ULTRA4 Racing tackles the FALLON 250

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ULTRA4 @ VORRA Fallon 250

Words and photos: Michael Plunkett
August 29 – 30th, 2015
Fallon, Nevada

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When it comes to ULTRA4 racing, anyone that has been around rock racing understands how versatile these machines are. They are designed to reach up to 130mph across the desert, yet capable of crawling rock sections the size of school buses. In order to be able to withstand the punishment in the rocks and cross the desert at speeds of over 100mph, they must be engineered and designed with the toughest components on the market. ULTRA4 Racing got its start in 2008 at an event that is now known worldwide as King of the Hammers, or KOH for short. They since have started a west and east coast series of races and have ventured internationally to the likes of France, Italy, the UK, and even Portugal. In order to keep up with this rapidly growing sport of rock racing, ULTRA4 is constantly looking for fan friendly venues.
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They have rapidly caught the eye of the desert racers by entering races such as Best in the Deserts Series – Vegas to Reno race, The Parker 425, and The Bluewater Challenge. On the other side of the desert racing spectrum, Currie Enterprises’ Casey Currie managed to take his rock racing ULTRA4 4400 buggy down to the BAJA 500 and finished that brutal race within the Trophy Truck class this year!

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So when it came to choosing another course to round out the western series this year, choosing to venture together with the VORRA Series at the Fallon 250 seemed to be a legitimate match for Dave Cole’s ULTRA4 Series. Teams were excited with the thought of a desert race for the simple reason of getting more of an opportunity to stretch their legs a little and see if they can manage to conquer a desert style race course.

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Teams started arriving Thursday afternoon in order to get out to see and pre-run the course. Some chose to show up Friday and venture out in the early afternoon and into the night to get used to running in the dark. To best fit the two series together, JT Taylor and VORRA president, Wes Harbor, went right to work sorting the classes and when each class would start.
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During the drivers meeting Friday evening, the drivers from each series would get the chance to meet each other as well as see the order of which they were to start. It was also stated in the drivers meeting that this would be their largest race to date! Wes explained the various different rules of conduct to the ULTRA4 drivers so there would be no confusion on race day. As it was to turn out our lower classes sort of speak from the ULTRA4 4500, 4600, 4700, 4800 and UTV’s would run during the day starting at 6am with the variety of classes from the VORRA series varying from UTV to class 1 with a cutoff time of 1:30pm. That reserved the night racing to the ULTRA4 4400 class only!

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It was a beautiful Friday night in the desert with very little breeze whatsoever which only meant one thing for the drivers that had to leave the line early the next day…DUST was going to be miserable!! True to that thought as the early classes left the line and off into the desert, I was already struggling to get clear photos even at the lineup. Without a ride to get around in, I was fortunate when I ran into Phil Kaos, another desert race photographer, and he offered to let me ride with him. We finish up at the start line and quickly headed out to check point one to see what we could find. Never having shot or seen this course before I was now at the mercy of Phil. He got us to pit one and we ventured off trying to see through all the dust, let alone get a picture of anything…Yes, it was dusty!! We stayed there to see the leaders come back through on the second lap and cover the racers we needed, then loaded up to head to Pit 2. Immediately after getting on our way, Phil’s truck started missing and running really rough…fortunately Phil being handy as he is, went right to work figuring out how to get us moving again.

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After a short while on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere we were on the move again.

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We arrived at Pit 2 not really knowing their lap times well enough to figure out what lap everyone was on by now? So we hung out quite a while there until we were satisfied with what we got for pictures and figured we better get moving back to the finish line. We arrived early enough to venture out into the wash to get some shots of the racers going out for which appeared to be their last laps. Getting myself out in there to get some photos meant I would end up missing some of the faster teams crossing the finish line on the final lap. I chose to get more shots out in the wash and gather up results later, which the top three in their classes went like this…4500 Class winner was 4531 Shawn Rants, 2nd Place went to 4596 Jason Wilkins, and 3rd Place 4540 Michael Bedwell. In the 4600 Class 1st Place went to 4608 Matthew Peterson, 2nd Place 4696 Sean McNamara, and 3rd place with only completing 5 out of the 6 laps went to Ben Varozza. In the 4700 Class 1st Place went to 4714 Luke Johnson, followed by his father for 2nd Place 4748 Ricky Johnson, and rounding off the podium for 3rd Place was 4702 Larry Nickell. In the 4800 Class 1st Place went to 4861 Anthony Arreola, 2nd Place went to 444 Rick Waterbury, and 3rd Place 4824 Sean Leonardini. In the Pro UTV Class 1st Place went to the father son driver – co-driver combo of 83 Raul and Darian Gomez. 2nd Place finishing only 5 laps was 1920 John Duckworth, and 3rd Place finishing 4 of the 6 laps was 1958 Andrew Goman. The UTV Sportsman Class’ 1st Place went to 125 Phil Blurton, 2nd Place 1927 Ben Wilson, and 3rd Place 18 1961 Bill Hermant. As I was hiking back up to the start line to see the stragglers come in and and get ready to see the Big Boys in the 4400 Class get lined up, I got to witness one of the interesting things from my weekend! I was looking at the Falken race driver Bailey Cole coming across the desert hooked up behind the UTV of Goodall Racing pushing him the last 10 miles through the desert to the finish! Very cool to watch to say the least…great job everyone! Now for the Main event…
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Thank goodness the wind had started to pick up for the main even, maybe the dust wasn’t going to be too bad!

After getting a shot of the lineup and making my rounds wishing everyone good luck, Phil and I chose to shoot the start from in the wash and then cover this race in the same manner as we just did the first race. We shot the wash until everyone was off the line and quickly loaded up and headed to Pit 1. As we arrived at Pit 1, I was able to jump out and catch the rear end of Loren Healy going by on his 2nd lap!…We just made it in time! We shot that area for what we could tell was a whole other lap and a half before we decided to head out for Pit 2.

