Neville Mather & Richard Verner narrowly bet Sam Thomsen & Mitchell Caldow to score their fourth win, with Craig Potter & Mike Hill an impressive third at Round 3 in Rangiwahia.
The Windy City Off-Roaders with help from the Gee-Taylor family hosted the third round of the Lucas Oil NZ 4×4 Trials Series in Rangiwahia over Wellington Anniversary weekend. This was a return to the “Day 1” site from the 2-Day-Trial weekend last held in 2020, where Phil Walton & Brendan Austin took back-to-back wins. The day was a scorcher, stretched over rolling countryside causing some (rather flash buggy’s) to take fuel stops between courses!
Brinn Fogden & Sean Bydeley were the sole entrants in A Class in their little Suzuki SJ413 and had a tough day with some rather challenging courses. On their third course in the morning, the duo found themselves cross-axled on the line before finally finding traction, bouncing their way up the hill in front of them before hearing a loud bang underneath! A quick trip back to the pits saw them swap out the whole front diff assembly and return to finish the rest of the day.
Nathan Fogden & Mike Gibbons kept up their strong form with another win in C Class and finishing 10th overall in their 4cyl evo powered Cowper Truck. Glenn D’Ath & Jacob D’Ath in their radical Homebuilt kept them honest in the morning, only 30 points behind before dropping back to third in the afternoon.
Shayne Towers & Tony Hadland finished 2nd in class and 13th overall after an exciting day where the front diff fell out late in the afternoon. With nothing but welds and more welds barely holding it in, they managed to clear their three remaining courses. A costly mistake in the morning timed section saw them gain an extra 60 points which would have made the difference between 1st and 2nd.
In D Class Neville Mather & Richard Verner came from 4th in the morning to take the win in the afternoon as the other contenders fell back. Sam Thomsen & Mitchell Caldow had an identical score in the afternoon to Mather & Verner, but were too far back in the morning and had to settle for 2nd. One of the star drives of the day belonged to Craig Potter & Mike Hill, who with 2nd in the morning and 4th in afternoon brought home their best result with 3rd. Scott Biggs & Jamie Taylor finished 4th making it a Nitro 1-4.
Stuart & Liam Earle were leading the day at midway before dropping back to 5th in the afternoon. They were followed by Scott Donald & Paul Barnes in the LS7 Cowper Truck. Barnes was a late call up back into the seat where together with Hamish Auret scored two titles as well as accomplishing their backflip at the Suzuki Extreme 4×4 Challenge. Throughout the day Barnes made the most of offering his advice and experience in the truck, jumping Donald from a previous best of 20th straight to 6th outright.
In E Class Fogden & Burgener saw the return of F Class competition Mike & John Black in their chevy powered Toyota FJ40. The latter would suffer from overheating issues during the morning and forced to retire. The young guns in the Zook-Sport Suzuki SJ413 rolled on the same course that younger brother Brinn & co found misfortune on in the morning, rolling twice down the hill face before finding themselves on their side. Nevertheless, the team carried on finishing the day.
Andrew & Janet Graham dominated K Class, winning just under 400 points over John Sheridan & Mike Rolls. They comfortably led the morning and afternoon and were only 30 points shy of the tail end of D Class. After their spectacular roll at home, Sheridan & Rolls were happy to finish their first National Trial after strengthening their buggy. Willow Eayrs & Gary Ledbury and their buggy were feeling a little worse for wear after a few rollovers on the day, finishing third in class.
The next round takes place at Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty on February 12th. You can keep up to date on the event on their Facebook page: BF Goodrich Bay of Plenty 4×4 National Trial 2023 | Rangiuru | Facebook