Midland Rover Owners Club organises various types of Off-Road trials.
There is a whole range of off-road events for 4x4 vehicles to compete in, some of which MROC are actively involved in, some not !
Due to the increasing range of vehicle manufacturers producing 4x4 vehicles, many of the more "specialised" events are now run by "All Makes" Clubs rather than Land Rover specific Clubs - as mentioned in the expandable detail descriptions below. Rather than being part of the Association of Land Rover Clubs (ALRC), these Clubs are typically part of the All Wheel Drive Club (AWDC) or directly linked to Motorsport UK (Ms UK)
More information & great videos can often be found on YouTube using it's Search function.
MROC focusses on "Trials" - RTV, CCV, CCV Timed Trial & TYRO. Summarised here, but described in a lot more depth in the "expandable" sections below.
TYRO : Entry level for inexperienced drivers & / or pristine vehicles. There should be no likelihood of vehicle damage. Great starting point to understand the capabilities of your car & have some fun with the advantage that the family can sit in front & rear (if the driver wants – lol)
RTV : Next step up from TYRO – more severe ground features, with minor likelihood of minor damage if not driven with care. Mainly Road Taxed Vehicles (RTV) – although CCV vehicles can take part for practice, but can’t win any awards / trophies etc.
CCV : Highest level of trial – using much more extreme ground features. Vehicles MUST have a “Roll Cage” to protect the driver & passenger in case of the vehicle overturning (Possible if the driver makes a mistake by choosing a bad route). Some of the vehicles competing may be registered for road use (Road Taxed), but typically they are “Specials” which are not suitable for the road & only carried by trailer to events and only resemble old style Land Rovers !
Trials are typically organised to take place in daylight, often on Sundays (sometimes Saturdays). There is a growing trend for “day / night” trials organised by some Clubs perhaps once per year (it gives a very different perspective in the dark !).
Dependant on Club, event & available daylight, trials often consist of between 8 & upto 10 individual “trials sections” per event. Entry costs are relatively low (Varying from £20 ~ £35), fun factor is typically high & they’re very sociable.
An event typically runs from 9am to perhaps 3 or 4pm. However, the amount of competitive driving per event perhaps totals perhaps 60 minutes per driver for 8 sections.
Most Clubs aim to have at least trials every month, but these often include events organised by neighbouring clubs to add variety & share the organising “workload” / increase the social aspects.
For information, all competitive events have to be pre-authorised to go-ahead by Motorsport UK.
This "Permit" also provides Third Party Liability insurance for competitors & the event organisers, BUT requires that everybody involved "Signs-On" via paper or on-line documention to ensure the Club has all names, contact details etc. Due to additional rules introduced since COVID, it's no longer possible to join a Club & decide to compete "On the Day". However, most Clubs encourage "potential" competitors to enter upto 1 or more days before an event with the proviso that they don't pay unless they turn up to compete.
What is TYRO? (expandable >)
A TYRO trial is the entry level off-road trial & is intended for newer drivers or those less experienced off-road and standard road vehicles whose owners don't want to incur any damage. A TYRO is set out so that you can compete with your priceless vintage museum piece or straight from the showroom in your brand new Land Rover / Range Rover, and of course everything in between. It's a great & fun way to gain confidence in the capabilities of your Land Rover - especially if competing against family members & friends !
For those that want to know why it's called TYRO, it's because it's a Latin word to describe a beginner or novice. It's also a great abbreviation for Try Your Rover Off-road !
Drivers need to be 13 years old or above.
Passengers are allowed in front & rear of the competing car (if there are suitable seats). Passengers in the front need to be aged 12 or above.
IF the driver does NOT have a Full Driving Licence there MUST be a front seat passenger with a Full Driving Licence.
Passengers in the rear can be aged 2 or above, BUT MUST be seated in an appropriate seat for their age. Everybody must wear appropriate seat belts.
Rear seat passengers under 18 DO NOT NEED a Competition Licence or Club Membership / Membership Card.
All drivers MUST HAVE an MsUK Competition Licence. See the separate Section about Competition Licences for more detail for Drivers & Passengers - link here.
Vehicles used will mainly be Road Taxed 4x4 vehicles – although CCV vehicles with inexperienced / unlicenced drivers are now permitted as a way of getting people into the sport.
A TYRO trial is run in a very similar way to an RTV Trial (described below), but the Sections are laid out so that there should be no likelihood of damaging the vehicle - via use of less severe obstacles / ground compared to the more severe trials.
Trials are run as series of separate, individually assessed, “Sections” or courses – typically between 8 ~ 12 Sections during an event day.
Typically only 1 driver drives at a time and each driver takes it in turn to go through a Section before everybody moves to the next Section. A TYRO trial isn't about speed or finishing in the shortest time, it's about careful initial planning and driving the vehicle carefully to get through each “obstacle” to the end of the Section without stopping.
Currently Midland Rovers Club only organise TYRO trials infrequently , but due to low increasing demand from members, you'll now find more in our Events Calendar & we're always open to volunteers of help to run them !