We made it to Pit 2 without any issues this time, but now it was time to figure out where the leaders were and what lap they were on? After a full cycle of vehicles went by we figured we must have missed Loren go by before we arrived and now Wayland had come by again with still no sign of Loren? We could make out that it was Wayland out front with Paul Horschel following close behind. It wasn’t long before we saw Loren come by like a man-on-a-mission, but with all the drivers starting every 30 seconds off the line, we could make out a few possible drivers on the move! We could tell Tom Wayes who started 22nd off the line had moved up closer to the front runners as well as Brian Capprara and Randy Slawson were charging hard as well! But since it is a timed race we couldn’t be sure exactly where everyone stood in the ranks. We decided to go ahead and wait for Brian Capprara to come back through before we left for the finish line. In doing so we noticed Wayland had not come through as normal when all the sudden Loren was coming by just as the sun was setting. We hadn’t seen Tom Wayes come through for quite some time before we got word that he had hit a large rock and and went end over end to finish his day short. We also had noticed Levi Shirley hadn’t come by for a long time and wasn’t sure what had happened to him, until we later found out at the finish line that he had mechanical issues and was still out there working on it. He was finally able to get going again and get in a couple more laps before the cutoff time to better himself in the points standing. What seemed to be about 5 minutes had passed since Loren went by, we saw Paul Horschel come through with still no sight of Wayland. We finally did see Wayland come through several minutes behind Paul and now were waiting on Brian to come through before we headed out for the finish. When we saw Brian come through a few minutes later and as we were loading up, we saw Randy Slawson come through. Now we were off to the finish line to see how things were going to pan out!

After getting to the finish line we had the results that Loren Healy had taken the win with 30 some odd seconds over Paul Horschel and Wayland Campbell had rounded off the podium coming in several minutes behind Paul. With this win for Loren it secured him the West Coast Championship for the second year in a row. Congrats to Loren and his team on another incredible year! On a interesting side note, Randy Slawson with his ULTRA4 rock racing Bomber Fab chassis set the fastest time of any of the straight axles rigs.

We were also getting word that Wayland’s dad, Shannon Campbell, was down in the desert with drivetrain issues and was calling on his daughter Bailey Campbell, which was racing steady all day to help him get to the finish. Bailey reached her father and was able to pull Shannon the last 20 miles through the desert to both finish the race and better themselves in the point standings. All in all it was one heck of a race that went well into the night with a cutoff time of 12:00am. Every bit of that time was used for some teams as 33 of the 49 starters in the 4400 class finished! After going around talking to a lot of the teams that night and in the morning after the race, everyone that had raced said they really enjoyed it and some even claimed it to be the most fun they’ve had in a race before! So what seemed to be a race that no one was quite sure of how it was going to go, it sounds like we found another venue for years to come, or we can only hope anyways. ULTRA4 Racing has one more race back east in Hot Springs, Arkansas for the east coast finals. Then, The National Championship will be held in my hometown of Reno, NV in October! Enjoy some of the photos from the event and I hope to see everyone again at the Nationals!

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High Voltage R/C 4 Link Nationals

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High Voltage R/C 4 Link Nationals

Written by: Bari Musawwir
Photos by: John Schultz and Stephen Hopkins

The High Voltage R/C 4 Link Nationals was an event held over Labor Day weekend at the Samson /Patrick Enterprises Monster Truck Racing shop in Circleville, Ohio. This spectacular race was dedicated to the Electric Solid Axle R/C Monster Truck enthusiasts from around the country, drawing participants from as far away as California, Florida, Kentucky, Connecticut, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, Maryland, Michigan, and Ohio. With a field of 212 entries, each competitor had their work cut out if they wanted to make it to the winners circle. As the Title Sponsor of the Event, Axial sent their ace Product Specialist John Schultz to provide event and vehicle support.

The Venue
Nestled in Central Ohio just south of the capital city of Columbus, Circleville is the home of one of the most outstanding racing shops that the full size Monster Truck Industry has ever seen. The Patrick Enterprises Inc. Racing Shop is not only home to the world renown Samson Monster Truck but it also has its very own history museum that tells the story of over 30 years of racing history that Dan Patrick and his family posses. This is definitely a destination that you must see if you are a hard core, die hard Monster Truck Enthusiast. We were thankful and honored that the Patrick Family took a break from there very busy Schedule from making Monster Truck parts for the industry, to open their doors to have this event inside the main building of their fabrication complex!

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The Racing Track and Format
The Solid Axle Electric R/C Monster Truck craze has been around since the late 80s and after 28 years it still continues to grow stronger in popularity among the pioneers of the sport as well as newer competitors! This event was comprised of a carpet racing surface that contained a Chicago style monster truck racing course featuring carpeted jumps and crush car obstacles. High Voltage R/C kept track of the timing duties by utilizing a digital Christmas tree timing system that started each of the entertaining elimination style bracket races. Saturday was qualifying day, where each participant got one chance in each lane to get the fastest qualifying lap that they could. The best time that they were able to record would be the one that would be used as their official qualifying time to seed the bracket. This format pits the slowest versus the fastest until a winner is crown! This type of racing is pretty intense because every race counts; you have to win to advance to the next round of racing.

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Show and Shine Contest
Before all the action on the track got underway we held a show and shine contest for the Patrick Family to pick out their favorite aesthetically looking Truck in each class. It was an extremely tough process with so many great trucks to choose from. Once all the decisions were in, the lucky winners were Eric Krush with his Krimson Krusher Truck taking Home the Best Axial Retro Monster Truck Award, Mikey Mascia with his Grave Robber Axial Mini Monster Truck, Rafael Cox and His Axial Based Carolina Crusher Shafty Shoot Out truck and Dan Wyatt’s War Lord!

