Dirt Na­tion


What a rush, and what a buzz. The Lead­foot hill climb is some­thing ev­ery driver should try to do once. Its sep­a­rate course for off- road rac­ers is jam packed with jumps and tricky corners – a re­minder that Rod Millen has been around the sport longer than many of the re­cent con­verts have been alive. We cer­tainly did rip up his lawn a tad, though. Sit­ting in i ts mar­quee with other of­froad race trucks – the Millen, Whid­dett, Car­lyle and other beasts – the newlook GT Ra­dial Chev Pro- Lite had a lot of peo­ple stop­ping by to ask ques­tions about the truck and the sport. I al­ways look for events like this that sit along­side the sport because I think i t ’s im­por­tant to be an am­bas­sador for of­froad rac­ing – we re­cruit spec­ta­tors and driv­ers at events like this. And for all those who go ‘pfff, that doesn’t look very hard’, I can tell you that wily old fox Millen has cre­ated a course with some wicked hooks for the un­wary. Most of the trucks fell afoul of the double- jump that got me – so it wasn’t just me, I sim­ply did a bet­ter job of i t . The big jump be­fore was okay but the double? Nah. Af­ter prac­tic­ing and treat­ing the double as t wo sin­gles I de­cided the only thing to do was raise the speed and try to clear the sec­ond hillock al­to­gether. Sounds like a plan. Didn’t work. In­stead our sleek new body pan­els got shoved rudely into the mas­sive hay bales that line the course, at which point I was just a pas­sen­ger. Re­sult? A few flesh wounds to the new paint, noth­ing ma­jor. We even got the truck de­liv­ered back to our pit area. A bit of mid­night oil burned and she was good as new next day. So: nearly 14 hours to get there, an event un­like any other in New Zealand and nearly 14 hours to go home – and like all you other rock­star VIP racer celebs out there, back to work to pay for i t all! Can’t wait to bring the new Chev out at a real cham­pi­onship round, though!

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