XR10′s Getting Close!

The XR10′s are at their final stage and preparing for their departure.  Won’t be long until Axial gets to enjoy seeing the kits in our loyal customers hands.  We can’t wait to see what everyone thinks and how you will customize your XR10.  Check out these pictures from our visit to the supplier. Hope you’re ready for this!

Check out this sweet bonus, Axial has added the new internal wheel weights to the XR10 kit at no additional charge. The kit will come with 2 AX30545 Main rings and 1 set of AX30546 inserts!

For more information on the Internal wheel weights click here.

2nd Annual So-Cal Off Road Truck Show

What better way to follow up the 4th of July weekend then with an Off-Road Truck Show the following Saturday! It was a warm and muggy day but that didn’t stop southern Californian residents from attending the 2nd Annual Off-Road Truck Show at Castle Park in Riverside California. A unique aspect of this year’s show was the addition of an Off-Road R/C Display. RCP Hobbies was kind enough to lend their portable crawler course which made the day to say the least. It offered several different, and challenging, lines to test the limits of your rig. It also presented a great scale like experience for SCX10 Trail Honcho’s with its abundant tunnels and elevation changes. As morning turned into afternoon Axial crawlers were coming from all over the venue to get in on the action. Every Axial chassis, from past to present, was in attendance. From the original but classic AX90001 AX10 Kit to the AX90016 SCX10 Trail Honcho everyone was having a good time. One kid even braved the rocks using his AX90002 Rock Racer with an open front diff but still managed to get around on the course. Just like the real trucks in attendance most of the R/C rigs were heavily modified from Dig units to custom made chassis. Many of the R/C drivers were hardcore off-roading enthusiast’s showing off their full scale rigs at the show as well. For most it wasn’t about winning a trophy but more about being around fellow gear heads talking about a recent off-roading trip or maybe a mod on their truck. One thing was for sure, no one left without a smile on their face and I am willing to bet a few maxed out their camera’s memory card taking pictures and video. Axial would like to thank All-Pro Offroad out of Hemet California for the opportunity to attend and also RCP Crawlers for the use of their rock course, it was loads of fun!

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For his first time behind the wheel of an SCX10 this kid sure did impress! Believe it or not he made it up this ultra steep incline. It took a many tries but eventually he hopped it just right allowing all 4 tires to grab at once then crawled it right up.

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See I told you he made it. No one, including myself, was able to make it up that line afterwards. AX10’s couldn’t even make it because you needed some fast wheel speed to hop up on it.

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A very clean example of the original AX90001 AX-10 kit.

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Who needs a body when you have a tubular chassis? Body panels just get in the way!

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There were a handful of Suzuki Samurai’s in attendance sitting on Toyota axles.

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It didn’t matter if your truck wasn’t even completed and running yet it was still welcomed at the show. This Toyota Land Cruiser never left the trailer.

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This highly modified Tacoma was owned by one of the show organizers who also happens to work for All-Pro Offroad. It is affectionately named the “Macho Taco” and for obvious reasons.

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A truck lifted this high will take a toll on your knee’s after awhile. Maybe that’s why it was for sale?

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Based on the current condition of my 4Runner’s body I hope this statement holds true.

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As a member of the Rock Brawlers I think this truck may have ‘Brawled’ with one too many rocks.

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This Ford Bronco was completely Rhino Lined inside and out. I guess he no longer has to worry about rust huh?

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Safari adventure anyone? This Land Cruiser had everything possibly needed to be completely self sufficient, including solar panels, for weeks on end.

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This Tacoma got a solid front axle swap using a super wide Diamond Axle housing.

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A classic Ford Courier with Toyota axles underneath.

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Hey at least its 4wd right?

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If you look up the definition for Ridiculous in the dictionary there is a picture of this truck.

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Ok so I am a little partial towards 4Runners and this was a very clean example. It was V6 powered and on 37’s.

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Trophy Time!

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What better way to test out your flex than on the tire/fender of your buddies rig?

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After a long day in the sun and not being able to crawl on anything the crowd got a little restless. One by one people, who were willing, stacked rig upon rig to form a very long line down one of the isles.

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With a rig planted on his passenger side his driver rear tire was showing signs of strain. When the driver saw it all he said was, “Thank goodness for double beadlocks!” He said he had about 6psi in the tires the last time he checked…..6 months ago haha!