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The Race Class Action
In the Axial Mini Monster Truck Class competitors are limited to a 2.2 size tire/wheel combination. Several of the trucks in this class use the Axial AR60 solid axles which are found in several of their scale rock crawlers and Off Road vehicles including the AX10 Deadbolt truck (#AX90033). This is the platform that Monster Jam Driver Bari Musawwir would use to take Saturdays Top Qualifying position, followed closely by Russ Bryant of Michigan who was also sporting a modified Axial Deadbolt he calls “Fantom”!

On Race Day, the action was filled with some really close races on the tricky Chicago Style Track but when the smoke cleared it would be Bari Musawwir’s “Gunslinger” Axial Deadbolt holding on for the win, taking out Axial’s own John Schultz and his “Murder Nukizer” Truck. Clyde Delisle of Florida claimed 3rd place honors with his brand new “Bad News” Deadbolt as well!

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The Axial Shafty Shoot Out class is considered the Big Brother to the Mini Monster Truck Class as these trucks share most of the same platforms; however they are limited to a 2.6” size wheel and tire. Eighteen of the thirty three trucks competing in this class were outfitted with an Axial drive train and running gear! Once Saturdays Qualifying session was over, it would be John Schultz taking the TQ spot with his BKT Ride Truck sporting a KK2 Chassis, followed closely by Travis Mowery and his Pure Adrenalin CPE Barbarian, after a surprising racing bracket with the top qualifier being knocked out of contention in the 3rd round! The Final round saw Russ Bryant take out Trevor Adamo and his Launch Control Truck all the way from California in a great race! Mike Eckenrode of Pennsylvania Took home 3rd place!

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The rapidly growing Axial Retro Challenge class saw some great action! These old school trucks with their bouncy suspensions pay homage to the early years of how real Monster Trucks were constructed, detailed, and performed. These trucks are limited to only 4cell NiMH packs and 20 turn motors, or 45 turn motors and a 2S lipo. Even at its slower pace, this class is ultra competitive. Fast Qualifier Abdul Rascoe from Connecticut would be the man to beat all weekend long as he was pretty much unstoppable every time he took to the track! Tim Powers gave him a great race in the final round with his Bigfoot 6 Replica but Abduls Joker wheeled around the track for the win!

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In conclusion, this was a stellar event with a fantastic atmosphere due to the great group of Solid Axle Racers in attendance as well as the awesome race venue destination! We look forward to more events like this in the future. The Solid Axle Craze is very much alive and growing! We can’t wait to see what this event brings in the future! Until then, take care and we will be looking for those new Solid Axle builds to start popping up! For complete results and photo album visit: www.4LinkNats.com

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AXIAL SKINWALKER CURSE RECON G6 presented by Tekin Racing

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The Axial Skinwalker Curse RECON G6 presented by Tekin Racing
August 15, 2015 • Utah
Words & photos by Brian Parker

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Every Axial RECON G6 event starts with the National Anthem.

The Axial Skinwalker Curse RECON G6 set a record for stage elevation, at 10,800 feet above sea level. What an amazing location. Large slabs of monolithic rock, scale shale, & beautiful views gave drivers a scenic challenge in the state of Utah.

Getting to know everyone & see their builds are a highlight of every Axial RECON G6 event.

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The new FC Body by Axial RC is a popular lid for the proven scx10.

 

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Chris Schurer on Holiday from Austria.

The Day stage featured various types of terrain and elevation changes. Drivers had to complete two laps in order to finish the day stage. During those two laps, they were on the look out for scale adventure items and the Pit Bull Tires Alien Puppy.

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What is a Pit Bull Alien Puppy? Well, ask these G6ers, some of them may know.

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A RECON G6 scale adventure event usually has several “not mandatory, but highly recommended” items that participants can choose to do. These drivers chose to & did they do a great job.

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Thank You to everyone who picked up trash. Our goal is to leave every area that we use, cleaner than we found it. Pack out what you pack in. I’m proud to say, G6ers pack out what others left behind.

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Here are the “Drivers of the Day” for the 2015 Axial Skinwalker Curse RECON G6. Congratulations G6’ers!

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Special Thanks to the 801RCC Crew for all their help, especially, Mike Thompson.

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We look forward to seeing you next year in Utah. Where you can meet some great people like the O.T.R. crew out of Ogden, UT. The make the best Mountain Calamari & are avid scale adventure drivers. Thank you guys for all the hospitality and gifts.

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Like us of FB. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram. Check out www.recong6.com

See you soon, getting your scale adventure fix, in an Axial RECON G6!

Grassroots Competitions

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No events near you? No worries. You don’t need a hobby shop or RC club in your town to get in on the fun of RC competition. Don’t join in on the action, start the action. Check out these alternative ways to get competitive with your Axial vehicle. One bit of advice before you tear off: keep the rules simple and the focus on fun.

Backyard Racing

Rock racing is growing quickly, but not every hobby shop has a course. Most hobby shops don’t have traditional race tracks. If you want to race your Yeti across more than the lawn, the best solution might be to to make your own rock racing course. If fact, it’s far easier to make a rock racing course than race track. You’re really only limited by your imagination. The whole course doesn’t need to be rocks. Collect a few wheelbarrows full of rocks of varying sizes to create the rock section. Use dirt to build ramps up onto the rocks. Use a little more dirt to fill in the bigger holes and gaps in the rock piles and you’ll be good to go. Like desert races such as the Baja 1000, a race like the full-size King of the Hammers doesn’t have clearly defined lanes, so don’t worry about creating and grooming a whole track layout. Make your rock section and mix it up with the go-fast sections. A few cones placed around your yard can search as gates that have to be raced through in a certain order. Your homegrown King of the Hammers doesn’t have to be in your backyard. Scout out local parks. Many have rocky sections of naturally exposed rock or areas filled in with rocks. To keep it safe, make sure you’re away from other people.