If you'd like a more regular "fix", neighbouring Clubs, CCROC (Cheltenham & Cotswold Rover Owners Club), S&S (Staffordshire & Shropshire Land Rover Club) & W&W (Wye & Welsh Land Rover Club), all organise TYRO events at varying frequencies - so it's always worth checking out their website or Facebook Groups for event information.
CCROC aim to run TYRO trials every month (3rd Sunday) of every month) & also run "RTV1" trials which are slightly more challenging than TYRO, but not as severe as the typical RTV trials run by most Clubs. In CCROC "normal" RTV is known as "RTV2". RTV1 has a minimum driver age of 15.
What is RTV? (expandable >)
As the name suggests, vehicles are mainly Road Taxed Vehicles – although CCV vehicles can take part for practice, but can’t win any awards / trophies etc.
What is CCV? (expandable >)
What is a CCV Timed Trial? (expandable >)
What is Comp Safari? (expandable >)
Comp Safaris are Cross Country / Off-Road “Speed” events that are timed from start to finish & usually involve a marked out course a few miles long (or multiple laps of a shorter course). They are run similar to a single venue stage rally, but average speeds are slightly slower & the terrain more challenging ! Due to the length of the courses, drivers are set off at timed intervals, so there’s typically multiple vehicles on the course at any one time – great for spectators. Average speeds are typically much higher than CCV Timed Trials.
They typically require additional vehicle modifications & protective / safety equipment compared to un-timed & Timed CCV trials & are carried out in-line with different rules compared to trials – either using ALRC or Motorsport UK Regulations. Vehicles Modifications include full roll cage to ALRC / Motorsport UK specifications, full harness seatbelts, rear lights, mud flaps, fire extinguisher and spill absorption kit. Competitors must wear approved crash helmets & neck supports.
These events can still be entered with very standard looking Land Rovers (with appropriate safety modifications), but they can also be entered by spectacular custom built vehicles with fully independent suspension, large supercharged or turbocharged engines & plastic composite bodyshells / body panels (if using the more flexible Motorsport UK Regulations).
As a club, due to their more specialised nature, we do not hold this type of these events.
However, our relatively close neighbours Staffordshire and Shropshire Land Rover Club run numerous Comps regularly throughout the year from approx Easter each year (website : https://saslrc.co.uk/).
Our members are able to take part in these Comp Safaris or others organised by other ALRC clubs.
What is Team Recovery ? (expandable >)
An event where the objective is for a team of 2 vehicles, "by self recovery or team effort, to proceed through an observed section in the shortest possible time".
The "observed Section" is typically a relatively short CCV trials type section where some parts are so severe that a vehicle wouldn't be able to get through it without assistance such as team vehicle pulling it through while positioned on less severe ground. Passengers often have to get out to couple a recovery rope between the vehicles. All team members (passengers & drivers) have to start belted in their vehicles & also finish belted in their vehicles - so passengers work hard, running (sometimes climbing) up & down steep slopes. Usually very good for spectators.
Events are typically not very frequent, being organised at large interclub events where there are enough "volunteers" to enter & spectators to enjoy it.
What is a Hill Rally ? (expandable >)
A Hill Rally is similar to a Comp Safari, but usually comprises multiple stages run over sometime a few days & to the maximum average speeds allowed by the relevant regulations.
Due to the higher speeds, safety requirements are high and very few Hill Rally events place each year.
There are no Hill Rallies run local to the West Midlands.
Due to their specialised nature, they are typically OPEN to vehicles from all manufacturers.
What is a Winch Challenge ? (expandable >)
Winch challenge events are an extreme test of 4x4 vehicle, driver & passenger capabilities !
A winch challenge competition is typically an event made up of multiple off road stages set over rough terrain where the teams race one at a time, attempting to be the fastest to get their 4wd from the start to the finish. The stages use ground (mud & water) that is so severe that regular use of the vehicles winch (or winches !) is needed to make progress. The passenger has to be able repeatedly jump out of the vehicle to attach the winch rope to suitable anchor points to enable the winch to pull the vehicle through / up / over the obstacles on the stage.
Vehicles are typically similar to CCV vehicles - with short front & rear overhangs, but with the addition of 1 or more winches.
Viking 4x4 is possibly the nearest Club that regularly organises such events in the West Midlands.
What is Ultra 4 Racing ? (expandable >)
Ultra 4 Racing is a very extreme combination of Comp Safari & "Rock Crawling" involving timed races using specialised 4x4 off-road vehicles . The vehicles have to climb through large "rock gardens or man made obstacles & rough ground as fast as possible. Winches are sometimes needed to get over / through the most extreme.
Highly modified Land Rovers are sometimes involved, with very large tyre diameters (35 inch and above). Overall winning vehicles have often more than 800 hp from huge V8 engines , upto 20 inches of suspension travel (vs standard LR 8 inches !) tyre diameters larger than 40 inches.
Vehicles are all started at the same time, so racing is spectacular.
Most famous Ultra 4 event is the world famous annual US "King of the Hammers" - that generates a huge quantities of videos via Facebook & YouTube each year. Within Europe there is a European Ultra4 Championship including a "Ultra4 King of Britain " event at different venues each year.