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Ah yes, my favorite truck of the show Doin-Work-Son!

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Looks like a tangled mess of rigs or a typical day on the 91 Freeway. Any motorcycles want to cut between this lane?

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Castle Park, the host location, said not to have any rigs moving during the show for safety reasons. Well as you can see they aren’t moving so we should be good right?

2010 Vanquish Products La Guerra en Rocas Rojos

Colorado hosted it’s second annual “La Guerra en Rocas Rojos” comp this past weekend, July 17- 18, 2010. The location was near the infamous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison Colorado. The terrain here is very unique to say the least, with more traction then most know what to do with. The weather forecast was calling for 104 degrees for the high temp on Saturday and about 100 degrees on Sunday. This made for a long hot weekend, but the comp itself was an absolute blast. The courses laid out were extremely fun to drive but also challenged every driver in some way, shape, or form. Here’s a few highlights from the weekend.

Friday night got started when everyone met up at Finishline R/C’s new location for a BBQ/meet and greet.

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Finishline has many tons of rock right inside the store itself. Great for those really hot or rainy days.

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There is even a truck pull course inside the hobby shop too. A few crawlers took a turn at pulling the sled.

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Comp Day

RCCrawler.com was on hand providing live coverage to everyone that couldn’t attend. Jason and John were there first thing in the morning setting everything up for the comp and the live coverage.

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The scenery in this area was awesome in-and-of-itself.

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Competitors wait in line to sign up and see if their rigs pass tech.

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Got vertical?
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Go time!!

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Each course was sponsored by various R/C companies. Cow R/C sponsored course #2.

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Colorado driver Tom Barger.

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One course had an added twist. For -10 bonus points you could stand in the “Vanquish Bonus Box” and drive one of the courses from the box while your spotter was on course telling you where to go – not an easy task.  Most competitors were hesitant to try the box, so Steve from Vanquish said he would give a crisp $100 bill to the first person that completed the course driving from the box. Greg Sinclair was the first to complete that task and was one hundred dollars richer because of it. Congrats Greg.

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Here you can see Colorado driver Dan Edwards trying his hand at the box. That just sounds wrong to me.

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Here you can barely see the amphitheater in the background.

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Axial team driver Jason Rioux on Course #1.

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More random shots.

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Top 5 shootout
Spectators and fellow competitors gather to watch the top 5 battle it out.

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Shane Howsley (left) and Jon Wood (right) talk strategy before starting the finals course.

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Jon Wood was in 5th place going into the shootout, so he was the first to run the finals course.

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Jay Robinette working the finals course.

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Bryan Crofts and his Hardline bodied rig.

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Bryan stripped an aluminum servo horn on his steering half way through the finals course. Off course repairs aren’t allowed, so he had to try and fix it on course with the clock running. Bryan did manage to get it fixed and finish the course with little time to spare.

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Shane Howsley dropping in.

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Mike Rosenthal was sitting in the top spot after 5 courses, so he got to run the finals course last as a result.

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The hardware everyone was fighting for.

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The winners
From left to right 4th place Jay Robinette, 2nd place Shane Howsley, 1st place Mike Rosenthal, 3rd place Jon Wood, and 5th place Bryan Crofts. Great job guys!!

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That wraps it up for this year’s war on the rocks. If you haven’t had a chance to make it out to a Colorado comp, you should try to plan ahead for next year. You won’t be disappointed.

My Visit to Cars and Coffee

On the rare occasions I wake up really early on the weekends, I like to make the most of it. This Saturday, I decided to go check out the rides at Cars & Coffee in the Mazda HQ parking lot in Irvine, CA. On my way out, I made sure to grab my camera (and coffee) because this gathering starts at dawn and all the cars head out by 9 a.m.

So enjoy these pics and feel free to name the cars. I am unsure of the make or origin of a few of them. Also, if anybody knows the background on any of the race oriented cars please share!

RD’s Adventures – 4th of July

The weather was starting to heat up in So-Cal giving way to one of the few seasons we actually experience here: Summer! The 4th of July holiday weekend was fast approaching and the itch to lock into 4wd and hit the dirt was overwhelming. The Johnson Valley ‘Hammers’ were sweltering at 115 degrees so the decision was made to retreat to the cool comfort only Big Bear Lake could provide. At seven thousand feet in elevation our camp site, The Green Spot, was a comfortable 80 degrees. With camp set up on Friday night and the rigs prepped the stage was set for what we hoped would be some epic wheeling.

