CZCTC RND 5
The Manawatu 4WD club ran the latest round of the Central Zone Club Truck Challenge (CTC) at a farm halfway between Woodville and Dannevirke on Saturday March 18.
The event was run as a two-day affair, day one for the CTC and registered vehicles, and the day two as the Manawatu 4WD Club club champs open to unregistered club and specialist trials trucks. Camping was available at the site but I didn’t stay for Sunday so missed the debut of Hintzy’s Cowper truck and a few other trials machines. The Manawatu 4WD Club is home turf for the Watchorn brothers and Mark’s whole family usually come out as well, with Raewyn often seen with the score sheet in her hand. Also, Brendan still holds onto the belief that he is the only person to have entered every round of the CTC ever held, however I found some photos on good old Facebook of that first event in September 2011; Steve Stewart is definitely there and Deane Whitton has a moustache.
Mark, Brendan, Greg and Andrew had pegged out the first set of hazards on Saturday morning and we ran them soon after. Mark flogged Isuzu’s finest Bighorn through the hazards competing in Class 1 and putting a smile on to the face of all the panelbeaters present. Joe Stevens returned for another round of the CTC series with the right attitude, he gave his Pajero a hiding all day and it never let him down. To see his poor wagon flying into the air and then stop with a thump made everyone wince but the Pajero kept on running. My old mate Marmite from the Wairarapa 4WD club had entered this event. We had both run Suzukis in the old days and now he has a Jeep Wrangler TJ which he is very happy with. He used his experience to not bother pushing too hard in the “Suicide Bog” to trade any glory for not having to do follow-up maintenance. That same bog, we had run in the morning, the first guys got 80 points, later ones got through to 60 and no one got any further even on alternate lines. I got to 60 and then started to sink in clear flowing water; no hard bottom on this bog. After lunch both groups combined for an
all-in speed section. The big heavy Nissans did some spectacular jumps at warp speed but Shaun Robinson ruined his stellar run by drifting into a bog alongside the speed course then failed to clear it on his first back up, losing a lot of time.
Hazard 13 was an ungraded sidle that the Manawatu club have used previously at the cost of someone’s Land Cruiser rolling over. To the disgust of her husband, Judith ran it at wall-of-death speed and scored zero as did a few other people who got through it. The rest of us chose to run down a few pegs and take the penalty and avoid the risk of the rollover. Our first hazard in the morning, Number 4 was pegged with an undercut bank which duly collapsed after a few people ran it. Fortunately it was pegged wide enough to allow for a different line for the later group, proving what forethought the designers of the course had. Series points are firming up after five rounds but one final round will be held for this year’s series and only your best three results are counted so there is still a chance for competitors that have done two previous rounds, it’s all to play for. See you in Taihape.
Joe Stevens flings the Pajero up the hillclimb with his eyes set on the zero.
Peter Robinson from Manawatu 4wd Club competes in Class 4, the Patrol prepares for lift-off in the speed hazard.
Alan Stone of Mt Egmont club, keeps the Class 2 Land Cruiser moving even after cocking a wheel.
Dave MacGinnity from Windy City Offroaders shows plenty of down travel to keep traction and keep driving through the hazard.
Shaun Robinson does well in his Class 4 Nissan to carry this much boogie in the Suicide bog.
Kelsey van Waas from Tararua 4WD club punts her Class 1 Suzuki around the hazards with care.
The CZ CTC is a family affair for Mark Watchorn from Manawatu 4WD club who runs the whole series and is seen here giving the driver’s briefing.
Greg Booth, president of the host club, Manawatu 4WD, on the speed hazard.
Judith Hintz had to hit the soft boggy hazards quite hard in her Suzuki.