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Truck Pulls

While they are extremely cool, you don’t need an official pulling sled with a moving weight box. A dead weight box is easily made out of wood and good old fashioned tug-o-wars are a lot of fun. Dead weight pulls are best on smooth, level dirt. Make sure you’re prepared to groom the track as needed to keep it fair. Dead weight pulls can work two ways. You can load a box with a modest amount of weight such as one or two bricks and time each truck to see how fast they can pull the weight 10’ to 12’. The key is to use a weight most if not all of the vehicles will be able to get a full pull with. The other way is to start with more weight, measure the distance of pull and add weight for the vehicles that do get full pulls. Generally, the first method works best with a dead weight sled. When doing simple tug-o-war contest, pavement actually works best. On loose dirt, both vehicles often end up in a wheel spinning stalemate. Make sure you practice commonsense safety measures when having a tug-o-war.

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DIY Scale Rock Crawling Comps

If there isn’t a scale club near you or if the local outfits aren’t offering what you want, you can host your own competitions. You might find out you’re not alone. One example of DIY scale competitions done right comes from the east coast. Eric Bresnahan of Connecticut and a couple friends started building a course on a dirt mound out in the woods. As their course grew, so did the crowds. Now, 40 people sign up for 1.9-tire based class. They have to cap the classes to keep the day manageable. And, they keep the rules simple and focus on having fun. As a result, hours after announcing a new comp has been added to the calendar, the classes fill to capacity. Many hobby shops and clubs wished they had that problem. The courses are carved into the dirt with a shovel, rocks and some manmade obstacles are added as needed and the whole thing is again only limited by their imagination. The group has also made good use of social media to grow. Almost all of the club’s communication is done via Facebook. As long as you’re extremely careful and exercise common sense safety measures, social media is a good way to find other people interested in RC competition.

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Alternative Racing

There are a lot of times when things are done a certain way simply because that’s the way it’s always been done. RC racing is often a perfect example of this. Many people stop racing just because they’re bored. Sometimes the focus is far too much on the competition and not on the fun. Nothing changes because people are so used to doing it a certain way. Nothing changes and racers disappear. Some inventive racers in southern California have come up with an interesting twist on the racing format. Two changes make for a very different racing experience. First, after each race, the running order is reversed. Finish first and you’re going to the back of the pack. In a big field, it pays to not break away if you don’t want to have to contend with trying work your way through the entire field on the next race. The second twist in the program is each race goes in a different direction. Talk about really mixing things up. They also allow you to jump in at the start of any race. It doesn’t matter if you missed the first three races. Again, the focus is on fun, not determining who’s the world champion.

