While in Moab for Easter Jeep Safari we created a mountain of footage to go through and just wanted to share a quick little clip for your weekend viewing pleasure.
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:
April 25, 2011- Irvine, CA – Axial is pleased to announce that accomplished rock crawler, Jake Wright, has joined the Axial Rock Crawling Team. Wright will be competing with the Axial XR10-Hardline Body at the following events for the remainder of 2011 season: Axial AWCC, Vanquish Products presents: La Guerra en Rocas Rojo, USRCCA Nationals, AWCC Washington Qualifier, and the AZ Summer Shoot Out.
“Jake has been a vital part of the RC Rock Crawling scene,” said Jeff Johns, President of Axial Inc. “Wright is one of the top drivers in the world and an all around great guy. We are excited to be adding him to our Axial team.”
Brad “Bender” Dumont, Axial Team Director, also noted, “I have competed against Jake for years in the R/C Rock Crawling world. He is an incredible driver with nerves of steel. Wright has attended R/C Rock Crawling competitions all over the world and usually pulls off a podium finish. Honestly, I don’t know if I have ever met anyone as easy going and approachable as he is. Jake always has a smile on his face and is a great person to talk to. He [Wright] is always willing to help a fellow competitor out with advice on setups and driving also, no matter what level they are at. Jake will be a huge asset to the Axial Rock Crawling Team and we look forward to a long-term relationship with him.”
ABOUT JAKE WRIGHT: Jake began rock crawling in 2004 when he and his father got involved with 1:1 rock crawling vehicles. Later in 2005, Jake eventually began driving both RC and full-sized crawlers. His great skills have led him to crawling adventures in various parts of the world to compete, and have helped him achieve several commendable wins during the course of his crawling career:
2010: Utah State Championships – First Place
2010: Shamrock Showdown: – First Place
2010: Arizona Summer Shootout – First Place
2010: Motorama – First Place
2009: Spanish Rock Crawling Nationals – Second Place
2009: Axial West Coast Challenge - Second Place
2009: SoCal RC Rock Crawlers Series - First Place
2008: SoCal RC Rock Crawlers Series – First Place
2008: Utah State Championships - First Place
2007: Utah State Championships – First Place
About Axial Inc: Founded in 2005, Axial, Inc. has quickly climbed to the top of the R/C market by offering a dynamic line of class-leading radio control chassis and accessories for the entire scope of the hobby, from novice users to competitors. Every component of our product line is researched and developed to offer superior performance, durability, and style. A true lifestyle brand, Axial is regularly involved in local and national events which allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of the RC culture. We’re feeling the love in return, earning coveted awards including “Truck of the Year” (Radio Control Car Action 2008), “Best Product” (RCCrawler.com 2007 – People’s Choice), and “Most Innovative Product” (RCCrawler.com 2007; RC Car Action 2008 – People’s Choice).
Axial Team Drivers:
Jake Wright – California
Don Hughes – California
Dean Hsiao – California
Jason Rioux – Colorado
Becky Barger – Colorado
Yoshiaki Kataoka – Japan
Patrick Norton – Texas
Ed Rappleye – Utah
Zach Chatelain – Utah
Brian Parker – Nevada
Thom Kowatch – Nevada
Ryan Gerrish – Oregon