4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day – 20th Feb 11
Words and pictures by James Trembath

Anthony has certainly upped the ante! He turned up this week to the DRD with a new deep drum TDS goldfish complete with freespool and Goodwinch bumper! He certainly doesn’t hang around in either driving style or vehicle prep, there is even a mock up through cab snorkel in the making.

Rob Phillips and his brother Chris in their respective tdi 90s and Discovery joined us for the first time this season. Kevin Williams had his CJ17 through the MOT and back out to play. Jeroen was also back for another bout in his tdi CSW 90 plus Steve, Natalie and Sarah joined us in their range rover.

Warm up woods proved a little testing this time. Steve took to lowering his tyre pressures after the recent rain had make it particularly slippery underfoot, meanwhile Chris had gone off ‘exploring’ into the muddier section of the woods and it wasn’t long before he was after a little help with extraction!

Steve having now seen first drop a few times was keen to give it a go with his full length Range Rover. Having lined up at the top and with some guidance into the tracks he was off! I dare say it was over before he had time to think too much! The tow hitch dug in a little at the bottom as would be expected with the longer wheelbase, but he was down and loving it too!

Deep ruts proved very eventful. Last year Jeroen was pretty much unstoppable in his very standard 90. This year having now upgraded it with a few more bits of armour and HD sills but running the same tyres he was certainly resorting to the winch more than would be expected! Deep ruts certainly proved hard going for him requiring two winches off the bridges! Anthony meanwhile had few problems in a similarly shod vehicle making it look almost too easy. Mind you Rob and Chris had their fair share of fun in here with the first small bomb hole near the entrance sucking them in! The CJ was put to good use in Deep ruts and Steve found himself on the end of a tow rope courtesy of Kevin, that V8 certainly does the job!

Anthony had a little issue with the entrance to Warrens Quarry. This consists of a longish (250m) pull up a grass covered hill off the road. Having watched a vehicle go up in high no diff lock he was then gobsmacked to find that he couldn’t get more than 50m from the road! His frustration didn’t help when Kevin also drove straight past him without the slight wheel slip! As the frustration mounted the number of failed attempts increased and it wasn’t long before time was called and the hill abandoned before it became a mess.

With the group now headed for Warrens Hill things were getting interesting. The recent rain had made the top of the climbs hard work. Tim managed to clear the first long climb and he was followed by Jeroen. Well he was almost followed but failed the climb at the top, the wet ground combined with a tree root on the offside creating a step was too much for the tdi! It was long way back down for the failed climb recovery too! Kevin managed the hill with an abundance of power in the V8. Not wishing the V8s to win the day the TGV was also gunned up – although it did have to work hard!

With Anthony sporting his new winch it was decided that Anthony, Kevin and Tim would take on one of the newer routes whilst Jeroen led the remainder off and around the Hill to Sam drop. Well Anthonys winch certainly got some use! After getting the first corner slightly wrong and ending up point the wrong way Kevins winch was called into use to pull him back up the hill whilst then using Anthonys front winch to swing the nose back up the hill. It was then down to him and his driving to get to the top of the climb, or as it turned out his codriver and his winch. Well it would have been his codriver but they appeared to be glued to their seat! So Kevin and Tim stepped in to help out! The verdict – the climb is good in a V8, Tdis were struggling again – but on the plus side the TDS pulled very well!

By now Jeroen had cleared the hill and was heading back to the yard. So having finally conquered the hill and stowed the kit away we to headed back down to reflect on the day.

Videos clips of the event...

Some pictures from the day