4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
David Bowyers Off Road Course Shineeey Day – 3rd Jan 11
Words by James Trembath, Pictures by James Trembath

Once on a while we break from the normal routine of our Drive Round Days and competitions and run a day for the newer and shinier vehicles. These half days normally take place at David Bowyers Off Road course. The course is well known to us as we use it throughout the year for driver, recovery and winch training days. A truly dedicated teaching course it has a great variety of terrain to offer within a very compact area. There is even a wade just to get into the course!

The site has a good mix of obstacles and was originally designed with Land Rovers in mind, there is the 45 deg side slope and 45 degree descent, plenty of wading opportunities including one that requires vehicle modifications prior to attempting where it can be over the bonnet, a great mix of long gravel, mud or rutted climbs and descents plus a fair splattering of mud and rut driving.

The only issue we had this year was finding the shiny vehicles (or Shiney as we call them). In the end the day turned more into a day for those that wanted to give their vehicles a run out after a recent rebuild.

David Webber had joined us in a newly rebuilt 200tdi disco engine Hardtop 90. He was joined by Mark Walford who was meant to be using the day as a run out for his truck cab that is undergoing a 300 + auto conversion but isn’t quite finished. Ben Procter was also meant to join us for the day having just rebuilt his 200tdi onto a galvanised chassis adding various goodies along the way, but despite having gained his MOT a few days earlier, it just didn’t want to start for the journey over! Andy Rennie joined us in his very well prepared black td5 110 whilst Marcus Frankham quickly stepped into the breach taking Bens place in his td5 auto series 2 Discovery. Roger Gowing with his daughter Charlotte also joined us in their CSW 90.

With David Bowyer kindly giving up some of his time for the morning we set off in a convoy around the course, slowly increasing the intensity and the difficulty of the tracks. There were plenty of opportunities to stop and take stock whilst watching others attempt the various axle twists, deep water or climbs. In Marcus’ case some of these stops were needed as the Discovery shod with road tyres was having to maximise its use of traction control to get about and the brakes were getting a little warm at times!

With a relaxed social atmosphere and plenty of time to stop and chat the morning soon disappeared. As is customary on these days we then retired to the Waie Inn pub for lunch, joined by David, before heading off on our separate ways.

Some pictures from the event