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2015 REPORT Part 3 of 3

event_axialfest2015_pt3 Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2015 REPORT PART 3/3 Words and Photos by Matt ‘Skeeno’ Soileau with a few photos from Rivas Concepts sprinkled in here and there. July 16-18, 2015 Cisco Grove Campground, Cisco Grove, California This is the third and final installment of Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2015 Report.  In this blog I will be covering what everyone came to AXIALFEST2015 for the RECON G6 Challenge. After the RECON TerraX and Rhythm Drags on Friday morning and afternoon, there was a small break before the RECON G6 Driver’s Meeting. I took this time to visit some of the old sponsors attending AXIALFEST2015. DSCF0122 First stop was the Wertymade Products camp.  He was camped out with ScalerFab. DSCF0130 I tried to say hello to Ty from Tekin, but he was out helping out some AXIALFESTers that needed some assistance with their ESCs.  Ty wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to run the RECON G6 that night. DSCF0312 Up at G Central, Tree and Josh Harris were making some last minute adjustments to the water feature. DSCF0336 By the time I made my loop of the campground, people were starting to gather for the RECON G6 Driver’s Meeting. DSCF0335 I started to notice some interesting hats in the crowd. DSCF0339 DSCF0337 The aluminum foil hats were to pay tribute to AXIAL’s 10th Anniversary.  Since 10 years is the silver anniversary and silver is a little difficult and expensive to work with, Parker went with aluminum foil as the medium in which to design the head wear with. DSCF0345 I also think it was partially to entertain him.  He just wanted to see how many people he could get to wear tin foil hats.  Art Bell would have been proud. DSCF0589 Decorated socks were also part of the 10th Anniversary Attire.  Prizes were awarded for the best hat and socks. DSCF0334 The crowd just got bigger… DSCF0346 And bigger… The Pic …until, Holy Moly!  That is a lot of G6ers!  That right there is 646 registered drivers and their support crews all staged and ready for the AXIALFEST2015 RECON G6 Challenge.  I’m sure this is the largest RC event of individual participants ever.  It was quite an impressive site. DSCF0363 1 After Parker gave the official instructions to those that missed all the PreAXIALFEST2015 blogs, it was time to get G6in’.  Skeeno Jr. headed off with one of the trail groups.  You can see the King of Scale trying to keep up with her. 2 Skeeno Jr and Big Yeti from CKRC got a little distracted by all the people driving at once.  If you’ve never seen over 600 G6ers all driving at once, you should. DSCF0316 Josh Harris got to see his handy work in action over at the water feature.  The water and slick rocks were a challenging combination. DSCF0368 Skeeno Jr. kept on driving into the dark.  Luckily, Alien GeeSix’s SCX10 G6 Edition Jeep is equipped with a light bar.  It made navigating in the dark much easier. DSCF0369 I followed Skeeno Jr. down to what used to be the creek.  This year it was mostly puddles in the rocks, but Parker made sure you still got your wheels wet. DSCF0380 Even thought there was a little back up on some of the initial trail markers, Mr. Fokai was in good spirits as his family and friends waited their turns. DSCF0372 The wait gave some of the mommas and kiddos a chance to rest. DSCF0374 Uh oh, trouble on the first few trail markers of the AXIALFEST2015 RECON G6?  Hope you remembered your parts and tools. DSCF0373 DSCF0383 After the rocks in the creek, things became a little sandy. DSCF0370 The terrain varied greatly. So, it wasn’t uncommon to go from slick rocks to sand to rough granite to mud to silt to packed dirt all within a few trail markers. DSCF0392 DSCF0371 Down by the river, the rocks were extremely slick. DSCF0402 Most rigs needed assistance up these slick climbs. Luckily, tow straps were in abundance and fellow G6ers were eager and happy to lend assistance. DSCF0390 I met Mark Weir at the Novak/Cannondale campground on the way back to camp for the night. Mark is a mountain biking legend who is also into RC. I was a little starstruck and accidentally called him Mike. DSCF0404On Saturday morning, I set out to see how things were going out on the G6 trails.  Most people finished two sections Friday night and the other four on Saturday.  It was up to each driver to decide when to take breaks when they felt it was needed, so there were lots of AXIALFESTERs out all day running at their own pace. DSCF0405 The first RECON G6ers I came upon were up on the hill. It kinda looked Rubiconish up here. DSCF0407 Almost exactly like my first trip into the Rubicon in my buddy’s first generation Ford Bronco.  If only this Deadbolt was black, it would be an exact match. DSCF0410 Down the trail in the trees, I saw this little guy navigating for his dad by pointing out the next trail markers. DSCF0420 There were lots of these culvert tunnels all around AXIALFEST2015.  Parker made sure you drove through each one. DSCF0424 DSCF0426The Culvert Crouch was a popular pose. DSCF0313 DSCF0315 Lights made it easier to see your rigs as they drove into the darkness. DSCF0430 DSCF0433 Down by the river, drivers formed queue lines as they waited their turns DSCF0434 Here, Mr. Chino wished he had front dig to pull his FJ around. DSCF0438 DSCF0448 You don’t see many Volvos out wheelin’.  This grocery getter was gettin’ it! DSCF0451 Fokai Jr. took a break after walking down the long Hell’s Highway toward the river. DSCF0453 This youngster helped his dad up this ledge. DSCF0460 This future G6er was part of the support crew.  Her job was to walk slowly and look cute.  She did it with flair. DSCF0465 Posing by the trail heads was a popular photo opportunity. DSCF0472 DSCF0473 Slick rocks ahead.  Get your tow straps ready. DSCF0468 Lending a tow strap is always the courteous thing to do. DSCF0476 DSCF0477 Sometimes a bump to push the driver in front of you over an obstacle is needed. DSCF0479 Dohoney Brothers Racing in the house! DSCF0483 Dropping in the sandy driveway to the creek. DSCF0486 These guys were working the rocks over by the front of camp. DSCF0505 Another culvert? 3 Yup, Skeeno Jr. found them as well. DSCF0525 Over on the other side of the camp, things were more silty than rocky. DSCF0527 The silt got dug out easily and made using the towstraps mandatory on some obstacles. DSCF0529 This is my tent trailer brother taking a break with his crew. It was good to meet you and discuss our love of camping. DSCF0534 DSCF0536 Big rocks and loose dirt makes for a challenging trail. DSCF0537 A couple that G6es together stays together.  Get your significant other an SCX10 today and save your relationship. DSCF0540 No shame in taking a break.  Sometimes your feet need it. DSCF0542 I found Skeeno Jr over on this side.  She was trying to finish her fifth trail.  Luckily, she had help up some of the more dug out sections. DSCF0545 The bamboo bridge looked innocent, but I saw some tires slide in between the slats. DSCF0548 She finally made it out of the woods and over to the water. DSCF0556 She was happy to cool off over at the Float Your Rig Challenge.  SS WMRBB (aka WalMart Root Beer Bottles) made a fine but unglamorous watercraft. DSCF0509 This barge had an awesome plaque. DSCF0562 Wheel powered! DSCF0567 Fan Powered! DSCF0578 So many different takes on the Float Your Rig Challenge. DSCF0601 Large Marge was not only huge, but had some awesome detail.  It won the award for best boat at the Concourse on Friday night. DSCF0608 Pack you kids up tightly, so they don’t fall in the water. DSCF0610 Things were so relaxed on Saturday afternoon that even the G Crew got out to drive.  Here, Mr. Tree gets some wheel time before the awards ceremony. DSCF0611 Team KNK happily paused for food and maintenance to make sure they would finish.  Remember, finishing a RECON G6 is winning a RECON G6. DSCF0619 Down by the river, I spotted these brave souls trying out some Ultra lines. DSCF0622 Down these slick rocks was a scary fall. DSCF0624 You had to trust your tires to attempt these lines. DSCF0628 DSCF0658 I was afraid to watch, so I went to find Skeeno Jr.  I knew she was getting close to finishing. DSCF0630 During my search for Skeeno Jr. I saw this guy searching for the next trail marker. 4 I found Skeeno Jr. just as she completed the last trail marker on her last section.  She did it, 600 trail markers and no mechanical issues in her mostly stock Axial SCX10 RECON G6 Edition Jeep. She was feeling proud of her accomplishment.  It was her first AXIALFEST finish in three attempts. DSCF0679 IMAG00110 We arrived at the awards ceremony a little late after eating dinner.  The crowd was already large and the pavilion was packed to the gills to watch the awards presentation. Winners received their awards and took photos with the official AXIALFEST2015 photographer. You can see pics of the winners here: https://www.facebook.com/axialinc/posts/10153388157700873 After awards was the raffle.  Everyone watched in amazement as winner after winner and thousands of dollars of awesome swag came up to grab their prizes.  Some lucky winner took home a Magnaflow exhaust, another won a set of Method Racing Wheels (for full size cars, not RC!) as well as dozens of Axial kits and RTRs.  If you were lucky, you took home a limited edition Judd Rummage RTR! IMAG00112 Sunday morning we had to pack up and return to the real world. It was a truly memorable, record setting weekend filled with memories.  I had to say goodbye to my new and old G Crew members as they traveled back to Reno, Arkansas, and Austria.  I can’t wait to see them again next year. If you haven’t started making plans to attend AXIALFEST2016, I suggest you stop procrastinating.  The date is set (July 15-17) and the Cisco Grove Campground is already filling up.  You don’t want to be left out of the greatest RC show on earth. Get your AXIALFEST2016 info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1623366397951597/

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2015 Report Part 2 of 3

event_axialfest2015_pt2

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2015 REPORT PART 2/3

Words and Photos by Matt ‘Skeeno’ Soileau with a few photos from Rivas Concepts sprinkled in here and there.

