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The Inside Track on Winning Land Rover TReK 2021

Land Rover TReK 2021

TReK is a one-day Land Rover vehicle-based competition that is designed to instill the off-road adventure lifestyle and show off the capability of the vehicles in the Land Rover dealer employees who compete. I was lucky enough to get an invite to Land Rover TReK 2021 as a media competitor, and managed to take home the win with my team ‘No Time To Cry.’

Land Rover TReK basecamp on the sprawling Biltmore estate
Land Rover TReK basecamp on the sprawling Biltmore estate.

Land Rover TReK 2021

What exactly is a TReK? Well, it’s an event for Land Rover dealer personnel to compete against one another and to live the heart and soul of the brand. Land Rover says that “TReK allows them (retail staff) to experience the guts of Camel Trophy, the adventure of a genuine expedition, the freedom of exploring the unknown, the individualism of pushing oneself to the limit, the supremacy of competition and the authenticity of the Best 4X4 X Far.”

The event started all the way back in 1996, but has only happend a handful of times since. The 2021 TReK competition is the first to utilize the Defender platform in North America. This year’s event is also the largest of all time, with 70 dealer teams of 3 people each competing.

Land Rover TReK 2021
Tommy Mica and Bryon Dorr of team ‘No Time To Cry’ sprint off the start line at TReK 2021.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring the TReK competition back this year for all of our Land Rover retail staff across the U.S. and to give them the opportunity to not only learn, but to experience firsthand what the Land Rover brand represents and utilize the New Defender to its fullest capabilities.” -Joe Eberhardt, President & CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America

The competition itself is shrouded in mystery until you actually start to unravel the clues as you compete. It is a series of skill-based challenges that test you on your off-road driving, off-road recovery, map/compass/GPS navigation, Land Rover brand knowledge, and team collaboration. Solid physical fitness will also help greatly in the competition.

Land Rover TReK 2021
The challenge that beat us, the ‘Rat Trap.’

Land Rover TReK 2021 Winners

My team, ‘No Time To Cry,’ won the media wave of TReK 2021. We won it by a huge margin, by 57 points, with 221 total points. The second-place team, team ‘Rocky Road,’ was a powerhouse all-women team that was for sure the favorites to win. Team ‘Rocky Road’ consisted of Olympic skier and Land Rover ambassador Lindsey Vonn, high-altitude ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson, and ESPN journalist and experienced navigation rally competitor Alyssa Roenigk.

While my team won the media wave, the real winners of Land Rover TReK 2021 are the dealer teams that competed against a massive 70 team field. In the finals, the Land Rover Rochester team came out on top, with Land Rover Riverside in second place and Land Rover Buckhead in third.

Land Rover TReK 2021 media wave winning team 'No Time To Cry'
Land Rover TReK 2021 media wave winning team ‘No Time To Cry.’

2021 Land Rover Defender 110 P300 TReK Edition

While it’s not all about the vehicle, it kinda is in this case. The TReK edition Defender is a limited edition (to just 70 vehicles) for 2021. The build is based on the Land Rover Defender 110 P300 with 2.0L i4 engine, putting out 296 hp, and is fully up-fitted for serious off-road adventures.

A bunch of top-of-the-line manufacturers stepped up to create these impressive off-road-focused Defenders. Lucky 8 Off Road, Goodyear Tires, Warn Industries, and Factor55 to name just a few. The builds include such things as a roof rack, winch, traction boards, jerry cans, Hi-Lift, recovery kit, air compressor, off-road driving lights, shovel, limb-risers, and more.

2021 Land Rover Defender 110 P300 TReK EditionThe really cool thing about the Land Rover TReK edition Defenders are all the little special badges that you really can’t replicate. You get logoed and numbered badging, on the back in an old-school Defender badge, around the center console shifter, under the hood, and even a special hologram on the B-pillar inside the doors. Of course, you get a cool two-tone orange and black vehicle wrap as well, with other special touches like logoed mud-flaps and even a vinyl-wrapped air compressor in the cargo area.

Not only is this the vehicle that carried teams through all the challenges at TReK, but will be on display and on sale at dealers across North America. Snag one quick if you can though, as these will no doubt be collector items in the Land Rover community.

Expedition Portal Podcast

I sat down with Scott Brady and Matthew Scott to talk all things Overland Expo West 2021 and Land Rover TReK 2021. It was a great discussion, as all of us were at Expo, and Scott and I both competed, on different teams, at the TReK competition.

Land Rover TReK Videos

Both of my teammates, Jeff Glucker of Hooniverse and Tommy Mica of The Fast Lane (TFL), for TReK 2021 are video creators. Here’s how the event for team ‘No Time To Cry’ looked through their eyes.

The Fast Lane Car Video

The Hooniverse Video

More Good Reads About TReK 2021

For a deep dive into my experience at TReK 2021 be sure to read my full story over at our sister site, GearJunkie.com. “Land Rover Defender Adventures at the Biltmore: We Won TReK 2021

My favorite story from TReK 2021 was written by Canadian Matthew Guy for Wheels.ca. It is just a great piece that says so much in such a concise package. I always love catching up with Matthew on the automotive journalist circuit. You can read his story HERE.

Team ‘Rocky Road’ competitor Alyssa Roenigk also wrote a great piece for ESPN about competing alongside Lindsey Vonn. “My rocky, muddy, super-competitive 24 hours with Olympic legend Lindsey Vonn

AutoWise contributor and Texas automotive journalist Kristin Shaw was also a competitor at TReK 2021, on team ‘S2K’ with Scott Brady. She wrote a fun piece about her experience for The Drive, which you can read HERE.

There is probably other great content out there, but these are my favorite.

2021 Land Rover Defender 110 P300 TReK EditionMore TReK Please

Hopefully, I’ll be writing more about Land Rover TReK in the future, as I of course need to go back and defend my win.

A huge congrats and thank you to all the people at Land Rover who made this incredibly unique event a reality. It really is a special thing.

Bryon Dorr
About Bryon Dorr

AutoWise Editor-in-Chief Bryon Dorr has been a lifelong automotive enthusiast. From the supercar posters on his childhood walls to the massive Hot Wheels/Matchbox collection, Bryon has been dreaming about automotive adventures his entire life. For the past decade+ Bryon has pursued a career in automotive photography and journalism. He's worked for a wide range of the top outlets in the overland, off-road, adventure motorcycle, and general automotive media. His current household automotive quiver includes a custom overland 2013 GX460, a 2020 Ioniq Electric, and a 2006 KTM 950 Adv. He recently sold his 996TT, and is on the hunt for a new performance car.