Turakina could prove to be either the gateway or the natural hazard to the title aspirations of several truck drivers when the Wanganui HireMaster 4x4 National Trial gets underway tomorrow morning.
The fourth round of the New Zealand 4x4 Trials Championship season is being hosted by the Wanganui 4WD club on the Glencairn Rd course, which was previously used for the finale of the 2017-18 season.
That was the day Auckland's Scott Biggs finally broke through to win the D-Class national title by a solitary point ahead of Whanganui's Hamish Auret, and Biggs is now in a title race with Manukau's Phil Walton.
Unlike April 2018, when the course laid out had added adverse conditions due to a week of rainfall, this year's dry summer means there should be more grip and less bog for the nearly 50-odd trucks attending.
However, Wanganui 4WD club member and D-Class competitor Grant Harrison promised they had created another tricky day, with drivers and navigators looking to ease through 31 hazards while giving up the least amount of penalty points as possible.
While there is less mud, the hill climbs that have been laid out will be quite technical, Harrison said.
"The ground's hard and dry, they'll be some good action.
"Whanganui always prepares a tough day."
It is a family affair for the Harrison's, as daughter Renee acts as his navigator, while son Blair will be navigator for Wellington's William Jeffrey, also Wanganui 4WD club members.
John McGonigle is another competing from the home club, while Palmerston North's Stuart Earle has local connections as he drives a truck built by the Turakina guru Dan Cowper.
Cowper is trying to add another national title to his resume, this one in C-Class, and has had finishes of first, third and fourth at the previous three rounds.
The action starts at 8.30am and will conclude around 4pm.
Harrison said in terms of distances for the fans walking around supporting the same teams, the course is reasonably compact.
"From one [viewing] area, you can see a lot."
Entry on Glencairn Rd is by cash only, with $20 for families, $10 for adults, and 5-12-year-olds $5.