The 2.2 Competition Class at this years Axial West Coast Championships was an exercise in coping with course design that challenged you far beyond “just” driving skill, but also flexed upon your strategic “thinking” game. Think of it as the game of checkers at the local level and you show up at the national level and its a game of chess. You have to get a little creative… draw on some little pieces of paper the chess icons, tape them to your checker-chips and school’em with knowledge of the game!
Why all the “strateg’ery?” While there are a lot of great drivers out there, the only way to progress the game is to take these drivers to the next level by first having them repetitively conform to a set standards and then push them a little beyond the norm with a bit of creativity while staying within boundaries and or strategically straddling boundaries as we witness at this years event! It is the next-level-competition of going from point-A to point-B that challenges the left hemisphere of that hard-drive on your neck, yes – the brain! Processing mechanical physics, terrain, time and rules is a massive info-crunch, especially when a field-ops drill Sargent is notching up the levels of the game beyond the norm. It’s healthy for the overall sport and it is FUN because it is the perfect “test-grenade” that they whole field is going to get tossed.
But who is such a mad man commanding field-ops drill Sargent that hollers at us to “DO WORK DRIVER!”™ while making you think speed-chess-hard all at the same time? And to top it off, while on the competition course there are moments of comedy from such an individual that seems to magically appear as this Super Axial-hero action figure to further distract drivers and innocent bystanders or some other masked Rock Ninja looking like an elder donned in 8o’s original Ninja Turtle kit but in over-streatched youthful costume size and sometimes appears as an over zealous international roaming news media commentator to report on driver’s actions or who knows what costume will pop out on course.. But back to that “mad man commanding field-ops drill Sargent” it is non other than Axial’s own team driver Brian Parker of the Recon Crawlers crawl-centrally located in Sparks Nevada. For you first time readers, please know that this man does not drive the course at any time before or during the events! But, he has the eye and flair of the most creative tactical course designers on the planet! In fact, he is at crouching-level of “Joey Christensen” of The Dirt, “Jimmy Babcock” of the JBRL Series and “Scotty Ernst” of Reedy Race of Champions and Short Course Showdown Nationwide Tour – Brian Parker is on their level! Not to discredit the above mentioned as they are the top event organizers within their fields [I know first hand as I have worked with each of them], but Brian Parker has been at the forefront and helm of the best rock crawling events that are only gaining momentum. G-Metal, bolt action, safety strap check and Checkmate! OK, enough podium stroke. Lets get onto what really matters!
We wish to thank ALL THE DRIVERS who came to partake in the AWCC 2011 as it is your enthusiasm and efforts that actually make these event happen! Parker and RECON Crew just standing around in the woods would not make for an event, although it might make for a spectacle. It’s that old saying, “if the tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?” Without the competitors as participant-witness we wouldn’t hear that tree falling! Without the competitors [YOU!] its just dudes making courses out in the middle of the woods, driving XR10′s and SCX10′s for the fun of it; nothing wrong with that either… BUT, Enthusiast coming out and participating makes the event happen! Capturing the images lets everyone know that it in fact actually did happen and is not just hearsay. AND IT WAS FUN!!!
So see it in print, hear us say, THANK YOU DRIVERS!
There are a lot more images on the Axial Flickr Page:
SEE ALL AWCC BLOG POST: