4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day – 1st December 13
Words by James Trembath

A month or so before this event we were looking promising with fully booked up and paid for places, and then in the 24hrs leading up to the day three had to pull out. Bill Turner is still awaiting his V8 90 to come back after the 3mth Megasquirt fitting, Steve Bartlett found out his clutch wouldn’t help him off the forecourt enroute to the event (let alone get him around the site) and Matt Mills was struggling to solve an issue with fuelling on his trayback.

Thankfully all the diesels that had booked in for the day could make it! Robin and James Thorn joined us for their second jaunt out on one of our DRDs in their rebuilt series motor with 90 style body on it. The leafer did really well although the spring hangers did hinder a little now and then. Keith and Jeroen were both back for more in their Pumas and Tdi hardtops accordingly. Keith’s sporting a nice new roof after the little crumple from his previous excursion.

Continuing with tradition we started in warm up woods to let everyone do exactly that. From there we headed across to Warrens Hill. With it being a little wetter things were certainly testing in there on the descents not to mention the climbs. Sam’s Hill caused a couple of issues as an ascent, well more than a couple of issues (no one made it!) so we took it a descent too before heading across to Warrens Quarry.

Enroute, whilst heading up across the fields Keith showed us the prowess of the Puma without the middle diff lock in – its not that impressive!!! We have all done it at some point! For me it was the week prior up in Wales!

Warrens Quarry has some great drops and climbs to contend with. Keith put in a sterling performance making it up one of the previously unclimbed hills for an exit, which he did twice I believe, after which it became so slippery no one else was going to get up there – were they Jeroen!

With everyone now in the swing of it we decided to take on Side Slope Woods. Our first excursion in there this season. David led the way and had a lot of fun forging his way through the ruts, the sides of his car showed it as it was – very wet and muddy! Keith continued behind unhindered with the slightly taller MTs making light work of the now cleared ruts. Robin and James succumbed a few times due to the spring hangers on the leafs, they also found out why the woods has its name, the side slope on the return leg caught them out. No need to panic though, winches were soon deployed to keep the vehicle straight and haul it back on track.

Side Slope woods also has lots of great little (and not so little) hedge lines and gullies to cross, with a combination of trees, mud and stones it makes for an interesting, testing and entertaining drive for all.

With everyone safely through we headed over to First Long Drop and onto First River drive. With the tree stump having now been removed it made for an easier drive up through the river, not too deep but enough to keep us on our toes.

Wet Corner on the other hand was just that – Wet that is. Jeroen boldly took on the challenge again in the headlight deep water to show us all how its done. James and Robin also took the challenge to heart and gave it a go. Keith wisely opted out, with no snorkel and standard located ECU it made sense to miss it. Traction in there is good and all the vehicle made it though unaided.

With the light now fading we headed down to Last River Drive. It is a spectacular way to end the day has you meander up and down the alternate sides of the River taking in the water splashes whilst guiding the vehicle across side slopes and the odd steep descent, not to mention the narrow exit gateway! In the gloom it just needs some extra care.

We then gathered in the last field for a quick farewell, cleaning of lights and number plates and the last of the coffee before the now dark drive home!