Motorsport: Extreme machines get down and dirty
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Round two of the 4x4 Trial this weekend
Round two of New Zealand’s dirtiest four-wheel motorsport competition takes place in the Waikato on Saturday.
The Battery Town 4x4 Trial near Lake Karapiro will see the country’s top drivers and their highly specialised machinery in action on a farmland course at Stokes Rd, Maungatautari.
The opening meeting of the six-round national championship saw maximum points claimed by Turakina’s Dan Cowper who won the Wanganui club’s event at Upokongaro over Labour Weekend.
On a course of 38 hazards, Cowper took a narrow win over Class D rival, Aucklander Scott Biggs, while Class C (4-cylinder Super Modified) winner Philip Conwell (Wellington) was third overall. Defending champion Hamish Auret (Wanganui) finished fourth in his 7.0-litre Chevrolet Corvette powered Class D truck.
A 4x4 Trial may differ from most other forms of motorsport because speed is less of a decisive factor, but the high-powered V8 Super Modified class machines are an impressive spectacle with their explosive acceleration, ability to climb and descend steep gradients and find traction on the most slippery surfaces, sidlings and muddy bogs.
Specialised braking and differential lock systems, four-wheel steering and onboard tyre pressure adjustment systems are among the sophisticated features of the Class C (four-cylinder) and Class D (six and eight-cylinder) Super Modified contenders.
Following this weekend’s second round the 4x4 Trials national championship continues in the New Year with events near Whakatane on Sunday January 24, Pukekohe (February 14), Masterton (February 28) and the Easter Saturday (March 26) final round in Taranaki.