Sometimes the draw just doesn't go your way.
Former national champion Hamish Auret was among a number of drivers who struggled at the fifth round of the 2018-19 4x4 National Trials in Te Puke on Saturday, finishing 10th overall in D Class.
The McFall Fuel Extreme 4x4 event has also left the door slightly ajar for Auckland's Jarred Biggs to win the season title and upset his defending champion brother Scott Biggs, for whom he used to co-drive.
Jarred Biggs won his second round of the series after conceeding 454.75 penalty points, around 20 points clear of Waikato's Greg McDell, while Taranaki's Rowan Huckstep was third.
Palmerston North's Steve Earle, who has Turakina's former national champion Dan Cowper as his co-driver, finished fifth for the second round in a row with an impressive 529.44 points.
Scott Biggs finished back in seventh place with 569.08 points, while Auret was sitting 15th after the morning session of the round – having to climb back in the afternoon to finish 10th with 644.47 points.
"A few of us top drivers got a really bad draw in the morning," Auret said.
"We were hitting the bog holes at the worst time.
"[In the afternoon], the big hill climbs were completely rutted out before we got to them.
"There's not a lot more I could have done in the morning.
"Unfortunately for me, you always get a bad round like that and you can drop it [from final points tally], but I can't drop it."
Auret missed the opening round of the series in November due to recovering from a broken leg in a farm accident, which meant he had already used up his sixth and worst result, which gets dropped from the final tally.
He and co-driver Paul Barnes also had a couple of rolls in their truck during the 31-obstacle event, including flipping over backwards on a hill climb.
Auret, who prides himself on being a consistent Top 5 finisher, which helped him win two national 4x4 titles, was very disappointed with the day.
He will now struggle to make 3NZ for the season, although he is well within the qualification cut-out to enter the 5th Suzuki Extreme Challenge being hosted by Cowper on April 28 at his Turakina farm.
"Top 10 doesn't seem to be good enough [for me]," Auret said.
For Jarred Biggs to win the title from Scott Biggs, who still has three round wins, he will need a similar or larger points spread to Saturday when the final round is hosted in Inglewood on April 13.