Lucas Oil / NZ 4×4 Trials Central Zone Results 2024

For Central Zone in 2024 there was one clear winner ahead of the rest, with the remaining podium places almost too close to call!

Round 2 – Lake Ferry

Wairarapa locals Russell Hall & Glen Hall would be in the mix with 5th in ‘Grasshopper’

Wairarapa 4×4 Club would once again host the first round of the Central Zone Series, near Lake Ferry in the south Wairarapa. With last season’s 2nd and 3rd in Central Zone – Stu Earle & Dan Cowper, both not competing this season, it was anyone’s guess who would challenge defending 1NZ Sam Thomsen & Caitlyn Thomsen on home turf. Whilst Scott Donald was best of the rest with 4th last year, a non-score at this season’s final round would leave him out of contention – opening the door for Russell Hall & Glen Hall, former winner Wayne Buckthought & Paul Green and C Class chargers Caleb Adlam & Jarrod Moss.

Whilst 4th overall on the day is not what they were after, Sam Thomsen & Caitlyn Thomsen were at least the 1st place CZ team!

Former 3NZ and local Brent Ward & Mickey Ward would be out in the afternoon with technical issues, joining Chris Mason & Greg Mason with a short drive back home earlier than expected.

With three Northern Zone trucks taking up the podium, 4th place and 1st Central Zone team would go to Sam Thomsen & Caitlyn Thomsen to begin their zone defence. Scott Dickson & Mike Thomsen would jump into the mix with 2nd in CZ in the ex-Dave McKie CowperTruck. 2020 Central Zone champ Wayne Buckthought & Paul Green would claim the 3rd spot, with Dean Wells & Ben Harvey in 4th.

Caleb Adlam & Jarrod Moss

The defending champs of the Malcolm McLeavey Memorial Trophy would start their defence with a win, as Caleb Adlam & Jarrod Moss would lead C Class and take 7th on the day. Former C Class champ John Hawken & Haare O’Brien would be 2nd whilst Hayden McGill & Barry Williams took third.

Can’t park there mate! Geoff Butcher & Sean Cushing take another view during the morning

In K Class it was an all Wairarapa affair as two local teams battled it out. Geoff Butcher would swap seats and get to drive with Sean Cushing alongside, taking out a commanding win over John Sheridan & Willow Eayrs.

Round 3 – Turakina

Wayne Buckthought & Paul Green’s consistency saw them as the only challenger to Sam Thomsen & Caitlyn Thomsen heading into the final

Back-to-back rounds saw Turakina & the Wanganui 4WD Club up next with a day of two halves. Whilst the morning was fine but cloudy, the afternoon would be more so as the rain would start to pour.

Sam Thomsen & Caitlyn Thomsen would take the win outright, ahead of 1NZ navigator turned driver Mitch Caldow & Jamie Elms in the ex-Stu Earle CowperTruck. Wayne Buckthought & Paul Green would finish 3rd once again putting them 2nd in the Central Zone standings with one round to go! Russell Hall & Glen Hall wouldn’t be far behind, as a consistent result of 4th meant they sat 3rd in the standings.

Caleb Adlam & Jarrod Moss would lead John Hawken & Haare O’Brien in C Class once again, whilst former winners Daniel Morris & James de Cleene finished 3rd and sat 3rd in the C Class standings. A chance at a trophy was not to be, as the diesel buggy would suffer head issues putting them out of the final round.

John Sheridan & Willow Eayrs would have hard luck in K Class

Geoff Butcher & Sean Cushing would miss the round due to Covid, giving John Sheridan & Willow Eayrs a chance not only to win but to put one hand on the trophy in a Best 3-from-3 points system. Sheridan’s luck would not suffice, as The Terminator would cut-out during the speed section with electrical gremlins putting an end to their day. The K Class battle was not over yet, with both teams heading into a do-or-die Zone Final.

Round 6 – Eltham

Ryan Bold & Brendan Austin would shock to take their maiden win, by 1.27 points!

Mt Egmont 4WD Club would once again host the Final Round in Eltham, returning to the site last used in 2021. With persistent rain all week leading up to the event, the day took a literal approach on being a “wet rally”! With conditions not improving after midday, an unprecedented call was made to pull the remaining stages – effectively taking results from the morning in an unexpected first in the sports 49-year history.

With a day of two halves now one, the shake up in the order saw Ryan Bold & Brendan Austin take their maiden win in their Bold Built IFS Buggy. However, with a DNF at Turakina they would be out of the running for a Central Zone placing.

Returning on form was Reuben Mason & Paul Chapman taking the 2nd spot, seemingly out of nowhere as the Taranaki local had spent most of the season off. Mitch Caldow & Jamie Elms would finish 3rd and with it enough points for a podium finish in the standings – but with Russell Hall & Glen Hall scoring 5th they would share the same total of 289 points! Caldow & Elms would take 2nd Overall in Central Zone thanks to their 2nd place at Turakina on countback, with Hall & Hall getting their best zone finish of 3rd Overall in Central Zone.

Finishing 6th on the day was Sam Thomsen & Caitlyn Thomsen, scoring 295/300 points for the season to take back-to-back Central Zone wins! Wayne Buckthought & Paul Green would relinquish their 2nd spot to finish 4th Overall in Central Zone, one point shy of the Hall brothers.

John Hawken & Haare O’Brien

John Hawken & Haare O’Brien would win the final round in C Class, but ultimately take 2nd in Zone as Caleb Adlam & Jarrod Moss would place 2nd – and with it enough points to take back-to-back wins for the Malcolm McLeavey Memorial Trophy. Hayden McGill & Barry Williams would finish 3rd on the day and 3rd for the zone, with Jon Bolton & Mark Smith 4th and 4th too.

Geoff Butcher & Sean Cushing would take out K Class in Central Zone in a dead heat with John Sheridan

Geoff Butcher & Sean Cushing would come out on top in the battle for K Class honours, putting in a belter of a score to finish 100 points ahead of John Sheridan & Matt Wilson. Local driver Graeme Goble & Brody Thomason would complete the podium on the day.

Best Trial & Presented Truck

The Wairarapa 4×4 Club would win the Lis Lawson Cup for Best Central Zone trial, whilst a man not afraid to use the polisher Mitch Caldow would take out the trophy for Best Presented Truck – The Wolverine’s second win in three years.

‘The Wolverine’ a LS3 powered Cowper Truck with Mitchell Caldow & Jamie Elms