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During the week prior Randall kept talking about this ‘secret’ trail only he knew of that was sure to provide a ‘Hammer’s’ like challenge but in the forest of Big Bear. Little did I know he had run the same trail in August and even blogged about it: RD’s 1:1 Offroading. In retrospect had I seen that blog I may have been a little more apprehensive about running it. This trail offered up a variety of terrain from boggy marsh-like creeks, with almost overwhelming amounts of overgrowth, to super slick rock and even ‘Hammer’s’ like sections of waterfalls and large boulders. At 1.2 miles in length it wasn’t very long but to get 5 rigs through took upwards of about 6 hours.  You know you’re on a good trail when you have to bust out a machete to blaze through an area to get to the next challenge. With its abundant tight turns long wheel based vehicles were a little tough to squeeze through in areas. The waterfall by far proved to be the biggest challenge of the weekend. Most sane individuals would get to the base of it, call it the end of the trail, and turn around having still run a challenging trail. Not us! This is where the fun began not ended.  Two out of the five rigs made it up without needing a winch. Randall, being the most experience on this trail, went first and after making it ¾ of the way up decided to take a winch. A slightly bent passenger front fender and a minor encounter with the top of the roll cage and he was through. Getting my rather large 4Runner on 33’s up it was a different story. The RV/Camper, as Randall so aptly named it, suffered some body damage nearly taking out the back window and a few side windows on the passenger side. After a half hour with 2 different winch lines attached and some careful planning I escaped with only one large dent in the tailgate and a bruised ego. While the remainder of the traill still had its challenges, and in my case more body damage, nothing compared to that waterfall. Been there done that, thanks Randall!

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Having run the ‘secret’ trail the day before we decided on milder trails for Sunday July 4th.  We set our sights on a few classic trails: Gold Mountain and John Bull. Both trails are well known in the area and offer some spectacular views and photo opportunities along with a few challenges but nothing extreme. One of the coolest places I have ever wheeled was the ‘Rock Garden’ on Gold Mountain. It’s a very large open area in the middle of the forest but covered completely in medium sized rocks. The grip was astounding and the noise the rocks made when crawling over them was truly unique and quite loud. It was a virtual playground for us and almost any line you took worked due to the grip on the unique terrain. After that trail we took a short jaunt down some fire roads before arriving at John Bull. We stopped to have lunch and even ran some AX10’s; and SCX10’s;. There were endless places to wheel the R/C vehicles and both kids and adults took advantage. Afterwards we discovered a great picture opportunity (The group vehicle shot below…) before starting on the trail. Upon arriving at the first obstacle we noticed a large group of fellow wheeler’s congregating at the base watching the ensuing action. As I watched Randall and the rest of our group tackle the trail, waiting for my turn, a young kid approached me with his R/C truck in hand. He had an AX10 ARTR; with some customization done to it but was in need of a steering servo horn. Unfortunately he had different steering servo and we didn’t have a horn that would fit. Regardless it was very cool to meet him and see an Axial crawler in such a remote area.  After John Bull we decided to return to camp and get ready for the fireworks show at Big Bear Lake. Once the sun set we loaded up in the trucks and tootled up the dirt road a few miles to watch the show. Although we viewed the show from the side it was quite an extravagant fireworks display and an excellent way to celebrate a truly awesome weekend of wheeling fun. In the end everyone left with at least one new ‘war wound’, or in my case 5, but it didn’t matter compared to the memories!

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2010 Axial West Coast Championship Finals

After months of waiting, and running numerous qualifiers, it was finally time to pack the Axial RV and head off to the Axial West Coast Championship Finals in Cisco Grove, Ca. The build-up for this years comp began back in January when the first 2010 AWCC Qualifier was held in Escondido, Ca. For this year’s championships no one got a free ticket into the main event Saturday afternoon. You either had to attend one of the 5 qualifier events, and earn an invite by a top 10 finish or sign up for the “Last Chance Qualifier” on Friday before the finals and make the top 20 on that day. So, this event anyone you were competing against earned their way into the main event. Axial hoped this would make for a really tight/competitive comp as far as the top scores go, and that is pretty much how it all played out. Hit one bad gate on any one of the 5 courses and you dropped 10 places in the overall standings instantly. There was no room for error at this year’s event……………….period.

