As well as the ‘home’ team, there were drivers and vehicles from The Hampshire and Berkshire Rover Owners Club and also from The Somerset and Wiltshire Land Rover Club, and there was a great range of vehicles spread across seven different classes (giving the scorers plenty to think about!).
The site at Mannington has something for everyone – from thick mud to loose sand and everything in between, plenty of steep twists and turns and axle-twisters to trap the unwary or overconfident. Although there had been no significant rain for a week or so, there was still plenty of water in some of the lower areas of the site, and so the competition was very intense.
Split into three groups, all the drivers rotated through twelve sections, each of twelve gates – which meant of course that each group had the opportunity to drive a section before it got ‘modified’ by the other groups.
DLRC Deputy Events Officer Jason Macdonald and his team of helpers set some fiendishly difficult sections, but there was enough to keep all the top contenders interested throughout the day, with the final result in most classes being in doubt right until the end.
The winner of Class 1 – Dave Moore from SWLRC – racked up no fewer than five clear sections in his very tidy leaf-sprung 80-inch, whilst DLRC’s Robert Shadbolt won in Class 2 for leaf-sprung 88-inch.
The most open competition was in Class 4 for unmodified SWB coil sprung, and was won by Tim Wishaw from HBROC with a total of only 17 penalty points, just pipping club mate Jack Dewdney by one point. Best placed ‘home’ driver in Class 4 was DLRC’s Martin Dover in third place.
In Class 5, ‘home’ honour was restored with Trevor Harmer coming home in first place in the LWB coil sprung competition, whilst in Class 7 (modified 88-inch leaf sprung) Alex Moore from SWLRC recorded the best score of the day across all the classes, accruing only 14 penalty points.
For the record, Class 9 (modified coil 80 inch) was won by Nial Banyard representing HBRO, whilst in Class 10 (modified coil 88 and 90 inch), Gary Kenworthy emerged as the winner.
At the end of a really enjoyable, sunny-if-cold day, Rog Pardy, Chairman of The Dorset Land Rover Club, presented a beautiful and well-deserved trophy for the best drive in an unmodified vehicle to Tim Wishaw from HBRO.
Rog Pardy commented 'the day has been a great success’ and he thanked all the drivers, marshals, spectators, course, setters and everyone who had contributed to making the day go so well for all their hard work.