ORT – AWDC Rd 2 – Stoke on Trent

In Off Road Team by Robert Cozens

A wet and windy night camping up in the hills above Stoke on Trent set us up for Round 2 of the All Wheel Drive Club Five Gate Trials National Championship.

The site at Mow Cop had a proper mix of features and terrain which made for an interesting selection stages.

Drivers brief done we hopped in the truck and hit the first stage of eight, the only car competing in RTV but heading round the stages with a group of far more capable class 3 cars.

Being in our own class didn’t mean a free ride as the stages still needed completing !

The much more capable class 3 cars like Suzuki Jimny’s and heavily modified Defender 90’s absolutely flew round the stage, taking very tight lines and not picking up many points.

Then it was our turn in the near standard Defender 110 Wolf. The extra wheelbase and weight meant lots of right foot was required and lots of commitment on the sharp inclines and side slopes, but we made it round the first stage with only a couple of shunts and a couple of touches.

After that the stages started flying by and soon it was time for a lunch break. I didn’t spend much time eating food and instead was dodging mud falling from the underside of the truck whilst checking for damage !

Just as the clouds were clearing and the sun made an appearance, we were off into the final four stages for the afternoon.

Everyone was settled in at this point and eager to avoid getting bogged down as had happened a good few time in the morning.

By the time we hit stage six the stages were becoming increasingly steep, tight and boggy meaning lots of right foot and momentum was needed to make progress up the inclines.

One gate got particularly hairy as the truck crested the top of the climb the bank eroded away and rotated the truck 90 degrees and beaching it on the chassis rails. With all four wheels no longer touching the ground and a fifteen-foot drop in front of us we got out to assess the situation !

Plan worked out we kindly asked one of the class 3 drivers for the use of his Defender and Winch to help get us back to where we’d intended to be !

The truck pulled back round and we were able to finish the course at our request – although the clock had run out and the stage went down as incomplete.

A similar situation happened again on the next stage, only this time a tree had managed to stop us from rolling ! As expected, we were winched out a second time !

At this point it was nearing the end of the day and the final stage was upon us. We set off well, lots of momentum and lots of noise from the right foot keeping us from digging deep into the soft mud. We touched one gate but made the remainder of the stage through clean with plenty of time to spare ! What a way to finish !

Our stages done, we packed the tent and gear away and sat to watch the last of the Proto guys finish their stages.

The Marshalls debriefed everyone and we had a short prize giving. There were lots of high scoring stages in all classes due to the conditions but it made the results across the board interesting.

We then made the 3 hour journey back home and got the truck washed off and inspected for damage – (my poor towbar) !!

All in all a cracking weekend spent trying not to get stuck. Roll on round 3 in a few weeks 🙂