The majority of the Pipeline Challenge follows an unsealed access trail used by the Water Corporation for maintenance and repairs to the golden pipeline. The Water Corporation use four wheel drive vehicles to access the trail, not two wheel drive or low clearance vehicles (or as we like to call them all wheel drive pretend off-roaders).
There are definitely times when four wheel drive will be needed during the Challenge, especially if you are towing a trailer and for a few sections where ground clearance may be an issue. We’ll do our best to give you a heads up on when 4WD will be needed. On occasions your support vehicle will be travelling slower than the rider due to the terrain, which can be sandy, rocky and rutted. If you drive carefully and appropriately a good 4WD should do the Challenge with ease.
One of the best bits of advice we can give is to spend $10 on some shade cloth (80-90%) to put over the front of the grill on your car. This will keep out all the grass seeds that you will come across at that time of year. Trust us, if you are one of the first vehicles on the course you could end up with a radiator full of them!
One way to ruin your attempt to conquer the Pipeline Challenge is to have a vehicle breakdown so make sure you have a spare tyre and a well maintained vehicle that is suitable for 5 days off road. That way you can relax and enjoy the riding.