The Land Rover Trek 2021 competition takes place at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The many acres of trails and forest provide a perfect place for the automaker to put its vehicles and people to the test. This competition serves as a platform for dealer teams to show how well they know the product, what it can do, and how capable they are as well. I competed in a media wave of the event and I, along with my teammates Tommy Mica and Bryon Dorr, kicked a whole lot of butt.
Our vehicle for the event is the Land Rover Defender P300. It’s the four-cylinder turbocharged model, and this particular truck is a limited-edition Trek version. Each of the 70 or so Trek models is bought by the competing dealerships, so it’s a good thing we didn’t bash ours up. These trucks get extra off-road lighting, a roof rack with a host of gear, a winch, limb risers, the onboard air compressor system, and a bag full of recovery gear in the rear. Also, the Land Rover Trek organizers put foil-wrapped breakfast sandwiches under the hood for us so we had a nice hot treat later in the morning.
The challenges themselves are extremely varied. From real-deal mud-slinging and rock crawling off-roading to showing that you know how to use the winch, navigate using a compass or UTM coordinates, change a tire on the trail, and use the devil’s device known as a hi-lift jack.
Each challenge is scored based on both time and how well you accomplish the given task. And the very first task is actually finding your vehicle. We ran a half-mile or so to a point where we were given coordinates. That’s where we’d find our truck, which was another mile or more in a different direction. We got there in good time and saw most of the other trucks still there, which meant we could execute our strategy as we planned the night prior.
Start with the far challenges, and work our way back to then past camp for the other challenges before returning to basecamp prior to the cutoff time. After which, you’d receive penalty minutes. We got there with seven minutes remaining. And then at the award ceremony that followed, we learned that we won the whole thing. In fact, if you look at the scoresheet shown in the video, you can see we kicked quite a bit of ass.