4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day – 6th Feb 11
Words and pictures by James Trembath, video James Trembath and Tim Jones

Kevin and Mark were joining us in Marks 90 with the cage still warm from the final welds the previous evening, after his recent CV issues Mark was keen to get the 90 muddy and keep it going, it was also a trail run out prior to the upcoming Challenge South West weekend on the 20 Feb. Steve White and his gang joined us for their second trip out in their full bodied range rover. Anthony and Joe were back for another crack, having changed yet another prop UJ, they had now moved onto talking about winches! Jeroen with his son Ger was also joining us again in their pretty standard 90 CSW now complete with two sliders and sporting his home made winch. Tim Jones was leading the group in his Hybrid 90 v8 auto. With only four along for the convoy we were going to be able to try a few more of the extra sites to keep everyone amused and provide something new for them all.

Warm up woods provided some entertainment for everyone, with only Tim making one of the climbs, despite some very good attempts from the remainder, gear selection proved vital to hit the hill just right and make the best use of the twisted route through the cross axles. The diesels in the group also took the opportunity to drive the small puddle section just to get into the swing of things. Anthony also took a newer perpendicular route through the puddle helping open up one of the less frequently used tracks, with a sharper and steeper exit it takes a couple of shunts and attempts to get a feel for the climb out.

After a 10min drive about the woods it was down the first road section to ‘1st drop’. The washout at the bottom certainly hasn’t improved and the first vehicle down always seems to hit with a thump. Jeroen had a good section here and completed the exit climb without shunt too. It just goes to show a little forethought can help get you that little bit further. Mind you that didn’t help much in ‘Deep Ruts’. Jeroen was frequently seen to be in need of the his TDS Goldfish winch, which, using a turbo pack from David Bowyer pushing out 24V made light work of extracting his vehicle. It was a shame he became hung up twice within 50m of the entrance though! Apologies to the guys in the field waiting to enter the woods. Steve had an interesting run down through the ruts. This is the one place where the longer bodied range rover is at risk of being hung up with is poor departure angle. The first bridge crossing saw Steve unfortunately poised with his rear wheel barely touching the ground and with complete loss of forward momentum. Jeroen soon had him extracted though, calling on that TDS again. Mark followed Tim on a slightly different route taking in some boggier ground and a twisting route between the trees. Having now fitted his cage we were happy to lead Mark on this section without fear of him catching the roof of the vehicle and causing damage.

With the landowner joining us after a quick lunch break we headed off to Warrens Quarry. Some sharp drops and climbs within the quarry certainly shook the cobwebs out and proved how capable, or not the vehicles were/are. Anthony completed a good climb, under Richards guidance, showing how easily his standard vehicle coped with the off set camber slippery climb. Warrens Quarry led to Warrens Hill which, had thank fully dried out a little since the previous excursion. Mark made light work of a steepish tricky climb on one of the extra routes, his Tdi working very hard on the exit climb with the little Insas’ biting hard.

With no takers for Wet Corner we were soon heading on down to middle wood. With Richard and Anthony now leading the group they were straight through and into the big bomb hole, I think Anthony was trying to hide his prowess and ability on the hole by getting through before we all got there! Steve opted to take the bypass route, but then at the last minute had a change of heart and decided to give the hole a go. The longer wheelbase of the Rangie certainly helps here and the lean is not as great with the greater stability this offers. It is however slightly wider at the bonnet end. Steve thoughts were the bank was looking soft so why not! He made it through, as the video shows, to the cross axle where a little persuasive rocking soon had the vehicle clear. We then took the decision to take him out of the route to avoid the drop off into the sunken river; some light work with a shovel to ease the front vehicles out the ruts and Steve was free. Meanwhile the remainder of the group drove the sunken river section, and so Steve could get an idea of what it was like Tim kindly videoed the route down and through the bomb hole and sunken river. The clip unfortunately doesn’t show the severity of the bumps and dips but it show well the angles involved.

With everyone safely through and the final river drive complete, there was a mad rush to snap up the three remaining places for the next DRD before everyone had soon departed for their various drives home.

Videos clips of the event...

Bomb hole

Anthony warm up woods

Warm up puddle

Mark on 1st drop

Jeroen 1st drop and Climb

Deep ruts

Warrens Quarry

Mark on the bomb hole

Some pictures from the day