Te Puke's Nathan Fogden has won his fifth national 4x4 title.
He came close to clinching the C-class title at the penultimate round of the national 4x4 trial series in Te Puke last month. He made sure of the series title by winning the sixth and final round at Hawkes Bay recently.
It is the second time in three seasons he has won the class, for super-modified, four-cylinder trucks. He has also previously won the A-class title twice and the E-class title once. Only the super-modified, five or more cylinders, D-class trucks have more power.
''We wrapped up the New Zealand title at the final round with a first in class and sixth position overall,'' says Nathan, adding that in the overall championship he finished 12th.
''Getting the class win was good. I've done the better part of three rounds with a broken hand so I was pretty happy to wrap it up.''
The break came competing in the fourth round in the Manawatu in March.
He says while the break was still a factor in Hawke's Bay, the biggest impact the injury had came in the Te Puke round where he and co-driver Mike Gibbons finished second.
''It was sore and seized up a bit at the last round. The round I broke it in, it was heat-of- the-moment stuff, it was sore but still usable. Really it was our round in Te Puke that it really hindered me because I tried to drive that round left handed and that wasn't that easy, but we got there in the end.''
The Zook-Sport/BF Goodrich Tires C-class Cowper was the same vehicle in which he took the title in 2019.
''I couldn't do it without Mike, my co-driver, and the support of the people that help us with the truck,'' he says.
The final round didn't go entirely to plan.
''The goal was to drive and get the points that we could get, but the air compressor failed after one hazard and we had to get back to the pits to fix it up.
''After that it was pretty good. We popped it on its side at one stage, but on the whole it was about getting all the points we could without taking any stupid risks and putting the whole championship at risk .''
Nathan has no plans to move up to D class.
''I would have to do a complete engine change in our truck and our goal was always to compete with the D-class guys for overall results in the four cylinder and try and prove that it wasn't all about horse power.''
He says sixth overall in the final round and a second place in one round last season shows it can be done.
''It's a pretty cool little truck, so we'll keep working and plugging away and getting better and better at it.''
At the same time that Nathan was taking the national title his son Cody, 17, was making his debut in the sport's E class.
''There was only one truck [in the class] so Cody could only beat himself and the course really, but he did well on a pretty hard course. He blew two diffs and had three rolls and still got through the day. He enjoyed himself and the seed is now sown for next season.''