It was the last round of the heats at Loseley Farm in Surrey last week and two teams ended a very wet day neck and neck.
A TOUR de force in the mountain biking and some gutsy driving in the challenging off road test saw the Cyril Sweeties from, no surprise here, Cyril Sweet, and the no nonsense three from Mayer Brown jointly top the leader board at last week's south eastern heat of the Aco 4x4 Construction Challenge.
Both teams go through to this weekend's final along with an Arup team which won the online Construction Knowledge Challenge.
Fortunately the Arup group has experience of what might be coming at Land Rover's Gaydon test facility because the team was runner up in the Snowdon heat.
Fifteen teams of three at each heat of the 4x4 event have romped through bridge building, trailer and horsebox reversing with Land Rover Discoveries, orienteering, biking, archery, shooting, and a quiz. The biggest challenge saw Land Rover's Range Rovers at their best in the churning mud of the off road sections. In this drivers had to negotiate three demanding hilly courses where they needed all their skill and patience to squeeze through tightly angled gates and hit cunningly placed low hanging tennis balls with wing mirrors only. It was possible to get hopelessly stuck.
After eight rounds and eighty hours of activity the teams probably think they know what to expect in the final but activity organisers Land Rover, Aco and D4 promise plenty of surprises. Watch out for a full report in next week's NCE.
For further information on the 4x4 Construction Challenge contact Peter Ridgway and Santi Aliguer, ACO Technologies, ACO Business Park, Hitchin Road, Shefford, Beds SG17 5TE, tel: (01462) 816666.