4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
4x4 Adventures Winch Challenge Series
In association with Difflock.com
Round 6 sponsored by Goodwinch
Wellington, 17th Oct 10
Words by James Trembath, Pictures by David Bowyer and Jason Davies

Round 6 was kindly sponsored by David Bowyer from Goodwinch. As many people in both the challenge and winching world will know David has a keen interest in our sport and is almost always at all our events not only taking photographs but also providing onsite technical winching advice for those with ‘electrical gremlins’ on the day. He also carries a good range of spares with him which were of immediate benefit to a few on Sunday. David kindly donated an Albright solenoid for 1st in each class.

This round took place on the Sunday after Round 5 and concentrated solely on the Island part of the site. There were 10 special stages to be completed over the course of the day. Prizes were given for each class but the stages, which were pure speed sections with no punches, were scored overall. There were a maximum of 500 points available per stage for the quickest vehicle. The scores then decreased proportionally to the winner’s time for that stage. That means if you took twice as long as the winner, you only received half the points; ie 250 points.

With the stages set out on the Friday prior to the event, the competitors were encouraged to walk them prior to the actual day. Most, who weren’t fixing their vehicles, took this opportunity on Saturday after round 5. As with Round 3, the competitors were put into groups of 3 with a mix of vehicle class. That group then completed the stages at allocated times throughout the course of the day, staying as a group. This is far more social and also prevents hold ups and queuing on stages.

The layout for the day meant that everyone ended up driving one section first so that everyone experienced a fair rotation within their groups. Some of the stages were long driver sections with minimal codriver input, as where other sections, such as SS9 were pretty much pure codriver effort. SS9, Archers Folly, caused some unexpected entertainment towards the end of the day when David ‘Squirrel’ Webber went end over coming down a drop and promptly landed with the majority of his vehicle hugging the tree. Thankfully there was minimal damage to the tree and David – his truck came away pretty much unscathed too.

Tim Jones was the first to break open SS3 which was designed to be a pure driving section. With a nasty side slope half way around across the forest tracks with alot of brush hiding the tree stumps it was certainly a section to treat with due respect if you didn’t want to go over!

Byrn Hemming was putting in a good time on SS7 until after giving it a little too much speed on the second to last climb his rear prop let go quite spectacularly making it the last of his sections for the day. SS7 provided a good source of entertainment throughout the day with the event sponsor having his own little extra ‘excitement’ on the stage. Tim Jones and Nathan Morgan were the only two vehicles to drive the whole section making it up the last climb. I dare say some would argue the stage had become easier!

Bert and Dan Smith, having fitted their 3rd (or was it 4th) steering box that morning joined their group slightly late but at least they were back in the running. They had obviously decided to take it easy on the truck and put in a steady performance throughout the day. Tom Salt, in Std +1 had a very good day, putting in some excellent stage times with a couple of outright wins. He was unfortunate to lose a tyre on one stage but the truck was certainly performing well that day.

In Standard Class, Bob and Dawn Smith had some excellent clear sections for a standard vehicle and walked away with some noticeable times giving them a good 3rd and 4th place on two of the stages. This combined with consistency throughout the day, gave them a strong lead bringing them in 1st overall in Class. Kevin and Jason, also in Std class, weren’t quite so fortunate and ended up missing out on two sections SS7 & 9 which cost them dearly overall.

Simon Parsons and Ian Hawes, having fitted a new release bearing after their Round 5 woes were getting back into the fold. The late night obviously affected Simons driving as he was slightly off the pace he displayed he was capable of at Round 3!! Mind you I think Ian was happier with the greater emphasis on driver input for Sunday!

Andy Dawkins and Carl Davies had a second cracking day, after a good 3rd in class with Carl Driving for Round 5 and the punch hunt they swapped roles for the faster SS Round 6 and scored a creditable 4th overall. With Tim Jones and Ben Procter only just ahead, we then had the series favourite Jase Farr and Rich Sims from D44 only a mere 125 odd points behind the leaders of the day and the weekend. A newly built truck and its first outing over two days and Nathan and Jason walk away with a first on each day! They obviously had something right in the build then – an exceptional result – well done guys.

The event spirit throughout the day, and in fact the weekend, was second to none. The comradeship and help offered, from the loan of tools to assisting with recovery on SS, to helping the marshalls clear the SS post the event was excellent, long may this continue. Competitors and Marshalls alike, your support is greatly appreciated.

All events need the continued support and help of marshalls and no more so than a two day event with lots of special stages. Without our Marshalls this type of event could not be run and we are indebted to the team of volunteer marshalls for their dedication and help over the course of the two days – Sam Woodbury, Justin Lacey from OEC International, Alex Grove, George and Les Plant, Shaun and Drew Harris and Jason Davies – thank you.

Overall results:

1st Jason & Nathan Morgan 4350
2nd Jase Farr & Rich Sims 4227
3rd Tim Jones & Ben Proctor 3921
4th Andy Dawkins & Carl Davies 3357
5th Mark Gray & Martin Gilpin 3264
6th Bryn Hemming & Wayne Stanley 2630
7th Bert & Dan Smith 2251

Std + 1 (Slightly Modified) - two aids (eg 2 winches, 2 lockers or 1 winch and 1 locker)
1st Tom Salt & Ben Snelson 3120
2nd David Squirrel Webber & Mark Walford 2319
3rd Paul Radford & Josh Jacobs 2115

Std - 1 aid (eg 1 winch, or 1 locker)
1st Bob & Dawn Smith 3022
2nd Simon Parsons & Ian Hawes 2311
3rd Kevin Luxton & Jason Midgely 1628
4th Steve Gooding & Chsy Hext 285

Some pictures from the event