4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
4x4 Adventures Winch Challenge Series Round 2
Wellington, 26th Apr 08
Round 2 of the X-Engineering (X-Eng) and OEC International series took place at Wellington on Saturday 26th Apr 08. With some 23 Cars lined up for the start there was certainly a good display of innovative vehicle preparation amongst the teams with 3 Standard vehicles, 5 Standard +1 vehicles and with the rest modified there were not many ‘standard’ looking vehicles out there. In fact on the Landrover front there were only two full hard top vehicles with most being traybacked or kingcabbed such as Dan Needs Std class vehicle and Ian Moulsdale’s Std +1 class vehicles, both having had significant changes since their last events and sporting king cab setups.

Paul and Martin from OEC International were up along with Simon Raffety from X-Engineering (X-Eng) to provide support and backup for the day as not only co-sponsoring the series they also provided discounted spares and merchandise to cover everything for those with a few ‘technical’ problems during the day to those requiring ground anchors or recovery gear.

Russell Lowton was back in the co-drivers seat with Lewis Alderson for his first event of the season. As always they threw out all the stops and gave it there all in their Std class Suzuki, coming in with a very creditable 24 punches not only making them 1st in class but also 3rd overall. Dan Need took second place in Standard with codriver Ian ‘Sticky’ Stokes certainly working at times though the day! Unfortunately Simon Parsons had to retire from the class with a broken winch end cap very early on, at least it allowed one of the marshalls to deploy his new Goodwinch TDS to extract them.

Mike Cuff and Sam Fletcher were again representing the Jeep marque and J33P.ORG Jeep Adventure Club. Mike was one of only two vehicles to get punch 32 as well which meant a 100 points for the punch – luck or good planning? either way it certainly helped bump his placing up. After completing punch 32 Mike and Sam being hampered by a near burnt out rear winch, a couple of people commenting on its lovely smell! Tony Cordell had an excellent event and certainly put his new Gigglepin twin motor to the test and the results speak for themselves.

Kris Murhpy had a last minute change of co-driver but in the end convinced Bryony Passmore to crew for him resulting in a very creditable 3rd place in class using a go steady approach and playing a tactical game going for high scoring punches. Maybe its time Craig moved on then Kris!

Steve Gittins and Mark Morgan in the guise of Team Gigglepin had an excellent event, some good, although last minute vehicle preparations mean’t they were pretty much trouble free for the day and put in a sterling effort in both punch areas. They also played the tactical game coming out of one area early to ensure they had a good split of the points between locations. Steve was running a new TDS mid winch for the event and certainly saw the benefit of it. This is probably the first TDS to make it to the mid winch position and David Bowyer was along to see how they got on. With David being on site he was also able to help out Ben Burgess who had winch motor problems after his 8274 brake locked on, Ben was certainly pleased he was there.

David Webber and Mark Walford had to miss Rd 1 with engine trouble so had some lost ground to make up with this being their first event of the series, they certainly didn’t hang around either coming in first in class but were closely followed by Shaun Houghton and Ben Browning. Reliability proved the key thing in Std +1, which is a credit to David’s vehicle preparation being the only vehicle in its class to run all day without issue.

Andy Smith was along for his first competition of the series in the drivers seat with Ian Mitchell co-driving, unfortunately they had a few drive train problems early on. Paul Hooper was back again in his Suzuki bodied lifted range rover, knowing the issues of the Quarry bog he stayed well clear of there and racked up a good score over the course of the day, although the lifted body certainly wasn’t aiding on the side slope sections!

The special stage proved interesting for some teams, with a maximum of 150 points available for the winner it was certainly something to be taken seriously. The stage involved the ‘collection’ of a series of coloured balls in a specific order, Six teams achieved all the balls, Steve Williams, Tim Jones, John Piper and teams OEC, Devon and Gigglepin, but not all six teams got them necessarily in the right order! Which meant 1st place went to Team Gigglepin with Team OEC coming a close 2nd, both picking up the only bonus time points for all the balls in the correct order within the time.

