Team Axial driver Jake Wright made the long trek down to Alabama from southern California with his XR10 for the 2012 East Coast Championships, aka ECC. ECC usually brings in drivers from all over the US to compete for the east coast crown. After a long hard fought battle with talented drivers from around the country, Axial’s very own Jake Wright managed to take the win and the cash prize back to California with him. Congrats Jake!! We are proud to have you on the team!!
Orange County Radio Controlled Rock Crawlers (OCRCRC) held their first event of the 2012 calender year this past weekend. Winners of this series will get an invite to the SoCal Regionals later in the 2012 year. Winners of the SoCal Regionals event will get invites to the 2012 USRCCA Nationals. So, it is the beginning of a long road to the 2012 Nationals.
Being located in Orange County, Ca., we have access to limited terrain, and part of that terrain is man made. For the first stop of this series we hit up a local wash that is lined with concrete and rocks. There are some tough lines in this area, and there is traction for days, which allows the course designers to set some pretty crazy lines. While walking the courses before I ran I saw a few gates that made me go hmmmm. But, all gates were possible if you could find the right line through. The sun was shining and the weather forecast was calling for 80 degree temps, so the stage was set for a great day of competition.
Here are a few highlights from the event:
I set-up course one, which was a technical 20 gate marathon. The first few gates had some tough spots that you had to negotiate slowly in order to clear them without any penalties. Then, after gate 6 you had a series of technical off camber, as well as descending obstacles to clear. The last couple gates were easy if you found the proper approach.
Brandon volunteered to run my 20 gate course first, and who was I to deny him that pleasure. Of course him and his XR10 made it look easy as usual.
OCRCRC club member/starter Tyler Schuldt broke his leg recently, so he competed on crutches all day. Not an east task in this terrain. On this particular course you had to stand inside a circle and let your spotter guide you through the course. This was the only course that played into his favor.
Brandon spotting for Tyler.
A few random shots.
I spy some shafty axles, a man after my own heart!
Jake Wright’s latest custom build with XR10 axles.
Don Hughes attempts the 20 gate marathon course with his XR10.
More random goodness…….
This off camber gate forced you to blip the throttle on the way through in order to clear the lower gate.
The first big USRCCA nationals qualifier of 2012 was held this past weekend in Tucson, Arizona. Competitors from all over the southwest gathered for a shot at a national invite for the 2012 Nationals of R/C Rock Crawling. Team Axial driver Jake Wright made the trek down from southern California, with his XR10 and a handful of other SoCal locals, to test their grit against some of the best in the southwest. After the hard fought scores were tallied up, Jake and his XR10 were victorious by a slim 8 points. Axial would like to congratulate Jake on his win, and thank him for being part of our team. Way to go man!!
A few shots of Jake and his XR10 in action at a recent San Diego competition.
As most of you know, Axial attended the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada recently. We had been secretly working with some strategic technical partners to give a sneak peek at the show of our latest vehicle, the Exo. Since Axial is predominantly known for making R/C crawlers, the release of the Exo was a big surprise to the general public because it was so vastly different then our previous vehicles. So, a handful of us made the trip to SEMA to witness the reactions and get some first hand feedback. This was my first trip to SEMA, and it was amazing to say the least. There is so much to see, that it is tough to cover everything. We were only in town for a few days, and barely scratched the surface of what SEMA had to offer. Armed with my camera and a backpack, I ventured out into the sea of people and shiny metal components. Here are a few of the photos I snapped along the way.
Cool low-rider Dually……
…..with some serious chariot-like wheel spikes.
Got to love green and black.
They had a drift track set-up in an empty parking lot. Spectators could take a ride along with them if they wanted.
If you are into Jeeps, like me, there was no shortage of eye candy at the show.
A few more shots outside on the first day.
Sweet Overland Journal JK, with integrated roof rack tent.
Another sweet 4 door Jeep JK.
More random goodness from inside.
Our first stop was at the Griffin booth.
What do we have here?
Raw metal and carbon fiber together just looks cool.
The Wilwood booth
The Wilwood Wraith
Cool Jeep pick-up.
Shannon Campbell’s rock racer, IFS front and solid axle rear. I have seen this rig in action a few times at King of the Hammers, and it’s just sick!
The Tron Audi built by West Coast Customs
The Raceline wheels booth.
The Raceline Wraith was on display too.
Walker Evans wheels.
Custom 4 door Jeep JK 6X6 pick-up………..say that 10 times in a row as fast as you can.
Next stop was the Icon Vehicle Dynamics booth.
Another custom JK build. Not really my style, but I can appreciate the time that went into it.
The Dana Spicer booth. If you are looking for tough off-road axles, most people start here.
There were tons of cool trucks to drool on at the show as well.
Or maybe old Broncos are your thing?
How about an old school Bronco built to play in the desert? One of my favorite vehicles from the show.
More desert vehicles.
Cool Jeepspeed build.
There were a few sand-rails on display too.
More photos from around the show.
After lunch we ran into a couple of Rodney’s old friends, Dennis and Ryan Anderson.
Chevy displayed several variations of their new Sonic. I have to admit for a small car, these things are pretty cool.
Got ear plugs?
Another one of Rodney’s old friends/co-workers Andy Williamson (right), he is one of the masterminds behind the Chevy Sonic display.
