MotorsportsStayfresh Crew

Mudslingers – 4×4 trials

4WD trials has evolved in the last few years to not just be done in a strengthened Hilux with a welded diff crawling through bog holes of mud.  Now the sport has bucket loads more horsepower, drivers and co-drivers with balls of steel, and some very serious looking trucks!

With different classes of truck, the top level machines are capable of traversing almost anything…almost!

Throw some serious suspension travel into the equation and it makes for awesome photos…

So how does this high horsepower, rough sport work you say?  Officials lay out a course consisting of coloured sticks, you can make your way through the ‘obstacle’ any way you wish, as long as you stay between the sticks.  You can see the co-driver is operating the brake levers, each lever is hooked up to an individual wheel so it is very much a 2 person job.

Drivers start at the startline with a certain number of points against their name.  As they make their way further along the obstacle and pass pegs, the points get lower and lower.  Clear the obstacle’s blue pegs and you finish with a score of zero, this is your ideal score.

Now getting to those blue pegs is easier said than done…

Of course the motto is ‘drive it until you can’t drive it anymore’.  One of the crews we talked with was onto his 3rd differential and the event had only started about 3 hours prior…

If your truck becomes stuck, or you decide that vertical cliff face isn’t able to be climbed you are awarded points according to how far you went.  Each crew carries a score card which marshals fill out and crews sign off.

A day consists of roughly 34 obstacles for drivers to tackle.  Odd number obstacles are the morning loop, then the even one’s are set for the afternoon loop.  Keeping things nice and simple for spectators to watch the trucks…

sink in mudholes…

get into all kinds of bother coming out of mudholes…

and drive up rather steep inclines where the only way down when you cock it up is…end over end…

I’m pretty sure the only ‘Toyota Echo’ part on this is indeed that badge…

All the engines are totally sealed so deep water isn’t too much of an issue for most of them, kids don’t try this with dad’s Hilux!

There seemed to be a basic rule once it appeared you were getting stuck…mash the throttle in reverse, then in 1st, then repeat process until you and your co-driver were totally soaked.

These are no backyard ‘hick’ trucks.  Purpose built, the name ‘Cowper’ in New Zealand is a famous one within 4WD circles.  These must be so much fun to drive!

The top trucks are all running automatic transmissions, just pick a path, then stand on the gas.  This sport makes for an awesome day out for the spectators, and I for one shall certainly be heading out to have a look at the 4WD trials again!

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Hi ya!
Japan-based Kiwi following all the exciting automotive experiences the world has to offer. From all the crazy tyre smoke of D1GP, to the wide, stanced RAUH-Welt Begriff whips of Nakai-san. I follow it all.

1 Comment

  1. Lu
    01/12/2012 at 6:49 pm

    great article, great photos !! nice to see variety of autosports growing @ Fatlace..

    keep up the all the great works..

    true fan..