The weather may of held off but there did seem to be a lot of bad luck floating around on the day for some. Paul Radford managed to break a prop shaft 2 minutes into the event on the access track! Simon Buck not only managed to loose a punch card and its associated score but also suffered a broken prop mid way through the day meaning he missed out on pretty much a whole area of punches, still 5th place after all the problems is extremely good going and it looked like Cookie needed the breather anyway! Both Ian Moulsdale and Jason Farr (Team OEC) had alternator/battery problems very early on. This was after Ian had already had to change the front winch motor, plus Jason was down to 3wd with drivetrain problems by 10am. Despite this Rich Sims his new co-driver was keen to impress and they pressed on for the rest of the day gaining a creditable 2nd place. Bob and Dawn Smith were also struggling on the day with more oil and water outside the engine than in it causing them to pull the plug early and retire before 1130.

As with the spirit of the event they all stayed around to watch the battles between the remaining cars and helped out with marshalling as required.

Overall results:

1st Team Gigglepin (Steve Gittins & Mark Morgan) –1519 pts
2nd Team OEC (Jason Farr & Rich Sims) – 1473 pts
3rd Kris Murphy & Bryony Passmore – 717 pts
4th Tony Cordell & Mike Dunlop – 708 pts
5th Team Devon4x4 (Simon Buck & Matt Cook) – 662 pts
6th John Piper & Wayne McNulty – 591 pts
7th Steve Williams & Dan Sivier – 580 pts
8th Tim Jones and Darren Church 573 pts
9th Dan & Bert Smith – 534 pts
10th Mike Cuff & Sam Fletcher – 491 pts
11th Andy Smith & Eddie Mitchel – 232 pts
12th Martin Stainer & Alen Cousins – 197 pts
13th Paul Hooper & Rich Green – 114 pts
14th Ben Burgess & Ro Llorente

Std + 1 (Slightly Modified) - two aids (eg 2 winches, 2 lockers or 1 winch and 1 locker)
1st David Webber & Mark Walford – 2200 pts
2nd Shaun Houghton & Ben Browning – 1853 pts
3rd Ian Moulsdale & Ryan Price – 400 pts
4th Bob & Dawn Smith – 233 pts
5th Adrian & Mark Catchpole – 133 pts
6th Paul Radford & Josh Jacobs - DNS

Std - 1 aid (eg 1 winch, or 1 locker)
1st Russell Lowton & Lewis Alderson
2nd Dan Need & Ian Stokes
3rd Simons Parsons & Chris Solway

Special Stage
20 points per ball in the correct order + 50 points 1st quickest, 25 points 2nd quickest if all balls collected
1st Team Gigglepin – 150 pts (5 balls, 6m06s)
2nd Team OEC – 125 pts (5 balls, 9m23s)
3rd Tony Cordell – 80 pts (4 balls, 7m 42s)
4th Kris Murphy – 80 pts(4 balls, 8m25s)
5th John Piper - 60 pts (3 balls, 9m40s)
6th Team Devon4x4 – 40 pts (2 balls, 7m25s)
7th Paul Hooper – 40 pts (2 balls, 9m40s)
8th Dan Need – 40pts(2 balls, 9m55s)
9th Shaun Houghton – 20pts (1 ball, 2m17s)
10th Lewis Alderson- 20pts (1 ball, 9m10s)
11th Mike Cuff – 20pts (1 ball, 9m39s)
12th Tim Jones – 20pts (1 ball, 9m40s)
DNF: Steve Williams, David Webber Remainder DNS

A huge thank you goes to the Marshalls; Chris Watts, David Lovejoy, Matt Neal, Nick Walker, and Guy for ensuring that the competitors were ‘guided’ were necessary as well as performing vehicle recovery duties for those that were truly stuck. Our thanks also goes to Kevin Williams from J33P club for overseeing and running the Special Stage.

Some pictures from the event