W.E.Rock PUSU 2007

By Jeep Experts

I had saved a pair weeks of trip for use on the finish of 2006 since I get pleasure from taking break day in the course of the Christmas vacation season.   Most of the time is spent at Troy’s store (Toys by Troy) as I work on my TJ or on certainly one of Troy’s mission.  Some of these initiatives embody 16 hour wrenching periods (fortunately not too many do) whereas others are one thing so simple as altering the tranny fluid in my AW4. 

On a kind of trip days, I discovered myself driving round with Troy as we picked up components, welding provides, and different stuff for the store.  He requested me if I had something deliberate in the course of the first weekend of 2007.  As I hardly ever makes plans previous an upcoming weekend, I responded with a easy “No”.  It was then and there that I discovered myself volunteering to be his and Brad Kilgore’s spotter for W.E.Rock’s 2007 season opener “Put Up or Shut Up” (PUSU) excessive rock crawling occasion slated for Congress, AZ on January 6 & 7, 2007.

I ought to have recognized higher and after 5+ many years of residing, you suppose I might.  I’d by no means noticed in a contest occasion, I’d by no means noticed a rock buggy (loads of TJs, no buggies), however for what it’s value, it’s onerous to show down a request to assist two good mates.  So, I discovered myself half of two rock crawling groups, with a bunch of labor forward of us, to get issues in form for what would turn into a really thrilling weekend.

The final weekend of December, the rigs had been prepared.  I had retrieved a truck load of Maxxis competitors tires (40″ Crawlers and 37″ Trepadors) from a down-town loading dock earlier within the week.  The outdated tires had been faraway from the beadlocked wheels and the brand new tires had been mounted.  We headed to some trails north of Phoenix on Saturday AM to interrupt within the new tires and provides me a while to see what the buggies may do (they are saying it helps the motive force when the spotter is aware of the capabilities of the car).  So….I might have an entire Saturday during which to get conversant in the rigs and their drivers.  (gosh, what a deal!)

We hit a path that begins with a really wholesome waterfall.  To make a protracted story brief, Troy trashed his rear Detroit on the primary try and Brad munched a portal field on his rear axle.  OK….so I had about 5 minutes of path time with Troy and Brad and the day was now over (aside from limping again to the parking spot to load the rigs on the trailers).  So a lot for getting the spotter on top of things!

My trip was over and so again to my common job I went….Troy and Brad had a rear diff and a portal field to restore earlier than PUSU that was only a few days away.  I connected with them once more on Friday AM (the day earlier than the occasion) as we had been planning on driving as much as Congress on Friday, registering, after which staying at a motel in Wickenburg in the course of the weekend.  I caught Brad ending up the duty of grooving the forefront of the tread blocks on his tires whereas Troy made a procuring record of instruments and components to place into the hauler. 

Later within the afternoon, we headed out of Phoenix for the drive as much as Congress, AZ.  We had been fortunate….solely about 90 minutes of driving put us on the registration trailer simply because the solar was setting.  Of course, we managed to get the hauler caught going via a giant “dip” coming into the occasion space (lengthy trailers are a ache on tight trails).  The rear of the hauler bottomed out on one facet of the dip and the three axles had been left hanging a number of inches off of the bottom.  We unloaded the buggies from the trailer and used certainly one of them to tug the tow rig ahead sufficient to clear the hauler’s body from the other facet of the dip.  (Needless to say, that very same dip was negotiated at a better charge of velocity in the course of the journey going residence.)

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A stressed Friday night time on the motel (for me anyway) and an early Saturday arrival on the occasion website had us prepared for day’s actions.  As luck would have it, the earlier night time’s random quantity drawings for beginning positions had Troy and Brad in the identical group operating again to again.  For me, that meant 10 minutes on the observe as Troy’s spotter was then instantly adopted by 10 minutes on the observe as Brad’s spotter.  For these of you which are 20~30 years youthful than me, that will not look like a lot….however I rapidly realized that it was a tempo I used to be not bodily prepared for. 

The scoring for the competitors is fairly straight ahead.  You have 10 minutes to run a course.  If you don’t make any errors, you get a rating of 0 (zero)…..and like golf, the bottom rating wins.  If you again up, you’re awarded some extent (not good).  If you again up 20 occasions throughout these 10 minutes, you get 20 factors (not good in any respect!).  You need to drive between pairs of orange plastic cones set out on the course.  Touch a cone along with your tire, 10 factors (OUCH!)….the spotter’s foot touches a cone, 10 factors (no, I didn’t do this to my drivers).   Get via a pair of cones, you get 1 level subtracted out of your rating (that’s good!).  Make it via an non-compulsory “bonus” pair of cones, you get 10 level subtracted out of your rating (that’s REALLY good!).  If you don’t end the course throughout the allotted 10 minutes, you max out with 40 factors for the course. 

