The Welsh Xtrem #xtrem17 Race Report …
Team Sharp (Gigglepin Racing) #960
Having been pipped to the post for a hat trick in 2016 by Team Hybrid 4×4’s Duncan Smith and Henry Papworth it was all to play for. It was a big ask, after 6 months in the workshop we emerge with a brand new racer #960 #Delilah
With some amount of testing done we felt confident that we had a winning truck to work with but testing doesn’t create the pressure on ourselves or the truck like that moment when the flag drops and we are racing, so we still had to learn the truck under race conditions.
Friday was finally upon us and there was a small amount of trepidation in the cab as we waited to start the first section of the event.
This was a trail type section with points scored for each completed gate. But in true Xtrem style they weren’t your standard trail type gates!
2 of which we needed a small winch to get us through.
At the end of these 10 trials our confidence was growing in the truck and we were looking forward to the night sections.
Friday part 2 was made up of a navigational scatter, which required us to locate points around the site and record information at each of these points.
Also 2 winch sections had to be completed. These would be the first winch sections we had ever done in the new truck and also the first for our brand new GP100 winches. (Thank you GigglepinWinches.com)
At the end of Friday we had completed all tasks set out for us and the truck was faultless but we hadn’t found our rhythm yet which showed as we finished 15th going in to Saturday morning.
Saturday morning was a wet and cold one and we knew we had to pull our socks up if we wanted to get near the podium and set off to start the 14 winch sections.
We soon found our mojo and everything became smooth and efficient as we started to tick off the sections.
Everything was going to plan until we had a water leak but luckily we finished the section and made our way to the pits to fix the pipe that was leaking.
We were back out on course having not lost to much time and everything was going well but………
This was the Welsh Xtrem after making most of our way through a section that was all done on the winches we had an electrical problem which slowed us down, we managed to complete the section and it was back to the pits to find a fix.
We lost around 2 hours but we still had time to get out and tick off a couple more sections.
Throughout the day Jim Marsden had been doing live feeds on Facebook from different sections and we had tried our best to cover him in mud with a rooster tails from the truck, after few attempts we found him in the perfect place and with a quick gear change and a heavy right foot from Allen we covered him from head to toe much to the amusement of the on looking crowd.
After Saturdays racing we were super excited by the way the truck and ourselves had preformed and felt confident we would be in a better position going in to Sunday.
When the results were published that evening it was clear we had been putting in some great times as we were now sitting in 1st place.
This was great news but it also meant we would be first away on Sunday morning and having to open the route.
With even more rain most of early Sunday morning we knew that it wasn’t going to be a easier day at the office, but knowing we had a chance of keeping the top spot on the podium we were keen to get going.
With Nick Anderson / Andy Pearce and Seamus Doyle Munster Fourbyfour Spares / Thomas Conroy 2nd and 3rd and breathing down our necks we had to go hard from the start.
Once we had pulled off the start line we were straight in to a long had pull roughly 2.5 length of our winch rope before we could get the hammer down and try to get some distance between ourselves and 2nd place.
We managed to create a gap even while collecting bonus punches and got to the far end of the route before seeing the chasing cars.
It was at this point we had a long descent through thick brambles before picking our way through trees on a side slope back to the track. With a short blast on hard tracks we were across the line to complete our first lap in around one hour ten minutes.
With cars still pulling up the first climb on their first lap and no sign of Nick or Seamus we went straight in to our second.
Again we collected all bonus punches and soon found ourselves at the top of the long descent again. Only this time there was a long queue waiting.
We had to wait our turn as there was no room to pass, this gave nick and seamus time to arrive and but we had ten minutes laughing and joking before getting back to the Business in hand.
Our third lap was very smooth and we made some good passes on people still on their first lap.
Our fourth lap was going well until the truck lost power and we started to struggle driving parts of the course which we had done before.
But being so close to the finish we pushed on and made it back at which point we found a boost pipe had come off.
With not enough time left for a fifth lap we headed to the pits for a well earned cup of tea and a bite to eat. (Well for Ben it was 2 burgers and half a stolen pancake, but after all that running around it was well earned.)
We had no idea if we had done enough to regain the trophy for a third time but we were more than impressed with the way the truck had preformed.
As it turns out we had not only won the overall event but we had all so won the Gigglepin #SuperSunday blast as well which was the cherry on top for the weekend. Portugal here we come.
We can’t thank Jason Nobby Morgan and his team enough for all their hard work that has gone into this event and we can’t wait for next year.
Also the marshals who spent the weekend standing around in the cold Welsh weather enabling us to compete in a safe environment we thank you very much and appreciate the effort you put in to the roles.
Lastly we must thank all our sponsors friends and family for the continued support throughout the build of the new truck and this weekend and look forward to the rest of the season.
Alive Remap Tuning Clutchfix Ltd Devon 4×4 Damar Webbing Solutions FOX Gigglepin Racing ODYSSEY Batteries Morris Lubricants JFT Fabrications RAPTOR U-POL Lazer High Performance Lighting Maxxis Tyres (UK)
Image & text credits; Team Sharp