Round four of the 2016/17 Cen­tral Zone Club Truck Chal­lenge was hosted by the Desert De­fend­ers Club near Waiouru over the Fe­bru­ary 25-26 week­end.

NZ4WD - - CONTENTS - Story and pho­tos by An­drew Gee

The Waiouru round of the Club Truck Chal­lenge ( CTC) is run as a two-day event to take into ac­count of the dis­tance peo­ple have to travel to get there. Stouty and Marty from the Desert De­fend­ers Club sup­plied a beau­ti­ful camp­site at the rally site and a good num­ber of us en­joyed the scorch­ing sum­mer evening in our tents and cam­pers. Mark, Brendan, Lee and Ross had pegged out the first set of seven haz­ards on Satur­day morn­ing and we ran them in the af­ter­noon. The first hazard turned out to be a bog even though most of the ter­rain is vol­canic sand which drains well. An early run is the only chance of a good score in these con­di­tions so Shona al­most got through for a 20 and Ross was the only per­son to get right through for a zero. Af­ter that ev­ery­one needed to be re­cov­ered out of the mud, at the cost of two strops, one rope and two PTO winches, the sight of three Nis­sans roped to­gether and blow­ing black smoke to ex­tract Steve was like me­chan­i­cal tor­ture.

Think­ing caps re­quired

We had two un­graded haz­ards on Satur­day and they re­quire a lot more think­ing and planning. You had the op­tion of leav­ing the course or run­ning pegs over, at a penalty of 20 points per peg, but still needed to fin­ish the course to get a score less than 100. Ju­dith de­signed a hazard that got called “the teardrop”, and peo­ple who got through gen­er­ally needed to take two pegs. Marty took one peg ear­lier than ev­ery­one else and man­aged to clear the hazard with­out fur­ther penalty. Marty had an­other dif­fer­ent co-driver for this round and this brave man, who worked in drains for a liv­ing, was happy to strap him­self in the Cruiser but was strangely afraid of spi­ders. At the end of day one Marty was first, Ross was sec­ond, and Brendan, Steve and Matthew were third equal.

Va­ri­ety is the spice...

We pegged out an­other set of haz­ards for the next day be­fore re­turn­ing to camp. Desert De­fend­ers showed us the other cap they wear, they pro­vide cater­ing for func­tions as an­other part of the fundrais­ing they do for the Va­ri­ety Club.

The Satur­day night din­ner the club pro­vided was ex­cel­lent with the spe­cial am­bi­ence of sit­ting on an old trailer in a Nis­sen hut. Bruce de­clared that the broc­coli and cashew nut salad was “su­perb”. On Sun­day Dave Hintz was able to join us and co-drive with Ju­dith. He was hav­ing a good look at the event in prepa­ra­tion for run­ning Round five on his farm in May. We ran an­other seven haz­ards on Sun­day that in­cluded fin­ish­ing with a bumpy speed sec­tion. Brendan broke his Pa­jero on a hill climb near the end of the day, it sat at the top of the hill with a ma­jor amount of toe in on both front wheels. Stouty didn’t hes­i­tate to pull a steer­ing arm off his sim­i­lar ve­hi­cle but Brendan needed a CV joint as well and called it a day.

An­other win

Marty Green took an­other over­all win to put him in the prime po­si­tion to win the se­ries again this year. Two rounds still re­main to be run for this year’s se­ries and they are go­ing to be at new sites so no­body will have a home ad­van­tage. It will be a per­fect time for a new­comer to join the se­ries. See you there.

Here he bends it around a hazard. Marty Green from Cap­i­tal Cruis­ers Club drives the FJ40 in Class 3.

Ross Gre­gory from Wairarapa 4WD club was again the Class 1 win­ner.

Alan Stone of Mt Eg­mont club had to push the Land Cruiser hard just to start the hazard.

Lee Turner from Manawatu 4WD Club had an ex­cel­lent week­end and was very com­pet­i­tive with a Class 2 Pa­jero.

Shona Stone from Mt Eg­mont 4WD Club en­joy­ing her turn in the fam­ily Land Cruiser.

Steve and Robert Ste­wart punt the Class 3 Nis­san at the hill.

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