwhelmed by the level of professionalism and team spirit demonstrated by all the competitors this week. Despite the fact they have been camping out every night and living on ‘boil in the bag’ meals to replicate the conditions they will find on the Challenge, everyone has turned in a great performance and it has been difficult to make the final selection.”

For further details of the Land Rover G4 Challenge and to follow the action online from March 30th to April 26th, visit www.landroverG4challenge.com

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