Axial hosted it’s second west coast qualifier this past weekend (Feb. 27th) in Farmington, New Mexico. Farmington is notorious in the 1:1 off-road world for having some of the best rock crawling anywhere in the US; numerous 1:1 competitions have been held there since the birth of rock crawling as well. This was my first trip to Farmington and needless to say the terrain didn’t disappoint. Massive sandstone rock formations were everywhere at the Brown Springs comp site, which had everyone excited to get this comp underway. R/C rock crawlers that live in the Farmington area are truly blessed with some awesome terrain. Here’s a breakdown of how the competition and the trip went for us.
On Wednesday afternoon, we started loading all the comp supplies into the RV. I went through my extensive checklist to make sure we had everything we could possibly need from scorecards, to course boundaries, gates, stop watches, pens, t-shirts for the giveaways, clip boards, banners, tools, spare parts, scalers, comp rigs, chargers, batteries, radios, spare electronics, etc. You get the idea. Everything was loaded into the RV with very little room to spare.
We started rolling Thursday morning by 6am. After a quick stop for some chocolate, Frappuccinos and petrol we hit the road bound for Las Vegas to pick-up Brian “Captain Axial” Parker and his main man Stuart Gartner.
Here is what my view looked like for 1600+ miles and a lot of hours driving.
Still the same view…..
After we hit Vegas and picked-up the boys, we headed over to BJ’s Brewhouse for lunch and a break from the road. The pepperoni pizza was my choice with home brewed root beer, which was very tasty. Makes me hungry right now.
About 30 miles down the road we entered into the Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area.
The local helicopter tour was taking flight as we drove down into the dam.
The RV and Parker had to get a thorough inspection from authorities before being allowed to drive over the dam. Parker and the two security guards disappeared into a small tent for about 20 minutes after the RV inspection was done. When Brian returned he was walking a little funny and mumbling something about a cavity search?
Local Jeep tour vehicle was passing through security at the same time as us.
Looks like they are in the process of building a huge new bridge right over the dam. Once finished the view from the bridge should be amazing to say the least……………………..anyone up for a base jump?
Crossing into Arizona by the dam. After a few hours driving in Arizona I thought I was on the set of “The Hills have Eyes.”
A few more pics of the dam and surrounding area
Here you can see how low the water levels are right now in the lake and inlet.
Back on the road
Meanwhile, Brian meditates in the RV before numbering the Axial gate markers (whilst visions of impassable gates danced in his head).
Finally…………….we pull into the much anticipated comp site. After a quick look around we started giggling like school girls as we checked out the terrain. Brian started tearing up a little, and tried to blame it on something being in his eye, but we knew better. Sorry Brian.
After a little test and tune session at the comp site, it was time to shower and hit the local bar for early tech. Three River’s Brewery was the place to be on Friday night. They were gracious enough to let us set-up a tech table right inside the bar and then supplied us with a free pool table and complimentary nachos. We asked a few locals what was the best beer to order, since we had no idea. Everyone said the “Double Barrel Amber” was the way to go. They were right too, it was one of the best beers I have ever had…………..period. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.
Here’s Brian getting the party started.
The Colorado crew talk strategy and rig set-up.
These lovely ladies greeted me at the door with popcorn and a fresh beverage…………….I wish.
Here’s how the tech table looked through my eyes after 4 or 5 Double Barrel Ambers.
Game day. We were at the comp site by 6am on Saturday morning to set everything up. To our surprise there were people already there. Some even camped overnight despite the cold temps.
Got wheel speed?
Brian bundled up and doing work setting courses.
Alright, now let’s run some courses!!
Dropping into Gate #3 on Course 1
Colorado driver Becky Barger working her rig through course 4
Axial team driver Jason “Sparky J” Rioux on course 3
Sparky and I working course 5
More random goodness
Colorado driver, Jay Robinette
Brain Parker (left) and Stuart Gartner (right) watch as competitors run their courses. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Stuart Gartner, he is one of the big players in this whole series. Brian and Stuart put in endless and sometimes thankless, hours of work behind the scenes at these AWCCQ Series comps for us. And we thank them for that!!
And of course “Captain Axial” was on hand passing out free t-shirts to the spectators and competitors. I still find it weird how you never see Parker and Captain Axial in the same place at the same time.
This guy looks impressed
Colorado driver Matt Boken takes time out from competing to snap a picture with the R/C superhero.
Here you can see Captain Axial’s ability to blend into any background, almost like a chameleon.
Rescuing damsels in distress, a hero’s work is never done.
Time to warm up…
Once all the dust, snow, and rock settled here is how the top 3 for each class ended up.
1st place Jay Robinette
2nd place Brad “Bender” Dumont
3rd place Kris Donaldson
1st place Ryan Winkleman
2nd place Rob Youngsma
3rd place Tom Long
1st place Cody Mathews
2nd place Anthony Zajicek
3rd place Ron Loveland
Rock Candy Sport Winner: Melissa Mathews
Rock Candy Pro Winner: Becky Barger
Wow, what a weekend!! Brutal courses but again, those that were some of the best that I’ve driven. Unbridled enthusiasm and comradery between all the competitors is usually the theme at most comps I attend, and this one was no different. Axial Racing would like to thank everyone involved in this event. A big thanks to the Farmington club 4CRC (4 Corners R/C) for all their help in organizing the land use and promotion of this event. See you in St. George in 2 weeks.