4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
4x4 Adventures Mad Monks Challenge 2012
Mid-Wales, 1st/2nd Sep 12
Words by James Trembath, Photographs by Tom Lamb – Red Yeti Photography

Its almost unbelievable to think that we were here in mid Wales running Mad Monks 2011 only a year ago. Time certainly does fly, especially with a busy event calendar like ours. A pre event recce on the Wednesday preceding Mad Monks 12 showed little sign of our activity some 12 months earlier. In fact, where the longer sections are run in the woods it was hard to determine the exact course of the routes from the previous event. A mild winter followed by a wet spring and then a warm, wet summer had certainly allowed nature to complete the recovery work in double quick time.

Mad Monks is an invite only, individual vehicle based, special stage weekend. The event gets its name from the Abbey within the event grounds which provides a splendid back drop to the main camping area. With ten vehicles invited and attending for the weekend we could put on a very special event. The main part of each day revolves around a marked out special stage set in a very ‘tricky’ woods. This is an out and out timed event and all stages are run against the clock. These ‘wooded’ sections have between one and two hour cut off times. To keep everyone busy whilst they are not under taking one of the longer ‘wooded’ sections they are run in one of two groups of five across two other sections. These shorter sections with 20 or 15 min cut off times are set up to make best use of the dingles coming down off the mountains. Steep sided with rocky undulating bases they are certainly capable of testing everyone and every vehicle set-up. Typically the shorter sections are more codriver based and the ‘wooded’ sections are driver orientated. Although with the aforementioned wet summer it would appear all the sections would certainly have something to keep both crew members equally busy.

In order to run these events at very reasonable rates we are extremely grateful to our event sponsors for their help and support. Richard Fearn of Superpro Europe has kindly agreed to sponsor Mad Monks again this year and we are truly indebted to him for this support. As many of you are aware Superpro make high performance vehicle bushes that will transform the handling and capability of your vehicle. If you fancy a set for your 4x4 then why not enter and win one of our Superpro sponsored events!!! Our long term sponsor Nick Anderson from Wooldridge Demolition was also along to not only sponsor the event but also to compete. If we remember correctly last year Nick (and it was Nick, Nev was nowhere near) managed to roll his then super high td5 trayback three times – and that was on the first stage!!! After the successful, long awaited, team win at the Interclub challenge two weeks ago both Nick and Nev had commented that they were looking forward to a relaxed yet challenging weekend at Mad Monks. They would not be disappointed!

As with any of these events the marshals play a key roll in supporting and ensuring the events run without Hicups. Not to mentioned they are also responsible for the stages and ensuring these run on time and within the guidelines of the spirit of the event. We are extremely grateful to Anthony Counsell, Katherine Reed, David Webber, Kevin Williams, Ben Salt, and Ashley Salt. The marshals prize draw of a LED P7 Lensor torch was won by Kevin Williams.


1st Kev Pocock & Dan Elias 1426
2nd Jerry Hunt & Kimi 1392
3rd Allen Sharp & Mark Birch 1115
4th Dan Elias & Kev Pocock 1017
5th Eddie Hart & Mike Holliday 768 - Spirit of the Event
6th Andy Dawkins & Carl Davies 754
7th Nick Anderson & Nev Hudd 726
8th Dan & Bert Smith 640
9th Luke Billing & Mark Philling 426
10th Clive Billing & Pikey Morgan 420

Some pictures from the event