A sport of finesse and precision – and a true test of man and machine – is happening in Hamilton on February 9 when the fourth round of the 2018/2019 National 4x4 trial series roars into town.
“Thousands of spectators are expected from the Hamilton and greater Waikato area,” says Waikato 4WD Club’s trial secretary Rachel Lobb.
She says the annual series consists of six rounds held between October and April – where teams of two, a driver and navigator, attempt each hazard and are scored on the distance they get, rather than the time they take.
“The aim is for a perfect score of zero. At the day’s end, the lowest score over the 30 hazards wins.”
Rachel says 4x4 trials are great spectator events, with lots of mud, noisy engines and rollovers – and the February round, hosted by Waikato Four Wheel Drive Club, will be no different.
“Competitors are split into classes based on modifications and engine size of their vehicles.
“Many vehicles are now advanced spaceframe extremely competitive machines, featuring the latest in vehicle technology.
“Watching these trucks compete is very entertaining, as seen on TV3 programmes ‘Suzuki Extreme’ and ‘Suzuki Extreme 4x4 Cup’.”
Three teams are competing in the National Trial Series this season from the Waikato Club, says Rachel.
Greg and Chris McDell grew up as part of the club with their father who was a founding member. “Both have been involved in many forms of motorsport their whole lives and have followed their passion into the automotive industry. Greg and Chris have achieved podium placings nationally for the last few years.”
Long-serving club member Brian Hall has been competing in the trials for many years, firstly in E class winning [odium places and in more recent years in the Super Modified D class.
“This year he’s teamed up with son Richard Hall, who is already very passionate about this sport,” says Rachel.
Neville Mather and Richard Verner have rejoined this competition after some years off in a newly-built Nitro Customs LS2 powered trials truck.
“Neville has been competing or has been an official during most of the last 20 years and won several podium places while in E class.
“At the first trial this year they came third overall on debut in the new truck, which is an amazing feat against such an experienced field.”
The 2018/2019 National 4x4 trial series February round is at Karakariki Rd, Whatawhata, off SH23. The event starts 8.30am. Tickets cost adults $10, and a family pass $25.
See the ‘Porter Group 4x4 National Trial’ Facebook page for more information.