4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day, 30th Mar 08
As a follow on the Daily Driver Challenge (DDC) on the Saturday we had purposely planned the DRD at Bampton to allow people to make a two day weekend of it. This resulted in a fair few wishing to come along mainly Jeroen, Jim, Johnny and Tony who had all been up for Saturdays event, which combined with some of the series competitors Shaun, Steve and Jason had the makings of a large group! Anton from OEC International (one of our series sponsors) was also keen to come along and see what the day was about, so having scrounged a lift off Jase he also brought along Richard in his Discovery for a day out on the firm! With Mark and Dave also wishing to join us for the day the decision was made early in the preceding week to split into 2 convoys with Mark leading the first one with the more prepared vehicles, leaving the second convoy to follow at a more sedate pace! The only disadvantage of this was it appears no one in Marks group had a camera!

Leaving Mark to play in the initial Quarry where all the guys could drive Lardys drop; which I knew would be one of their aims(!) we immediately headed off to the “Wet Corner” to put the diesels through their paces - the V8s taking the sensible bypass. It was about headlight level so not too bad as long as you had a snorkel although a few left with wet feet!

On route to the sunken river it was decided that Johnny and Jeroen would take the bypass which left Tony to show us how to do it in his Range Rover, luckily Jim was quickly to the rescue in his Toyota to get Tony out although not deterred and with a little more momentum second time around Tony made it through!

After our lunch break and short section through the bottom woods it was down through a farm yard for the river drop off the road and the short river section before heading down to the main river drives with associated bumps and dips. Dave had a small heating issue with his trialer here, so he jumped in with the rest of us leaving the vehicle to collect it on our way back through - obviously when we came back to it, it started straight away – V8s and heat - don’t you love them, if its not that its water!

We then went on to take on some of steeper descents before moving onto some tracks back up across into Long woods. After the first convoy had been through there was certainly limited traction in, skirting the edge of the field to enter proved interesting after the recent rain! I do believe Mark had a little traction problem around here, although as the route finder this has to be expected, luckily he highlighted the area so everyone else could bypass the worse of it. The ruts down through the wood proved a challenge to those with smaller tyres, but slow, sure and steady was the answer and soon all were through.

With time getting on the second group gave Warrens Hills a miss, although Marks group had taken the plunge there already, we headed back to the start to reflect on a great day out.

It certainly proved an eye opener to those down for their first time. The Challenge boys in their prepared trucks thoroughly enjoying the day, finding it exceeded all expectations whilst the near standard vehicles in the second group were all capable of getting around with one on 265/75R16 MT, no lift or any other modifications less a steering guard and front recovery points drove the whole lot unaided less one short winch through some deep ruts! There really is something there for everyone.

Our thanks go to Mark for his help on the day leading the first convoy around, and on behalf of Jase, Shaun, Steve and Anton - thank you Mark. Thank you also to Edward Webber who accompanied his father David on the day for his photographs, some of which are shown.

Some pictures from the day