Safety is closely careworn as they don’t need the spotter to get ran over by the over anxious driver.  As such, the spotter can’t contact the car whereas it’s transferring.  There are another penalty “issues” the spotter can’t do, else the workforce is awarded factors….however as I stated, it’s all within the curiosity of security in order that’s a very good factor.  If you’re use to “driving” on the rockers of a tipping over car, you’ll be able to’t do this within the competitors both. 

OK…..time for some images.

Troy works his buggy via a gate on certainly one of Saturday’s 4 programs.  His rear steer may be very useful in serving to him keep away from a tire touching a cone.  If a competitor makes use of rear steer on a course, he’s awarded 5 factors (not good).  At least it isn’t 5 factors each time it’s used in the course of the 10 minute course.  There are two judges on every course actively watching and scoring your progress (and penalty factors).

I’m already on the opposite facet of the rocks serving to Brad rise up and over this a part of the course.  This was the very best run of Sunday’s 4 programs.  We completed this one with 5 minutes left on the clock and a rating of 0 factors.  It was, for my part, extra technical than the opposite programs which I completely get pleasure from…..tire placement was necessary in getting via this course and Brad and I labored via it very properly.

Troy on the Saturday’s #2 course.  This impediment introduced issues for lots of the groups (Brad and I included) however Troy managed it very properly.  Getting your rear tires up onto that rock was not straightforward.

Same impediment as above….Troy made it up onto the impediment and is within the means of nailing it coming off the rock….the exit gate is about 20 ft from the place he’s proper there.  You just about needed to launch your self off of the rock so you would get the motive force’s entrance tire onto a rock that was about 3 ft away from the impediment.  If you didn’t, you’d merely roll onto your prime as the motive force’s facet dropped off the rock.  Momentum and the suitable throttle response is one thing used on a regular basis in such a competitors.

Me on the left….Brad driving up onto the identical rock (as the 2 earlier images).  As you’ll be able to see…..or on this can’t see….Brad’s driver’s rear tire is to not be seen….but making an attempt to rise up onto the rock.

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Right up up to now, we had the quickest time proper as much as this impediment of any workforce who had tried it.  With Brad’s smaller tires (solely 37″ tall), he wasn’t making it.  He motioned to me he was going to make a run on it (learn full throttle) as we had been burning daylight making an attempt to complete the course.  As you’ll be able to see, it didn’t work and he rolled the rig.  Nothing too dangerous….a damaged schraeder valve on his rear shock that was fastened the next morning.  But for sure, we didn’t end this course.  In reality, he was so wedge into the spot after we acquired the car righted, the rig needed to be winched out of that spot.

W.E.Rock PUSU 2007

Troy and I had been into our third course on Saturday when his run got here to a fast finish.  He was making an attempt to clear a pair of gates (I believe it might have been a bonus gate).  The rig did a rear wheel stand because it launched up onto a rock…..when it hit, a bystander stated he heard the rear axle shaft snap….and the torque spun the car off of the rock and about 10′ down onto the bottom.  The passenger rear wheel didn’t survive the touchdown, as might be seen right here. 

Fast ahead a bit right here in story……after Saturday was carried out and we had dinner, Troy and Brad headed again to Phoenix to get components to see if Troy’s rig could possibly be fastened.  I had orders to go to mattress (I’ll admit that I used to be just about used up).  The following morning, all of us acquired up at 6:00, caught a fast breakfast, and headed out to the vent website.  By 9:00 Troy had wrenched issues again collectively much less the passenger rear brake.  It was then that he found that the Detroit had additionally not survived the axle shaft break and with no rear drive, he was out of the competitors for Sunday

This was certainly one of Sunday’s actually powerful programs.  The second pair of gates caught quite a lot of of us and simply didn’t allow them to go.  Brad and I did our greatest to get via there however it simply wasn’t within the playing cards for us.  We timed out with out ending the course.

This was one impediment that Brad and I weren’t utterly positive of after we walked the course previous to driving it.  The right line was not the plain one however the Maxxis Trepadors connected on the rock and pulled the buggy up and excessive. 

