4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Wellington Drive Round Day, 20th Oct 07
When J33P approached us about its 2 day event (22/23 Sep 07) there was also talk of a DRD being incorporated into it or run as a stand alone event. After the success of the event and with a spare weekend found in Oct a DRD at Wellington was duly booked. Unfortunately with the 3 Peaks in Ireland looking ahead next week, which would take some of the J33P 'regulars' the initial uptake was low. However Chris McCollum as ever was keen to fly the J33P flag and took on organising the day gathering vehicles, with a little help from LR4x4.com a convoy of 6 vehicles was up and ready to go for the day.

Unfortunately despite being a J33P day and hence jeep day there was only one jeep - Chris'! Jim Pugh came along in his Toyota Landcruiser, shod with BFG ATs it was not ideal for the tracks but the 33" tyres giving him ample clearance with traction only proving an issue towards the end of the day. The tracks and routes are designed in such a way that there is plenty to keep not only a standard vehicle busy but also enough to keep the modified boys thinking ahead and having to plan their routes. Therefore Ben in his Landrover 90td hardtop was equally at home and able to drive 90% of the sections, whilst Tim Jones in his highly modified 90 with lockers all round, winches and 3 link suspension also had enough to think about and keep him busy for the day.

David Webber also joined us for his first DRD in his truck. The truck had only been finished and MOT'd a day before his first event with us last weekend. Edward, his son, joined David in their traybacked 90 with front and rear winches, equipment that was to prove useful in helping Jim Pugh throughout the day! Edward, although a little young to drive was mad keen on all the elements and from the size of the smile on his face must have enjoyed it! DRD's are designed to be a 'stress free' form of off roading, not only are the routes specifically made for the purpose, but with no issues of getting lost or worrying about Rights of Way there is ample time to take in the scenery and enjoy the tracks with the family. A relaxed atmosphere is the order of the day, and if you don't want to drive a section for what ever reason there are many cut throughs and bypass options.

Jim had a great day out in the cruiser, I think we were all impressed by its ability in standard form and he was certainly keen to take on everything we could throw at him, although he did have to miss a couple of sections due to traction problems and the width of the vehicle. Still a great day out for Jim who honed his skills in his new to him truck and went home a happy man.

Chris proved not only his but also his vehicles ability, the jeep making light work of some of the sections the Land Rovers struggled with, primarily due the its lighter weight I expect. It coped admirably with some hill climbs early in the day that left a standard Land Rover struggling (despite the Jeeps detroits and truetracs) but did succumb to problems later in the day with a particular climb and then again on a cross axle. However Chris' proved his ability as a driver getting the vehicle through (or around!) the sections, I just don't think he could bare to see the photos of his truck being recovered by a Land Rover!

Ben, having done a DRD at Bampton was well aware of the format for the day. However the Wellington days are somewhat different in that you will end up winching at some point (or being winched through if you don't have a winch yourself). Ben was also getting to grips with his truck as it now had a hardtop fitted, which required a slightly different driving approach over his previous truck cab, those hardtops do lean a long way over! For the cruiser and the jeep had another great benefit over the Landrovers and this their lower centre of gravity which made light work of the side slope sections, certainly the jeep, which more than proved its worth. Chris certainly didn't let the jeep side down with his or his vehicles ability, although he did still have to use his winch at one stage!

A fantastic day was had by all, some good driving over varied terrain including mud and ruts, side slopes and some good long descents (with a few trees to fit around) certainly made for an excellent day out, and that didn't even take into account the fantastic weather, the lovely grounds or the great atmosphere of the day! Role on the next one!

Wellington DRD can be booked on a day to suit, Mon to Sun inclusive. There is a maximum limit of 6 vehicles. Although smaller groups can participate.

Some pictures from the day