Emma Jones, the beauty in a blue beast… Just so you know, the beast is her Land Rover. We’ve noticed her on several occasions during the off road season in the UK. There’s not a lot of girls into off roading so we took this opportunity to present Emma Jones. She is from Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England. And she’s studying Mechanical Engineering at Cardiff University. It suits her, off road mechanical skills require a lot of ingenuity. We asked her a few questions. I bet some of you will find yourself in the following text. Here it is!
What made you become an off road driver?
When I was 12 years old, my older sister and I were bought and Alfa Romeo 156 to drive around our yard to learn how to drive. I got a little bit too adventurous and decided to take the Alfa up our fields. I would often be walking back by foot asking my Dad for a tractor key to pull the Alfa out as it was stuck up to its axles in mud.
My parents bought me a standard Suzuki SJ when i was 13 years old. The plan was to modify it ourselves and attend a few pay and play days and winch events in the future. A few weeks later, a friend was selling his modified Suzuki SJ so we purchases it and went to a few events.
After a few months of attending pay and play days, I attended a small punch hunt at a site in Shropshire. I managed to get all 40 punches and came joint 1st.
After this I wanted to do some more competitive events. I started attending trials with my local club Mid West Off Roaders. I’ve been competing in their trials for a few years now when I can around my exams and degree.
More recently, I have bought a Land Rover Defender 90 (went to the dark side… and I don’t like it!) which is a winch prepared truck. We have competed in a few winch challenges and punch hunts.
Recently, I was lucky enough to compete in Driven To The Edge, a competition run by the AWDC. This was my first speed event and the plan was to get seat time ready for competing in Ultra4 Europe next season and test out our new COMEUP Blazer.
In our first lap we had a few problems with windscreen wipers flying off, fuses blowing and thinking we saw a punch, and then realised it actually wasn’t. This resulted in wasting about 30 minutes. The second lap we were picking up the pace a lot, but unfortunately broke a CV half way round and that caused us to retire for the weekend.
What’s the best thing about driving off road?
– There are 3 things I love about off roading:
- The adrenaline when you are on the edge of rolling
- The accomplishment when you achieve a trial section or a punch hunt
- The people of the off roading world. Everyone is so welcoming, helpful and really made me feel a part of the family.
Who or what is your inspiration?
My dad inspires me a lot. As I’m sure he does anyone who meets him. He is an extremely knowledgeable, helpful and genuine bloke and I hope when I’m older I have just a fraction of his knowledge and abilities.
What’s the setup and what equipment do you use on your car?
Our winch truck (she is called Lara) is pretty standard. It’s a 300 TDI with Land Rover axles with Ashcroft shafts. We have recently put a COMEUP Blazer on the front of her and it’s a whole new world. After having a lot of issues with our previous winches I would never look back. The new COMEUP blazer is well worth a look at. It has been nothing but impressive.
There are numerous reasons to use a COMEUP over any other winch on the market. For anyone wondering whether to adventure down the COMEUP avenue, I recommend just coming and asking to use the freespool. The rope can literally be pulled out with your little finger, it is truly awesome!
The Blazer can also be mounted much lower than other winches as there is no brake drum sticking out underneath. Obviously winches are a heavy lump, so every little helps to get a low centre of gravity. The COMEUP Blazer also uses wider gears with bigger teeth which are therefore stronger. It has a bigger mainshaft, a freespool which is totally free and the brakes are totally enclosed and submerged in oil.
Our Ultra4 truck build should be something quite different. It has been 5 years in the making and hopefully it should be something a bit different. She has Nissan Patrol axles with 711 Y61 steer arms and FOX triple bypass coilovers. She has an Alfa Romeo V6 (started the love for Alfas at a young age) and will be styling 40” Maxxis treps on Raceline wheels. She has a R380 gearbox all in a reinforced Suzuki SJ chassis and hopefully will be having Suzuki SJ body. We will also have a COMEUP Blazer on this truck.
What are your plans for the future?
The short term plan is to finish my degree and get experience in the world of engineering. I have recently set-up a business selling steer arms to correct the Ackerman geometry on Nissan Patrol Y61 axles with hydrosteer. The business is called Seven Eleven 4×4. I have a few ideas for business venture for Seven Eleven 4×4, but for now I am concentrating on finishing my degree and racing as much as I can.