4WDs take it to extreme

IT is not for everybody, but the sport of extreme 4x4 off-roading is taking off in Central Queensland.

Last week the Extreme International Off-Road Title was fought out by 13 crews under the banner of “Eight Days of Off-Road Magic, Mayhem and Madness”.

That description sums up the activity that took place in the rough piece of country that is called Seeone Park.

Even locals who know this uninviting part of the world find it to be a tough workout for both vehicle and crew members.

Considering just how tough conditions are it is hardly surprising that they are already planning for the next one in November.

One such enthusiast is Brad Dukes who competed in the eight-day event and is an organiser for the next at Seeone Park in November.

He teamed up with Michael Upham for the event, but could not make it a glorious win for a local crew.

“We went pretty average,” he admitted.

“But we did have a lot of fun.”

Winner of the event was the team of Christian Trusz and Terry Kane while Michael Camac and Jason Enright came second.

Dukes and Upham ended the meeting with a ninth placing.

Dukes' idea of good fun is running his Nissan Patrol with its 4.5 litre, supercharged motor over rugged terrain and up banks that appear impossible to scale.

To get up these obstacles the vehicle has a winch attached and yet despite that a lot depends on the skill and daring of the crew to get around the course, never mind recording the best time in the process.

Having been a part of the sport for the past four years, Dukes has every right to be classed as an enthusiast.

“I do about four events a year,” he said.

One of the good things to come from his recent participation was the fact the Nissan Patrol came though the ordeal relatively unscathed.

November's meeting will be run by the Central Queensland Offroad Club and Dukes said it would be huge.

“It is now one of the largest in Australia,” he said.

“When I started about four years ago there were 12 teams and 30 cars.

“In November we expect about 60 cars.”

In the Central Queensland event there will be three vehicles in each team and six people.

“It is more technical (than last week's event),” he said.

The Central Queensland event will be begin on November 6 when the vehicles of competitors will be scrutinised and then competition takes place on the 7th and 8th and will include evening stages which will be under lights.

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