The drive through California via the 395 highway.

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The RV was getting a little thirsty, so we stopped off for a drink.

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Back on the road.

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Settling into our campsite.

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Axial staff hard at work.

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Game on!!

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Brandon spotting for me on course #1.

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Team Axial driver Becky Barger working course #2.

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Scott Hughes and his freshly built XR10 working course #1.

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Jason Gainey works course #1.

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A few more random shots from the 3 courses down by the river.

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RCCrawler.com was on hand broadcasting video of the weekend’s events.

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John Hubbard from RCCrawler working the live feed. He looks so content in this picture for some strange reason.
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No clue what is going on here.

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More pictures from courses 4 and 5.

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Brandon on course #4.

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Scott H working course #4.

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Me on course #4.

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After everyone was done running courses it was time to gather around the Axial tent for the trophy presentation.

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And the winners are……….
Last Chance Qualifier-Pro
1st Chris Mcmullin
2nd Doug Toney
3rd Kevin Gunderson

Last Chance Qualifier-Sport
1st Eric Hill
2nd Justin McCoy
3rd Dustin Howe

Sport Class-Finals
1st Michael Boling
2nd James Roque
3rd Tom Havel

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Rock Candy-Finals-Sport
1st Shannon Davis
2nd Natalia Morales
3rd Kacie Vess

Rock Candy-Finals-Pro
1st Becky Barger
2nd Candance Flaming
3rd Jess Downing

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Pro Shafty-Finals
1st Jay Robbinette
2nd Jake Wright
3rd Tom Brown

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Pro Overall-Finals
1st John Ripplinger
2nd John Hall
3rd Jason Veal

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Congrats to all the winners, you guys really earned it!! Axial would like to thank everyone that helped us with this event, and the overall series. A huge thanks goes out to Brian Parker and Stuart Gartner for all their hard work throughout this whole series, we couldn’t have done it without you guys! Thanks to all the sponsors that helped support the finals too, Vanquish Products, Futaba, Novak, Pro-Line, RCCrawler.com, and Xtreme R/C. We couldn’t have done it without your support either.

The dust has barely settled on this year’s AWCC Series, and I am already excited for next year’s series to start. If you couldn’t make it to any of these events this year, try and make it to one next year, you won’t be disappointed. And like Warren Miller always says, “If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do.” See you next year!!

AWCC Finals – Scale Challenge

Scale Challenge
This year at the Axial West Coast Championships we decided to add a scale event to the itinerary. We wanted it to be a fun event, instead of a really serious competition. So, we came up with a few different events/challenges for this particular competition. We borrowed a few events from the Top Truck Challenge, and added our own twist to them. We also wanted to have a couple of scale style trail runs set-up so we cover the whole spectrum of what hardcore scaling is all about……………………….realistic obstacles that are fun to drive. Here is a run down on the first annual “Scale Challenge” and the obstacles we encountered.

Axial also went ahead and added a scale “show and shine” for this event too. All the scalers that signed up for the scale challenge also showed off their rigs before the competition began in a contours style event. Here’s a group shot of all the competitors.

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Axial team driver Ryan Gerrish won the scale show and shine with his newest creation. Actually, Ryan ended up taking 1st and 2nd in the show and shine. If you have ever seen one of his creations in person, you would understand why. The time and thought Ryan puts into his rigs is second to none. Congrats Ryan!

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Mud Pit
The first obstacle was a 10-12 ft long soupy mess of northern California mud, over an old cut up slip and slide water tarp. The slip and slide base made it difficult to get traction, momentum was key to making clean passes. The pit also gradually sloped making the mud deeper near the exit. For this event the field had to make 2 passes through the pit, total combined time of both runs was tallied. Most competitors had at least one full run. As the competition progressed the mud pit became a little more difficult. A few competitors had clean first runs, but couldn’t finish their second pass due to rollovers or stoppage of progress.

The pit before the competition got started.

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Frame Twister
The second obstacle was a combination of rocks and mud in the beginning, with another slip and slide base, then more mud and small logs at the end. The course was also tightly lined with boundaries that you couldn’t touch at any time without taking a time penalty. Many rigs struggled with the first 3 feet of the rocks and mud. One big rock was extremely tough to clear as it wanted to roll you on your side if you weren’t very careful. Once on your side it was nearly impossible to drive out under your own power due to perfect placement of the rocks, boundaries and a very slippery base. Numerous vehicles required a tow from a fellow competitor in order to finish the course.

