After 3 days of intense competition in the Hunter Valley, Dave Camp and Mal Van Ysseldyk from Team OPW have taken victory at the 2015 Tough Dog Tuff Truck Challenge presented by Snake Racing. Only teaming up to drive the OPW 40 Series a few weeks before the event, Dave and Mal brought plenty of Tuff Truck experience with them when they rolled in to the start box of Mud Rats Revenge on Friday night, with Camp a previous winner in 2011 & 2013 and Ysseldyk winning in 2007 & 2012. The pair quickly knuckled down to the business of racking up the points, and despite a smashed sump on Heartbreak Ridge and not winning a stage outright they amassed the event winning score of 1252 points.
Second and third outright was a close run affair with Tim Scutt & Luke Schmahl in Red Zook and James & Glenn Gosper in X Force Rock Mulisha both finishing on 1213 points. To split the pair the organisers were forced to a count back, handing second outright to the RedZook Sierra of Scutt & Schmahl. Scutt’s rock crawling experience came to the fore with stage wins on the Rock Garden, the Devil’s Marbles and the Mystery Night Run where he was only one of two teams (the other was Team OPW) to nail the bonus up the huge rock slab at the end of the course.
Gosper started the weekend with a win at Engineering, before boosting his way to stage wins on Mud Rat’s Revenge and Mini Wiraba in his 2.7 litre turbo powered Diahatsu F20 (featured in Edition 42 of Dirtcomp).
Renowned American Rock Crawler, Jesse Haines took the reigns of Steve John’s LJ Suzuki and quickly came to terms with the steering wheel on the right side of the car. Highlights of his tour to Tuff Truck included stage wins on Jaw Breaker, Heartbreak Ridge and the Frame Twister where he narrowly timed out on while perched high on the last of the massive excavator tyres.
2014 winners, Just Customs were forced to play catch up after a tough start to the weekend, with a roll on the Mystery Night Stage and then had an on going battle with an over heating and slipping transmission. The Victorians once again out flexed the competition on the OPW Travel Ramp and put on a great show as they blasted up Rocky Horror late on Sunday afternoon.
75 vehicles, the biggest field in Tuff Truck history turned up to tackle the hardest set of man made and natural terrain 4wd courses the event had seen to date. The crowds also fronted in their masses, flooding in the gate from Friday morning to set up camp and enjoy everything from that afternoons Show N Shine to the ever popular Mudrat’s Revenge in the Tuff Truck cauldron and amphitheatre of Rocky Horror! It was evident right from the start that the quality of this years rigs had increased to the next level, which was a good thing since the stages had all be tweaked and some reversed to make life a lot more difficult for even the most experienced of the teams!
2015 TOUGH DOG TUFF TRUCK CHALLENGE
TOP 10 OVERALL
1st Team OPW – 1252 points
2nd Redzook – 1213 points
3rd X Force Rock Mulisha – 1213 points
4th Jesse Haines Fabrication – 1210 points
5th Just Customs – 1093 points
6th Ol Mate 4×4 – 1092 points
7th Opposite Lock – 1079 points
8th JMW Engineering – 1070 points
9th Blitz 496 – 975 points
10th Team Halfcut – 968 points
Engineering – X Force Rock Mulisha
Show & Shine – Mr Diggit Racing
Travel Ramp RTI – Just Customs (RTI 1767.52) 74 points
Mudrat’s Revenge – X Force Rock Mulisha 125 points
Mystery Night Run – Redzook 125 points
Frame Twister – Jesse Haines Fabrication 113 points
Mini Wiraba – X Force Rock Mulisha 116 points
Devil’s Marbles – Redzook 110 points
Jaw Breaker – Jesse Haines Fabrication 120 points
Rock Garden – Redzook 120 points
Heartbreak Ridge – Jesse Haines Fabrication 105 points
All Terrain – JMW Engineering 125 points
Rocky Horror – Team Halfcut 98 points
Thanks to Pete Antunac and the Tuff Truck team for their support in covering this event and also to our team of photographers and writers on the ground at the event, Steve Godfrey, Michael Hurren, Chris Clark, Nathan and Randall Kilner.
Keep tuned for more pics over the coming days!