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

The 2023/2024 Northern Zone Series was a close contest right to the end, with four teams from the top-half of the North Island all with a chance of taking out the Acker Bilt Cup.

Round 1 – Huntly

Jarred Biggs & Fleche Crawford in Hot Wheels

The Counties 4 Wheelers hosted in the first round in Huntly, which saw the debut of some flash new builds from Nitro Customs! Former 2NZ Jarred Biggs & Fleche Crawford teamed up again in Hot Wheels, an 800hp+ >1000kg buggy, whilst other Top 10 competitors Dave McKie & Reece McKie would debut their LS7 powered Nitro called Sniper. Chris Gifford & Shaun Joblin would be another crew making the switch from CowperTrucks – with The Punisher now breathing fire through a Nitro frame.

Dave McKie & Reece McKie would have issues in the morning putting them out of contention, but came back to win the afternoon

Defending 3NZ from Whangarei Neal Turner & Wade Alexander would have a disastrous start, only making six stages in the morning before their gearbox let go putting them out for the day. Gifford & Joblin would also DNF with diff troubles taking them out of contention for zone honours in a ‘Best 3 from 3’ points system.

The end of the day would see J. Biggs & Crawford finish top in zone, with Kapiti based (but Whakatane club) Jamie Larsen & Jacob Higgens right on the money with their green machine in 2nd. Craig Potter & Mike Hill would complete the podium making it a Nitro Customs 1-2-3.

In the only other class represented by Northen Zone, defending C Class winners Nathan Fogden & Mike Gibbons would damage their gearbox late in the afternoon to ultimately finish 3rd. Rebekah Templeton & Zak de Crom would take 2nd place, whilst 402c Racing Shayne Towers & Tony Hadland would take the win.

Round 4 – Whakatane

Two rounds of Central Zone later, the Northern Zone series would resume rather differently at Rotoma in the Eastern Bay of Plently. Conflicting dates with Speedway meant Jamie Larsen & Jacob Higgens would no longer be competing for the Acker Bilt Cup, whilst Dave McKie would be out leaving son Reece to take the wheel!

Scott Biggs & Phil Walton would storm through to take the win, putting their season back on track after a 5th place finish at Round 1. Craig Potter & Mike Hill made it two podiums with 2nd giving them the lead into the final round. Also rewarded by consistency was Redback Racing of Ash Tonkin & Dyon Ross who added 3rd to their 4th position to sit behind Potter & Hill in the standings.

Phil Cameron & Todd Charman would be in the mix with a consistent string of results

Former Top 10 pairing Chris Tomalin & Russell Luders would achieve their best results of the season, with Tomalin & Stu Mickell finishing 4th with Luders & Neil Moratti in 5th.

In C Class Shayne Towers & Tony Hadland would finally take a win at home, putting one hand on the cup he had last held in 2015. Nathan Fogden & Mike Gibbons would be back in 2nd, with Glenn D’Ath & Danielle D’Ath claiming 3rd ahead of Rebekah Templeton & Zak de Crom.

Round 5 – Te Kuiti

The final round of the Northern Zone Series would take place in the King Country, the first event in the region since 2008. It was a wet affair with torrential rain making the rolling countryside a slip n’ slide! Potter & Hill only had to stay ahead of Tonkin & Ross such was their advantage, but the day would go down to the wire in one of the closest finishes the sport has seen.

Potter & Hill started strong by winning the morning, but only by 1 point ahead of a resurgence by Jarred Biggs & Fleche Crawford. At the end of the afternoon, Potter & Hill would be less than a point ahead of J. Biggs & Crawford – enough to see them get their first win and claim the Acker Bilt Cup! J. Biggs & Crawfords result saw them leapfrog in 3rd outright for the Zone. Whilst S. Biggs & Walton’s 4th place finish enough for them to claim the Hardwick Metals Cup for 2nd in Zone.

Tonkin & Ross would take 4th overall in Northen Zone, with a hard charging Phil Cameron & Todd Charman taking 3rd on the day to see them 5th in the standings.

Towers & Hadland would take a clean sweep with another win in C Class to win the Cup. Nathan Fogden & Mike Gibbons would finish 2nd, with some help from Rhys O’Brien and Glenn D’Ath finishing ahead of Rebekah Templeton to nab the 2nd spot. Nevertheless, Templeton & de Crom would equal their best placing of 3rd in C Class in Northen Zone.

Best Trial & Presented Truck

The Best Northern Zone Trial would go to final hosts the South Waikato 4WD Club, with the Best Presented Northern Zone Vehicle going to Chris Gifford with The Punisher.

‘The Punisher’ a L98 powered Nitro Customs frame with Chris Gifford & Shaun Joblin