I’ve to place a plug in right here for the Brad’s tires.  Since he intends on competing within the Pro Modified class, he cannot run 40″ tires.  37″ tires are the max for that class.  Maxxis doesn’t make a Crawler in 37″ dimension so he went with the Trepadors.  When they arrived and we mounted them on the beadlock wheels, he wasn’t all too enthusiastic about how they appeared (I assumed they had been fairly rattling spectacular myself).  By the top of Saturday’s 4 programs, he was completely satisfied that the Trepadors had been hooking up rather well and doing an incredible job.  I notice that these are comp tires and the compound is way softer (and stickier) than common off-road tires….however none the much less, they did an incredible job at PUSU.  Congrats to Maxxis on one heck of a tire!

Another part of a course we ran on Sunday.  By this level within the competitors, Brad and I had been beginning to get in sync a bit.  Given that the earlier Saturday’s run lasted a complete of 5 minutes, it took us a bit to get the cling of every thing. 

We didn’t use radios as a lot of the groups did.  Troy had a set that we tried however it died on the primary course about 10 seconds earlier than we began.  So a lot for that….again to visible alerts and the occasional shout to convey our intentions.  Hey….it labored fairly good for probably the most half!

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A pic of Brad and myself  after we had wrapped up the 4th course on Sunday.  We had been fairly stoked and saved watching the outcomes because the remaining groups on the opposite 3 programs completed the runs.  It doesn’t take a lot to trigger a major leap within the standings…..somebody forward of you maxes out a course and also you end one with simply a few backup factors….zap….virtually an 80 level change within the blink of a watch

The 2nd row from the underside…..Brad’s line on the rating board.  Far proper hand column…..201 factors…..that put us in sixth place.  The last course, referred to as the “Shootout”, is ran by the highest 6 groups….and we had been #6. 

When the Shootout announcement was made, we had been shocked to NOT hear our names introduced.  A fast journey to the judging trailer and we discover that as a result of Brad had registered as “exhibition” relatively than “competitor”, they weren’t permitting him to compete within the shootout.  This was information to us and so far as I do know, isn’t specified within the rule e-book both.  So an announcement was revamped the PA system to tell the spectators that Brad and I had taken 6 place however that Dean Bullock’s workforce (they had been in #7) was being moved as much as compete within the Shootout. 

After the Shootout was accomplished, Dean’s workforce got here in final and they also had been awarded the identical max factors as what Brad and I acquired (for not operating the shootout) and so we had been nonetheless #6 finishers within the competitors. 

W.E.Rock’s web page nonetheless exhibits us as being #7…..I assume updating their web page hyperlinks is simply too onerous to do?  Not positive…..however hey, we all know the way it ended.

One of the W.E.Rock employees members (Glenn) posted the next within the PUSU thread on Pirate4x4.com’s discussion board. He stated….

“There was an omission of a notice for the ultimate scores.

Brad Kilgore was truly in sixth place on the finish of the common competitors. He was, nevertheless, solely registered for exhibition and, due to this fact, was not thought of for an try on the Shootout.

There had been a hidden 17 factors added to his rating to bump him into seventh place behind Dean Bullock. This 17 factors was the distinction between Brad and Dean. After the Shootout, and with the 50 factors added identical to all different rivals who don’t make the shootout, Brad was nonetheless in sixth place within the factors.

I do hope that Brad will get out to extra occasions this yr as a competitor, and even Series Registrant as he exhibits nice ability and talents on the rocks. Add to that that his spotter for Saturday was doing this job for 2 totally different autos. Stu Olson labored as spotter for each Brad and Troy Vickery on Saturday. However, Troy broke past restore with components available and was unable to proceed for Sunday’s programs… giving Stu a little bit of a break.”

 

Brad and I move alongside a giant due to Glenn for posting up the right occasion outcomes.  It is appreciated.

I wish to thank Troy and Brad for letting me take part as a member of their workforce.  I by no means thought of myself doing one thing like that (and I’m undecided I’m all that desirous to do it once more).  Being a spotter for 2 folks in the identical occasion was not a good suggestion, that I can inform you.  If I used to be 20 or 30 years youthful….it wouldn’t be so dangerous. 

I used to be a part of one thing that was fairly cool.  22 groups competed…..and we made a reasonably good exhibiting.  Those ending forward of us had been principally Unlimited class buggies…..a number of had been the highest finishers within the 2006 comp season.  Next time, we’ll strive a little bit tougher.  <grin> 

 

 

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