July 16-18, 2015

Cisco Grove Campground, Cisco Grove, California

In Part 1, I covered my Wednesday and Thursday at AXIALFEST. This blog is going to cover my Friday morning and afternoon.

After a peaceful mountain sleep and hearty breakfast, I was ready for AXIALFEST2015 to really get kicked into gear.  Thursday night registration and Concourse Show and Shine was fun, but I was ready for some racing.

The first event on Friday morning was the RECON Terra Cross, aka the RECON TerraX, aka the RTX. The RTX is an off-road race like no other.  The RTX was held partially on a basketball court and partially in the dirt.  Rocks, jumps, logs, and sand were strewn about to make navigating a challenge.

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I saw that Rebel Off Road was also ready and waiting to watch the RTX.

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At the driver’s meeting, Parker went over the special rules of the RTX.  In an RTX, there is no marshaling allowed. That means if you flip over, you become track art if you can’t get your rig flipped over with a little trigger play. Also, races are only two or three laps long, so clean driving is imperative.

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Tree provided a perfect flag pole while Mrs. Werty signaled the beginning of competition with the national anthem.

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Drivers got lined up to begin.

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And they’re off.  Remember to drive smartly.

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First obstacle of the RTX was the kicker ramps.

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Some drivers couldn’t even get 20 feet before crashing.

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Second obstacle was this sandy hill dubbed the Dust Bunny.

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It ended the race quickly for those that couldn’t control their steering hand.

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After the hill was a rocky gully.  It squashed the dreams of hoards of RTXers.

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Chaff Channel was next.  It was relatively easy as long as you kept your cool.

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The rock strewn tarmac chicane looked easy, but those rocks really bucked rigs off their lines.

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DSCF0213The final turn to the finish was this slick 180 degree turn.  Precision throttle and steering was necessary to keep your rig pointed in the correct direction.  Lots of races were won in this corner.

IMAG00107After a full morning of exciting RTX racing, it was time for a lunch break.  We had a make your own teriyaki chicken kabob station over a G Central.

DSCF0118On the way back from lunch I noticed someone put these stickers all over the place.  They were on the ground pretty much everywhere you looked.  They directed you towards the trail heads for the RECON G6 that would begin Friday night.  This was a great idea, because some of the trail heads were fairly far from G Central and would have been difficult to find without help.

DSCF0304After lunch, the Rhythm Drags began.  These were drag races held on a specially prepared track.  And by specially prepared, I mean rocked, sanded, and mudded.  This was not a point and shoot course.

DSCF0261Josh Harris made sure the drivers got lined up for each race.

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This first bump was a doozy.  Too much throttle and your rig flipped its lid and end up on its back.

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It is difficult to maintain throttle control when your competition is right next to you.

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This sandy corner spun out lots of competitors.

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This muddy corner was the final turn before the final stretch.

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It was harder to navigate than it looked.

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Even the final straight was tricky.  It was sprinkled with sand to trip up heavy throttle fingers.

DSCF0276After seeing everyone racing, Skeeno Jr said she wanted to try it next year.

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There was no waiting for next year.  I told her to get in line and be ready.

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There is Skeeno Jr after winning her first round race and mentally preparing for round two.

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The mud hole got more and more rutted…

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DSCF0298 But Skeeno Jr piloted Alien GeeSix with no problem to win her next few races before being knocked out just before the finals. With a smile on our faces, we walked back to camp to get ready for the RECON G6.

WP_20150716_015Before we got to our campsite, I saw Elio’s scale camp had a scale campfire.  I told you he was the King of Scale didn’t I?

The RECON G6 began Friday night and continued through Saturday evening.  Look for Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2015 Report Part 3 where I cover the RECON G6.  You won’t want to miss it.

 

 

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2015 Report Part 1 of 3

event_axialfest2015_pt1

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2015 REPORT PART 1/3

Words and Photos by Matt ‘Skeeno’ Soileau with a few photos from Rivas Concepts sprinkled in here and there.

July 16-18, 2015

Cisco Grove Campground, Cisco Grove, California

You probably know what AXIALFEST is by now.  If you don’t know what AXIALFEST is, you better read, learn, and plan on attending next year.

AXIALFEST is Axial’s thank you to their loyal customers and a celebration of Axial products and scale adventure. It has been called the Woodstock of RC, the annual gathering of scale RC Axial fans. It is a great time to spend with friends and families, camp, race, drive, and generally enjoy the mountains and driving Axial vehicles.

2015 marked the 10th anniversary of Axial RC Inc. Since I’ve attended all previous AXIALFESTS, I knew the 10th anniversary was going to be the biggest and best yet.

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Skeeno Jr. and I packed up and headed up a day early to get set up and ready for the fun. Here’s a recap of my Wednesday and Thursday at AXIALFEST2015.

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After I exited Interstate 80 at exit 165, I was happy to see tons of signs pointing me in the right direction.

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Cisco Grove Campground was fully decorated and ready for the mass of Axial fans that would soon be arriving.

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First stop was into the camp store to get my campsite registration completed.

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Luckily, there was a sign to remind me where to go.

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In the store, these fine, young ladies got me my campsite and cheerfully directed me towards my spot. They also told me that over 350 camp spots had been reserved. Wow, this WAS going to be bigger than ever!

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I spotted the entrance to Trail D on the way to my campsite. It looked like Brian Parker had been busy and the RECON G6 courses were all set and ready.

