4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
4x4 Adventures Winch Challenge Series
In association with Difflock.com
Round 5 sponsored by Ashcroft Transmissions
Wellington, 16th Oct 10
Words by James Trembath, Pictures by Jason Davies and David Bowyer

The last Punch Hunt Round of the 2010 4x4Adventures Series and where better to hold it than the Wellington site as day one of a two day event. With a good range of vehicle capability entered in each class the 40 punches were going to have to cover a wide range of team ability so as not to deter the less experienced teams whilst also being hard enough to keep the modifieds happy all day! With this in mind two sites were chosen within the Wellington site; Culmhead island for a small selection of the easier punches, leaving 30 further punches in the infamous ‘Quarry’ section.

Dave Ashcroft from Ashcroft Transmissions kindly sponsored the round and very generously provided not only the round trophies but also a Spirit of the Event goody box. Spirit of the Event would be voted on by the competitors at the end of the day’s competition. A few of the competitors know Dave personally and remarked how fitting it was for him to give a prize for this. Dave is renowned for being very helpful, whatever the technical transmission query, and the products and services that Ashcroft Transmissions supply are second to none. We are very grateful for their support, generosity and commitment to the series.

Normally, being sat back at event control, aside from spectators coming in, its pretty quiet. This certainly wasn’t the case for Round 5! Bob and Dawn Smith (Howlin Wolf veterans), were back in the carpark within about 5mins of starting! Winch problems which unfortunately took them the best part of the morning to resolve. They did however fair better than their lads; Dan and Bert who were soon back with a broken shaft and no steering. With the shaft soon replaced sourced a replacement steering box, putting in some good road miles whilst to get it. (And cooking their tow truck in the process!). After fitting two and finding problems with each one, David Webber eventually came up trumps with a good working unit with the right fittings. Unfortunately this didn’t arrive until Sunday morning, too late for round 5 but ideal to get them underway in time for Round 6.

Meanwhile, a number of the competitors had cleared the top 10 punches on the island and most of the action was taking place in the quarry. Martin Gilpin and a few others had ventured out into the back ‘bog’ to pick up some high scoring punches. These conditions are ideally suited to Martins and Marks ‘homebrew’ hydraulic winch. It was very frustratting for them to blow a ‘professionally sourced and fitted’ hose coupling which led to an early retire to make the journey back home to get the truck back up and running for Round 6.

Jason Morgan, with son Nathan codriving was fairing very well in what was his first outing in the newly built Whitbread caged buggy. Regular and well known competitors, they had had come on down to give the truck a trial run in preparation for the Baskerville. Despite a few minor glitches she ran like a dream, earning them a very creditable score and placing.

Team Devon, were not without mishap. Having flown in their codriver from Canada that morning, they were keen to do well in the last punch hunt event. It didn’t go well from the start though! As they entered Jase’s pond in the top Quarry section they blew a rear shaft, a nice easy fix – not as it turned out. Having got back to event control they found it had snapped just outside the diff housing. Even removing the diff was a difficult job with part of the shaft still attached. The end of the shaft had also damaged the ARB end plate and splines making the unit unserviceable. A few calls to Jake @ Devon though and parts were sourced and enroute. At least they were up and running and could pick up a few punches towards the end of the day.

Tim Jones, with his new codriver, Ben Procter, was back in for a short break while they changed one of the rear dampers after wrapping it around a tree. Luckily, Jason Morgan was on site and had a spare to hand.

Meanwhile Jason Farr, (whilst waiting for his diff parts) spent a fair bit of time lending out tools and helping the Treelads (Dan and Bert) with their woes and breakages. He was also on hand to help and advise Steve Gooding who had a few minor issues plus some rope splicing to resolve. Team OEC, in the guise of Ian Hawes and Simon Parsons, were not without misfortune, losing their clutch later in the day. After extracting the vehicle back to the campsite they loaded it up and took it home to repair. They came back on Sunday in time for Round 6 having found the clutch release bearing had disintegrated.

Bryn Hemming and codriver Wayne Stanley were down for their first series event with us. Having competed in the interclub and enjoying the layout, banter and format of our events they decided to join us for the last 3 rounds. Things didn’t go too well from the start though when one of Bryn’s own design twin motor housings suffered a failure leaving them changing the winches over, which with the front bumper design he is running took a little longer than expected! More modification work there maybe for the future? Despite this the guys got back out there and still put in a creditable punch count gaining them 4th place in class.

Kevin Luxton and Jason Midgely were not without misfortune suffering two punctures and provided an interesting picture as they came back onsite running 3 x 33” and 1 37” tyre having borrowed a Fedima off Martin Gilpin who had help extract them.

Meanwhile, Standard Plus 1 were doing very well. Tom Salt had a few minor issues but pretty much ran for the whole day. Paul Radford, with Josh codriving was doing well until he lost his brakes towards the end of the day. With spares borrowed, he was soon up and running for Sunday and Round 6. David Webber and Mark Walford, again in Std + 1, ran all day with no problems. Well, the truck ran all day, I am not sure Mark was actually running all day! They put in a good score earning themselves first in class which for them clinched the series in class.

The Ashcroft Transmissions’ Spirit of the Event prize consisted of; Ashcroft Transmission base ball cap, rugby shirt, lanyards, stickers and a voucher for £200. The competitors voted by majority for Mark Grey and Martin Gilpin, who despite their own mishaps, had not only pushed on but had also helped others with assistance and parts who had had to retire early from the day. Mark and Martin also went on to gain a credible 2nd in class, which all things considered, is an outstanding result and truly epitomises the type of event and spirit we are proud to promote.

Overall results:

1st Jason & Nathan Morgan 1680
2nd Mark Gray & Martin Gilpin 1356
3rd Carl Davies & Andy Dawkins 1163
4th Bryn Hemming & Wayne Stanley 890
5th Tim Jones & Ben Proctor 746
6th Jason Farr & Rich Sims 623
7th Bert & Dan Steering box Smith 340

Std + 1 (Slightly Modified) - two aids (eg 2 winches, 2 lockers or 1 winch and 1 locker)
1st David Webber & Mark Walford 2366
2nd Tom Salt & Ben Snelson 2166
3rd Paul Radford & Josh Jacobs 1666

Std - 1 aid (eg 1 winch, or 1 locker)
1st Kevin Luxton & Jason Midgely 1600
2nd Bob & Dawn Smith 866
3rd Simon Parsons & Ian Hawes 566
4th Steve Gooding & Chsy Hext 166

Some pictures from the event