4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day – 5th Feb 12
Pictures by Jason Davies, Richard Ogilvy, Ian Stokes

Richard Ogilvy’s tray back build has gathered a large following on the Devon4x4 forum. Richard defined it as a novice build – he is new to Landrovers but not off roading or vehicle preparation, and had also given himself 2 weeks to turn the vehicle from a very battered looking truck cab into a trayback. Once all the work was done where better to christen the new vehicle than a day out with us at Bampton? Also joining us we had Kieran in his white Suzuki, Sam Garnsworthy (silver 90), Ian Stokes (Red 90) and Jason Davies (RRC).

Warm up woods was certainly adeptly named this time. The frozen ground and ice covered water sections made it hard work for the first vehicle over the terrain. Ian Stokes unfortunately picked up some minor front end damage following his ice breaking drills on the water section, plus Kieran broke a front shaft with a little too much gusto on a climb. Living locally, he was soon off to fix it vowing to catch us up later in the day.

The short river drive down to first drop was a little deeper than normal – Jays RR V8 wasn’t that keen on it and had a little splutter. Wwith the climb out now becoming rutted and dug out on one side it certainly provided more of a challenge for some than expected. First drop was an experience in its own right. The icy route down didn’t do the best for traction and they were soon off sliding down the hill. The nice ‘impact’ area at the bottom helped to slow things down and the bank on the other side was still pretty soft should anyone require it.

The route up to the first long drop provided some interesting terrain for the RR. The ruts have now become a little dug out, with some tree roots to get up and over a fair bit of momentum is required at the bottom to keep the vehicle moving up the hill; well momentum and good tyre wall depth! Something the RR was lacking meaning a bypass route for him.

Richard’s newly converted tray back was performing very well. It had suffered a few running issues with the cold on its pre-event run out the previous day – as had Sam’s 90 but today things were going well for both of them.

With long drop completed without issue it was across to deep ruts using the byways. The entrance to the wood is now quite defined with a good set of ruts leading the vehicles down and across the wet field. There were a few hang ups on the crest dropping into the woods though, nothing a quick winch pull couldn’t resolve. Jay decided to use his RR as an anchor through deep ruts, either that or he has taken up tow rope testing!!! I believe some BFG MT with a taller side wall are on order now? The remaining vehicles cleared the woods without any major problems.

After a short break for lunch it was across to wet corner – not that there were any takers but the nice twisting side sloped drive around to the corner is always worth doing.

Middle wood proved as formidable as ever. Ian Stokes had only just fitted a new passenger door handle so he was a little miffed to then rip off the driver’s door handle when his vehicle had only just got back to its 3 working doors!!! I believe it lasted less than 24hrs! The bomb hole certainly woke people up. Having said that, you would have thought the meandering tracks with their tally of side slopes and wheel lifters plus water splashes would have more than kept them awake!! Sam’s truck picked up the most clips of the hole traverse and it made light work of the obstacle. The range rover made the hole look pretty insignificant compared to a 90; the longer wheel base working wonders for stability. It did suffer slightly further down though with the drop off into the sunken stream. A good departure angle is critical here, anything with more overhang than a std ride height 90 tub needs a waffle really. The sunken river has really changed in the last two weeks since the previous DRD. Side slopes are not far off the vehicle limit now and with a few cross axles enroute there is something to keep everyone on their toes.

Kieran was keen to try out his winch again so with Sam they happily obliged and took a route out over to Steve’s bumps and dips. The little Suzuki didn’t quite make the second of the holes so winch time again for them, but a good effort for giving it a go. Richard and Sam both completed the little jaunt, perhaps not quite how they intended it to go but completed none the less.

With the last jaunt down to the farm yard through the stream crossings under our belt it was then off to the last section of the day and the river drive. Kieran, Sam and Richard all took the longer drive down, a few mishaps on the first corner had them concentrating again, depth of water was also an issue for the petrol Suzuki but they made it and were all the better for the experience. Meanwhile the remainder took on the normal river drive. A sharp drop in followed by some excellent river crossings all down below the normal ground level as we followed the river course to the end of the section.

With plenty to chat about not many were in a rush to get away and there was a lot of laughter and chuckles as people recalled their day's adventure whilst giving the vehicles a quick once over.

Some pictures from the day