Prize Giving for the 2021-2022 Lucas Oil NZ 4×4 Trials Series took place at the conclusion of the season in Putaruru, after the South Waikato 4WD Club hosted the 6th round in the COVID-19 interrupted series.
By numbers, 63 teams over 7 classes lined up throughout the course of the season, which took place in Whakatane (E.B.T.D.C.), Turakina (Wanganui), Inglewood (Mt Egmont), Hamilton (Waikato), Ohinewai (Counties) & Putaruru (South Waikato).
Northern Zone this season consisted of Whakatane, Hamilton & Ohinewai with 26 teams within the zone.
C Class Northern Zone was taken out by the Zook-Sport Entry of Nathan Fogden & Mike Gibbons in the evo powered Cowper Truck, followed by last seasons winner Rhys O’Brien & Clarrie Vazey in 2nd followed by Rebekah & Jenni Templeton.
In D Class Neville Mather & Richard Verner in their Nitro Custom took out top honours and 1st outright for Northern Zone, taking home the Acker Bilt Cup. Phil Hobart & Shane Beech finished 2nd and claimed the Hardwick Metals Cup, followed by Scott Biggs & Jamie Taylor in 3rd.
Cody Fogden & Jacob Muir in the Zook-Sport Suzuki SJ413 took out E Class infront of Archie Griffin & Bradley Laird.
Best Presented Vehicle for Northern Zone went to Craig & Nicola Potter in their Nitro Custom “Money-Pit”.
Best Northern Zone Trial went to Counties 4 Wheelers.
Central Zone for 2022 consisted of Whanganui, Inglewood and a trip to the north with Putaruru, with 29 teams within the zone.
C Class: 2nd Caleb Adlam & Jarrod Moss, 1st Daniel Morris & James de Cleene, 3rd John Hawken & Blair Harrison
In C Class Daniel Morrs & James de Cleene with “Coal Runnings” took out the top spot and the Malcolm McLeavey Memorial Trophy. Caleb Adlam & Jarrod finished runner up with John Hawken & Blair Harrison in 3rd.
Kevin Hermansen & Nick Hamilton with “The Gambler” won D Class and Central Zone outright for 2022, Rowan Huckstep & Hendrik Hofstee finished 2nd in class and overall for Central Zone followed by Stuart & Liam Earle.
Michael & Ben Black took out F Class for Central Zone in their Toyota FJ40. Sean Cushing & Geoff Butcher won J Class in their evo powered Homebuilt.
In K Class Brent & Michael Ward once again took out the top spot, followed by Daniel Whiting & Willow Eayrs.
The Liz Lawson Cup for Best Central Zone Trial went to the Mt Egmont 4WD Club.
The Best Presented Vehicle for Central Zone went to Stuart & Liam Earle with their Cowper Truck “Wolverine”.
The Tomalin Family Trophy awarded for “Excellence in Engineering Workmanship & Innovation” was given to Glenn D’Ath for his radical C Class Homebuilt, featuring a supercharged 1200cc Suzuki Wagon R motor, portal diffs & rear steer all under 700kgs making it one of lightest (and tricked out!) vehicles to compete. The award was accepted on his behalf by commentator Archie Griffin.
The Biggs Family Trophy awarded for the highest average class finish for each club was won for the first time by the Manawatu 4WD Club, who were closely followed by the South Waikato 4WD Club & Counties.
Sportsperson of the Year Award went to Shayne Towers for setting out the “blueprints” on how to run National 4×4 Trials in the midst of uncertainty faced by the COVID-19 outbreak. With most expecting the season to be postponed or cancelled, Towers who helped host the first round in Whakatane, put in an extraordinary effort going back and forth between local councils, the Competitions Committee as well as the NZFWDA until all parties were happy with how the event would would go head. His event organisation blueprint would be used for the remaining rounds of the season, which ultimately would not of happened without him showing others the way.
In C Class Nathan Fogden & Mike Gibbons won with a round to spare to take their 3rd C Class title, they also finished 9th overall. Daniel Morris & James de Cleene came home to finish 2nd in C Class and 19th overall, with Rebekah & Jenni Templeton finishing 3rd in class & 20th overall for the season.
Sam Thomsen & Mitchell Caldow in Nitro #1 took out D Class and the National Title with a round to spare in Counties, with Thomsen the first navigator to take back-to-back wins the following season as a driver. Kevin Hermansen & Nick Hamilton’s consistent efforts in their CowperTruck saw them take 2nd in D Class and outright, followed by the also ever consistent pairing of Stuart & Liam Earle in their CowperTruck.
Cody Fogden & Jacob Muir won E Class in their Zook-Sport Suzuki SJ413.
Sean Cushing & Geoff Butcher won J Class in their Dirty Evo Homebuilt.
Brent & Michael Ward became only the second pairing in the sports history to take 5 back-to-back class titles, winning K Class once more. Daniel Whiting & Willow Eayrs finished 2nd in K Class.