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.

NZ4WD - - Contents - Story and photos by An­drew Gee

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.

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