4x4: Turakina course a real challenge as local Dan Cowper leads C-Class

February 23, 2020

By: Jared Smith Jared Smith is sports editor of the Whanganui Chronicle WhangaChron The welders were working overtime in the pits at the Wanganui HireMaster 4x4 National Trial, held down in the valley on a testing Glencairn Rd course in Turakina on Saturday. There were 47 trucks in six divisions undertaking the 31 hazards on course, most of them up sheer vertical and sideways routes on the various cliff faces. While it was expected to be a very dusty course after weeks of dry weather, the overnight and early morning showers had added a wet sheer on top of the spoil, which especially made the morning section a little more difficult. Heading for the speed hazard on top of the course, where drivers speed back and forth through the gates in a figure eight pattern, Wanganui 4WD club member Grant Harrison said it had been a testing start to the day. Auckland's defending D-Class national champion Scott Biggs would have to follow his brother and fellow title contender Jarred back to the pits to do some repairs after a bit of a tumble. But perhaps the most spectacular was F-Class competitor Paul Taylor, who had climbed the furthest up one hazard, but saw his front wheels tip up and over to send him and co-driver Antony Weatherley flipping backwards and rolling down the hillside. The pair emerged unhurt, and while their front bonnet was bent up, they judged the suspension on the truck was alright to continue after repairs, and they managed to make through to the second-to-last hazard before the whole engine hub came off. C-Class competitor Steven Thomason also took a long spill backwards at the fair end of the course, somehow avoiding taking out the farm fence at the bottom. In the wrap up of the day, Jarred Biggs kept his name in the title equation by finishing top in class and first overall, being the only competitor to concede less than 400 penalty points. Taupiri's Greg McDell was just over 400 points to finish second and keep his title hopes alive, while Scott Biggs was third, followed by Palmerston North's Derek Smyth and Waiterimu's Russell Luders to round out the Top 5.

This article was posted by Peter Vahry in Competition | General news (2021 reads)