I have logged many hours and kilometres behind the wheel of a variety of Volkswagen Amarok bakkies. For those who may not have been acquainted with the other Business Day Motoring News long-term test vehicle, meet HB 89 XJ GP — a luxurious, grey hulk of a Volkswagen bakkie. I have driven both the 3.0l and 2.0l versions, the latter while taking part in the Spirit of Amarok (SOA) competition, twice. This is a time-trial type of race for civilians held annually at some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the country. Anyone can sign up for the local contest, which will be held in April and August when local winners will battle it out with international guests. It’s a lifestyle activity that blends the excitement of road-tripping with the joys of camping. Add a fleet of VW Amaroks and a competitive edge and you have yourself an exceptional recipe in which strangers meet, greet, network and challenge one another on obstacles that range from speed trials, reverse driving and sand du...

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