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CKRC Hobbies was already there and set up to support any drivers that needed help.  They had a sweet 5th wheel set up and a trailer full of kits, parts, tools, and accessories available to anyone that needed it.

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My camp spot was easy to find, since I stayed in the same one last year. We chose a new orientation for the G-Crew trailer this year. It worked well for taking care of all 10 of the G-Crew volunteers this year.

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One thing I was sure to bring was some Fisherman’s Friend Throat Lozenges for Mr. Brian Parker. If you attend a RECON G6 event, he would love you to bring him a box. He has a sensitive throat.

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After I got set up, I headed up to G-Central to see what was going on. Being that is was Wednesday, things were pretty quiet since AXIALFEST2015 wasn’t scheduled to start until Thursday evening. Everyone must have been resting and storing energy for the coming storm of Axial fans that would be arriving the next day.

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I walked back to camp and spotted RECON’s Mr. Parker, and AXIALFEST2015′s Official Host and Emcee. He was primed and ready for the weekend.

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I also ran into my G-Crewmate and campmate, the world famous, Mr. Roland Rockshop, aka Josh Harris taking a break while working on a waterfall near G-Central.

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It was really turning into a family reunion. I spotted the unmissable 6’8″ Mr. Tree, aka Eric O’Brien posing seductively near our camp. That earned him an extra bratwurst for dinner.

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The next morning, I noticed RPP Hobby had arrived when I walked up to see what the rumpus was up at G-Central.

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Things were definitely busier than yesterday up at G-Central. Here the Axial Crew was getting everything ready for registration.

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This was new. They had maps of all the events and trails for AXIALFEST2015. Sweet!

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Limited Edition AXIALFEST2015 Sticker Sheet? Yes, please!

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They also had custom score cards with participants’ names and custom laminates with the itinerary on the back. Mine was silver because I was a privileged member of the G-Crew and media. No need to steal trail markers with these sweet souvenirs.

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I went for a tour of the campground again as saw this son taking his mom and dog for a walk with his Axial SCX10 Jeep JK.

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I also spotted this sweet vintage tent trailer. I have a soft spot for these.

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More RECON G6 Family members! You may recognize Daniel Seigel in the middle, he has been to many RECON G6 events. This was his first AXIALFEST. He brought two of his fellow countrymen from Austria. Austria, like 6,000 miles away Austria. These guys are serious Axial fans.

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Up at G-Central, RPP Hobby had been busy setting up. They also brought a full complement of parts and accessories.

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Scale campsites were pretty popular this year. These scale tents and camp chairs were awesome.

DSCF0036 Here, the King of Scale, Elio Dianda, was setting up his campground.

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That’s a scale tree with a scale tire swing in a scale fishing pond with a scale pier with a scale fisherman with a scale pole next to a scale outhouse next to a scale picnic table next to …. You get the idea. Scale everything!

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The scale Coleman multi-fuel stove was my favorite part. Can you see the scale tongs?

DSCF0059Josh Harris and Brian Parker continued to fine tune the RECON G6 trails during the day with the help of the CKRC UTV.

DSCF0064Up at G-Central, I ran into Matthew Kett of the Scale Builders Guild trying to convince my old road dog, Mr. Anthony Rivas, of Rivas Concepts to run for president. Rivas said Trump can’t play the “Who has deeper pockets?” game with him because he has holes in his pockets! My vote would definitely go to Rivas if he ultimately decides to run.

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I almost had to tell the driver of this Earth Roamer to stay off the trails until tomorrow night, but it turned out it was Elio coming over to relay a message to me to get dinner started.  This truck is awesome.

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The driver has a copy of RC Car Action on the dash. Did I mention Elio is the King of Scale?

DSCF0075 After dinner, people started to line up for registration. The line was a little long. Over 600 drivers will do that.

DSCF0101This was a good time to get to know your fellow Axial fans. I heard new friendships forming and old ones being renewed as AXIALFEST attendees visited with each other.

DSCF0121I ran into some of my old AXIALFEST friends, Mr. Frank Testa and Mr. Russ Cushway.  Always good to see my RECON G6 family.

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First stop after the Waiver Booth was Tech Inspection. You can see the concerned look on the young man’s face as he hopes his rig passes. No worries though, tech inspection was more about giving advice to new AXIALFEST attendees. Axial staff made jokes with drivers about under-inflated tires and cracked windshields while pointing out potential failure points such as loose wires and screws.

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Vehicles that ‘passed inspection’ were given this sweet sticker.

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After Tech, drivers went to the registration booth to collect their driver’s bags.

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Skeeno Jr. was happy to have a chance to work behind the scenes helping the Axial staff with registration.

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Here’s a sampling of all the stuff in the driver’s bags; AXIALFEST2015 shirt, hat, water bottle, patches, stickers, map, score card, raffle bracelet, laminate, lanyard, and coozie.

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Special Pro Tip from Werty Made Products’ own Matt Henry. Pop a small hole in your coozie and attach your lanyard. Now you have a handy scorecard and pen holder for tomorrow’s RECON G6. Brilliant!

DSCF0088 After picking up driver’s bags, drivers walked over to another table to collect more swag.  Good thing they had the AXIALFEST2015 bags to hold all their goodies.
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Then drivers went over to RPP to get another limited edition AXIALFEST2015 shirt and more swag.

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Hey, hold up the shirt, so we can see it.

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Next, drivers got into a little photo shoot with the official AXIALFEST2015 photographer, John Cary. Did you find yourself in this album on Facebook?

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153370579140873.1073741894.164885970872&type=3

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Drivers could then place their rigs into the Concourse for judging in the Show and Shine.

DSCF0095 Rivas and Tree were there to direct the traffic.

DSCF0138Everyone inspected the rigs in the Concourse.

DSCF0112 This was my favorite because it mimicked Rivas’s RECON G6 truck. This thing was way cooler than my camera could hope to capture. It was a custom one off by Judd Rummage.

