Whanganui contenders hold a strong hand to take national titles in the final round of the Porter Group 4x4 National Trial series in Palmerston North on Sunday.
Whanganui's Hamish Auret and co-driver Paul Barnes have an unassailable lead in the D-class National Trial series heading into Sunday's final rounds on the Tiritea track near Massey.
Meanwhile, Kevin Hermansen, while from Dannevirke is a member of the Wanganui 4x4 Club, is neck and neck with Phil Conwell and Whanganui co-driver Paul Chapman in the C-class.
They have been at loggerheads all season, but victory by either crew means victory in part at least for the River City.
Auckland's Scott Biggs was in a world of his own with an outstanding drive through the 32 obstacles for a minuscule 281.46 penalty point final total in the penultimate round at Uruti last month. However, Auret and Barnes did enough to claim runner-up on the day for the overall and the D Class super-modified truck class with 437.53 penalty points.
After a couple of bad rounds at Pakaraka Rd in Waikato and Mangaroa in Upper Hutt, Biggs does not have enough series points to make up the gap on Auret heading into the final round at Tiritea.
"I don't like saying it's in the bag and I will be trying my best to put in the best performance I can on Sunday and earn the title," Auret said.
The track at Tiritea suits Auret's 7-litre Chev-powered truck, bringing back memories of the final round in 2015.
"When we won the 2015 NZ1 title the final round was at Tiritea and suited us. Big hazards, big track, that's what suits us best."