Biggs brothers go large at NZ 4X4 champs
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If it’s not one Biggs twin then it’s the other dominating this summer’s New Zealand 4x4 Trials Championship.
After teaming up as driver and co-driver to win last years’s national title, Aucklanders Scott and Jarred Biggs have doubled their efforts with both behind the wheel in one of their self-built Nitro Customs super-modified trucks.
On Saturday near Te Puke Jarred Biggs powered his 6-litre supercharged Chevrolet V8 machine to victory at the BOP 4WD Club event. It was his second win of the 2018-19 series; twin brother Scott had previously won three of the four earlier events and still leads the title standings with one event remaining.
At the close-fought Advantage Tyres/BF Goodrich national rally the top six drivers separated by less than 100 penalty points at the close of competition.
There was a delayed start for Jarred Biggs as the 41-vehicle field began the rally.
His brake pedal assembly came apart before tackling the first hazard of the morning.
“We went back to the pits and managed to borrow some parts to fix it and started the morning half an hour late,” he said.
It put some pressure on to complete the morning session but he powered to the top of the leader board collecting penalties on only three of the 16 hazards to reach the lunchbreak with a 92-point advantage over Thames Valley driver Dean Russell.
“After our late start, the truck ran faultlessly all morning,” said Biggs.
With close scores the pressure went on during the afternoon session.
“I made one mistake with a 60-pointer when I got complacent and I missed the line through a bog section,” said Biggs.
But the run to the finish saw Biggs remain in the number one spot while some impressive climbs up the standings in the afternoon left the final results looking different from the morning positions.
Hamilton’s Greg McDell posted the best afternoon score and charged up the rankings from ninth at lunchtime to finish only 22 points behind Biggs — the points difference equating to fractionally more than one marker peg over the full 31 hazard course.
Taranaki’s Rowan Huckstep improved from eighth position mid-way to claim third overall ahead of Hamilton’s Neville Mather and Palmerston North’s Stuart Earle.
Championship leader Scott Biggs needed to finish in the top-five on Saturday to seal the championship with a round to spare.
But he slipped from fourth at lunchtime to finish seventh, a result that leaves the door open for his brother to battle for title at the final round near Eltham next month.
“That’s the way it rolls in this sport sometimes,” said Scott Biggs.
“It was a great venue today with some tough hazards. Some days you pull them off and some days you don’t.”
The leading BOP driver was Te Puke’s Nathan Fogden competing in Class C (four-cylinder super modified). He finished the day second in class — only 17 points behind Mitchell Caldow (Manawatu) — while his nearest title rival Phil Conwell (Wellington) failed to finish.
The hazards courses set out in steep gullies on Rangiuru Rd farmland saw several spectacular rollovers.
Waikato’s Brian Hall was one driver in the thick of the action back-flipping his car on a steep hillclimb late in the morning session.
After fixing the power steering, repairing the chassis and replacing two bent rims he headed out to complete the afternoon that included another roll-over.
Advantage Tyres/BF Goodrich National 4x4 Trial — results
1 Jarred Biggs/Fleche Crawford (Counties 4x4 Club) 454.75 penalty points; 2 Greg and Chris McDell (Waikato) 476.71pts; 3 Rowan Huckstep/Hendrik Hofstee (Taranaki) 487.03pts; Neville Mather/Richard Verner (Waikato) 516.09pts; 5 Stuart Earle/Dan Cowper (Manawatu) 529.87pts; 6 Derek Smyth/Todd Charman (Wanganui) 552.87pts; 7 Scott Biggs/Philip Walton (Counties) 569.08pts; 8 Kevin Galbraith/Peter Gray (Wairarapa) 572.23pts; 9 Russell Luders/Chris Tomalin (South Waikato) 608.02pts; 10 Hamish Auret/Paul Barnes (Wanganui) 644.47pts.