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I’m a sucker for anything Overland. This rig got my vote.

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I’d overland in this Land Rover for sure.

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Got to see a RECON G6 veteran, Mr. Chris Goris and his Blue Bastard towing an old Shasta trailer.

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And this Subaru Brat was another one of my personal choices. Subaru Brat, whataya think about that?

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Ultimately, it was all about the details and the King of Scale, Elio Dianda never ceases to amaze with things like scale beer cans. He took home the Concourse Show and Shine title for AXIALFEST2015.

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At the end of the night, Mr. Rodney Wills of Axial and Mr. Brian Parker of RECON G6 were feeling good and looking forward to Friday’s events.
DSCF0141 Keep an eye out for Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2015 Report Part 2 coming soon where I’ll recap my Friday at AXIALFEST2015.

 

 

 

SCORE Dirty Dozen–Young Guns of 2015 SCORE World Desert Championship, 8.19

Words: SCORE International WP_DirtyDozen_Pt1_500x220

RENO, Nev., USA—Helping to promote the new generation of desert racers, SCORE International has released the current SCORE Dirty Dozen–the ‘Young Guns’ of the 2015 SCORE World Desert Championship. All less than 30 years old and regulars in this year’s series, the SCORE Dirty Dozen represents a cross section of the next generation of SCORE desert racers that have made and continue to emblazon the world of desert racing with their flamboyant skill and dynamic persona. SCORE, the world’s foremost desert racing organization, features Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and ATVs. The SCORE Dirty Dozen represents several of the categories of classes with four who race in SCORE Trophy Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 850-horesepower unlimited production trucks. In addition to a full eight-page spread in the current SCORE Journal, issue No. 7, links to special videos produced by Telly-award winning BCII TV of SoCal, the 2015 SCORE Dirty Dozen young guns are available on the SCORE website at… http://score-international.com/presenting-the-2015-score-dirty-dozen-part-i/

 

 

Aaron Ampudia – Age 22, Class 1600, Ensenada, Mexico, No. 1636 Papas & Beer Racing Alumi Craft-VW Aaron Ampudia, is a second-generation desert racer who started going to SCORE Baja races at three years old to watch his dad, and later his brothers race. Aaron Ampudia started racing dirt bikes at four, and later transitioned to a Trophy Kart. He has spent the last two years racing as a co driver in SCORE Class 1/2-1600 where he finished second last year in season points including his first victory at the SCORE San Felipe 250. This year, Aaron Ampudia has taken the role of driver of record with great success. He won Class 1/2-1600 in both the SCORE Baja Sur 500 and the SCORE Baja 500 and finished third in the season-opening SCORE San Felipe 250 and currently has a commanding point lead in his class.

Justin Davis – Age 21, Class TT, Chino Hills, Calif., No. 85 Green Army Motorsports Chevy Silverado Davis, started racing in Class 1/2-1600 when he was just 15. He has since raced in Class 10, SCORE Lites, Class 1 and now SCORE Trophy Truck. While he has a lot of experience, Davis does not consider himself a flashy driver. “I’m not the most radical driver, I am more conservative,” says Davis. “If you don’t make it to the finish line it does not matter how fast you were. I conserve my truck for the end of the race, rather than be the fastest in the first 100 miles.” Davis won the SCORE Class 10 point crown in 2010 and the SCORE Class 1 season point title in 2011 before moving up to SCORE Trophy Truck in 2014. He also has two class wins in the SCORE Baja 1000.

Mark Samuels – Age 25, Class Pro Moto, Pioneertown, Calif., No. 5x ox Motorsports Honda CRF450X Mark Samuels got his start in Motocross when he was just three years old. He began racing seriously as a amateur in his teens and turned pro at 21. With second place finishes in the SCORE San Felipe 250 and SCORE Baja Sur 500, Samuels is off to a great start to in the 2015 season and is currently in third place in the Open Motorcycle point standings. Samuels credits lots of practice for his success this season. “My favorite part of SCORE Baja racing is the places you get to race through at the high speeds we achieve. I also like all the awesome people you get to meet while you’re down in Baja.”

Brandon Walsh – Age 28, Class 7, Encinitas, Calif., No. 701 Homemade Motorsports Toyota Tacoma Walsh began racing at 19 when he took a stock Toyota Tacoma, put in the required safety gear, and raced in Sportsman Truck at the 2005 SCORE Baja 500. He had no radio, intercom or GPS but he was determined to race anyway. Walsh has learned a lot about racing in the past few years. “I learned the hard way. I absolutely sucked for a couple years. I was very young and had an attitude,” says Walsh. “It took me awhile to learn that going slower is faster. Not trying to beat everyone in the first 100 miles is the way to go. ” Walsh is currently in third place in the Class 7 after three races in this year’s series.

Cody Reid – Age 23, Class 10, Apple Valley, Calif., No. 1068 RPI Racing Custom-Chevy Reid, whose bother Shelby is driver of record in SCORE Class 1, started his racing career at age 16 in a Class 9 car. In 2014 he won the SCORE Class 10 championship, and this year won Class 10 in the inaugural SCORE Baja Sur 500. “My driving style is to keep the car wheels down” says Reid. “I take it a turn at a time and drive what I can see. I don’t charge hard in the dust, where others do. I push myself and the car to what I feel are the limits, and hope for the best.” Reid is currently second in the 2015 SCORE Class 10 point standings.

Eduardo “Lalo” Laguna – Age 24, Class TT, Mexicali, Mexico, No. 17 RPM Racing Chevy Silverado Laguna is a soft spoken desert racer who won his first race in SCORE Trophy Truck in only his second attempt when he won the Inaugural Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500 in April. Laguna is driven by goals and his his hope is to claim the number one plate for the RPM Racing SCORE Trophy Truck as the season Champion. Laguna is currently fourth in SCORE Trophy Truck season points. In the other two races this year he finished seventh in San Felipe in January and 17th in Ensenada in June.