The first half of the obstacle.

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The second half of the obstacle after a 90 degree right hand turn coming out of the rocks.

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Tank Pull
For this obstacle competitors and their trucks had to pull an R/C tank on a flat dirt grade for the first half of the course, then transfer onto a loose dirt hillside to the full pull banner. I don’t think anyone made a full pull but there were many trucks that came very close. Power and a smooth trigger finger were key to finishing near the top.

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Trail Obstacles
The next 3 obstacles were various trail runs that had a mix of high speed sections, extremely technical sections, 5 minute time bonus sections, rocks, snow, sand, trees, bridges, etc. The bonus sections were very technical, requiring you to slow down and really pay attention to tire placement. But, they were all negotiable if you knew your rig and were very careful.

Trail Obstacle One
This trail run was the longest of the three. It started out on pavement then dropped you down a slight grade to a 10′ x 20′ foot snow field lined with boundaries. After the snow you chased your rig down a dirt path to a technical off camber, wet, sandy shoreline down by the river. Once clear of the river bank you headed back away from the river up a loose sandy trail through the woods to a tightly grouped set of trees which required numerous back-ups to clear. From there it was on to the first time bonus section, a steep slippery bridge leading up to a fallen tree. The exit off the bridge and onto the tree trunk was the toughest section by far. It required a few reverses and perfect placement of the driver’s side front tire to hook a small section of the tree in order not to fall off. Once safely on the tree you had to drive down to the base and drop off onto another bridge. From there it was an easy sprint back to the road and the finish line.

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We staggered the competitors on course by about 30 second intervals. So, there were numerous people on course at the same time as you. You had to weave your way through if you caught up to the guy in front of you. Here I caught up with Brandon stuck on a stick in the sand. He couldn’t go forward or reverse. I tried to give him a quick push from the side as I passed through, but his truck didn’t move. All I could do was yell “sorry, you are on your own” as I drove away. I think this picture was taken right at the moment I told him he was on his own, judging by the look on his face. Sorry Brandon!!

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Trail Obstacle Two
Trail two was pretty much a hardcore rock crawl course. It started out with a few steep technical climbs, then dropped you into a trench/canyon full of jagged rocks and dirt. Once free of the canyon you had to climb onto a big boulder with gates at the top. Most rigs needed one reverse to clear the gate cleanly. The trail then headed up to the time bonus section. This section started out with a steep climb up a huge slab of rock. Once on top you had to descend down into a very tight area lined with boundary markers. Numerous slow reverses were needed to get lined up with the next climb properly without taking a time penalty. Next you had to drive down a very steep narrow canyon, that left rigs on there lid at the bottom. After a roll over recovery you had to drive up another steep face with loose dirt all over the base, which made it difficult to maintain traction. Once you cleared this gate it was a race back to the finish line about 50 feet away.

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Trail Obstacle Three
This trail was another hard rock crawl course, but with a twist. It was set in a semi shallow creek bed with lots of deep holes. Tire placement was critical yet again in order not to get caught in one of the deeper water holes. You started out up on the bank of the stream and drove down into the creek and across to the other side. After a hard right you then crossed the creek again and drove up the right side in the water to the next obstacle, a short climb that required a little throttle to bump over it. Once clear of this set of gates you had a deep water hole on your left to clear before the next rocky climb. You then had to negotiate another climb out of a water hole to zig zag your way to the top. A tight U turn waited for you at the top of the last climb. Then it was time to descend down the opposite side of the creek to a dirt hill climb out of the stream and around a set of trees. After clearing the trees you dropped back into the water and carefully negotiated the last couple descents down to the finish line.

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Here’s a video showing most of my run on Trail course #3

The top 5 finishers
1st Brad Dumont
2nd Ryan Gerrish
3rd Brandon Coonce
4th Scott Hughes
5th Justin Halbohm

No one, aside from Axial, really knew going into this event that the winner would receive a certificate for a new XR10 comp crawler. Since Axial employees and team drivers weren’t eligible for the grand prize, the kit was awarded to the 5th place finisher Justin Halbohm. Congrats to him for an impressive showing.

The first inaugural “Axial Scale Challenge” was a great addition to the Axial West Coast Championship Finals from the feedback we have received from the competitors. I think this event may need to be a permanent addition to the AWCC finals.