I even managed to spy a few nice full suspension mountain bikes, another one of my hobbies.
Giant’s Reign X1. I have a 2010 X2 at home.
More random shots……
I don’t remember the ice cream truck in our neighborhood looking anything like this when I was a young lad. Kids these days have it made!
More Jeep based vehicles.
My favorite Jeep from the show, AEV’s 4 door JK pick-up.
Next we went by the Hankook booth.
Does this tread pattern look familiar?
A little F1 action, Kimi Raikkonen’s Mercedes.
More spy shots…… not very often you see a Ferrari that isn’t red.
There was an immense number of wheels on display.
I think they made these custom for either Liberace or Elton John.
My last stop for the day was the Turn Key booth.
Even Charlene, the Turn Key model, couldn’t keep her hands of the Exo.
Woah, my feet and back were beat after a few days!! Those are my highlights from the 2011 SEMA show. If you have never been, it is well worth the trip for anyone that considers themselves a gearhead.
Here’s one last little sneak peek for you guys……………..enjoy!!
Axial attended the 2011 USRCCA Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada this past weekend. This is the biggest R/C crawling competition of the year. In order to compete at this event you must either win the qualifying series in your area, or sign up for the last chance qualifier (LCQ), and hope you make the cut into the main event. This event is in it’s sixth year, and still building momentum. Here’s a few highlights from this year’s competition.
Thursday was the first day of competition. There were 75+ drivers total signed up for LCQ, and all of them were hoping for a chance to make the main event on Saturday. The competition was about to get very tight.
The driver’s meeting on LCQ morning.
Shortly after the driver’s meeting, courses were open and the competition was underway.
Team Axial driver Dean Hsiao in attack mode.
Team Vanquish and Team Axial driver Brian Parker doing work!
Looks like Brian drove his XR10 to Vegas from Reno by the looks of those tires.
There were plenty of XR10 based rigs to watch, with many different set-ups.
The view from the top of the rocks.
Me and my sombrero working it.
A view of the top course, as drivers await their turn.
Team Axial driver Jake Wright working his custom XR10.
Axial’s good friend Yoshiaki Kataoka made the trek all the way from Japan with 6 of his closet crawler companions to compete in this year’s event. This is the fourth year Yoshiaki has made the trip to the US for this event.
Scott Hughes squirreling his way through one of the tougher gates.
After the main event Saturday, only 5 would make the finals on Sunday out of 101 drivers.
The talented 5 are……..
1st Brian Lorenz -111
2nd Scott Hughes -110
3rd Joel Gatlin -100
4th Nabil Jamali -99
5th Darwin James -97
Jason Hensel conducts the drivers meeting on Sunday morning.
The event was broadcasted live over the internet so anyone that couldn’t attend this competition could watch from home by logging onto www.rccrawler.com
Bulu Production’s Brett Carlson gives me the stink eye, as he records the drivers meeting.
After the driver’s meeting the top 5 took to the finals course in hopes of pulling off the victory for that “2011 National Championship” title. Driver order was picked randomly out of a hat. Once the driver’s name was called, they had 30 seconds to start the course………….no pressure!!
Joel Gatlin was chosen first.
This off camber gate was tough to negotiate, as soon as you approached it, your rig would start to unload. Most drivers quickly got on the throttle as their rig started to roll. But, the lip after the gate made it tough to get progress with the rear tires because it would instantly flip you off the obstacle as soon as your front tires touched it.
Next up was Brian Lorenz.
That same off camber gate bites another competitor.
Scott Hughes was chosen to go 3rd.
That nasty off camber gate looking straight on. Scott and I had decided before the top five started that the best way through this gate cleanly, was to back down below it first, then drive up through. Worked like a charm!
Nabil Jamali’s name was drawn next.
Darwin James was lucky enough to be the last driver to run.
And the winners are………..
1st place Brian Lorenz
2nd place Scott Hughes
3rd place Nabil Jamali
That wraps up the 2011 Nationals coverage. Keep an eye out for details on next year’s event. Special thanks to Steven Kautz, Mark Reel and Jeff Johns for helping me take photos.
Axial recently attended the 2011 USRCCA Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event brings in the best drivers from around the world to compete for a chance to be the top R/C crawler on the planet. This year for the main event there were over 100 crawlers battling it out for that one top spot. After a long hot day of incredibly tight competition two XR10′s were standing at the top of the podium. Axial would like to congratulate Brian “Burbo” Lorenz (left) for his first place finish, and Scott “Squirrel” Hughes (right) for taking the top 2 positions this year with their XR10′s. Way to do work drivers!!
Team Axial driver Becky Barger walks away with the Rock Candy win at the 2011 Axial West Coast Championship Finals in Cisco Grove, Ca with her Axial XR10. Congrats to Becky for her win, we are proud to have you on the team.
A few shots of Becky on course doing work!
Most competitors rolled while driving off this ledge.
Becky was quick enough to give her truck a little throttle when the front tires touched down, which helped her rig land on all 4 wheels. Nice driving!
Rock Candy girls, Mindy Howe (left) and Jess Downing (right), present Becky with her 1st place trophy.
Keep an eye on this girl at Nationals in September, she will be on her game as usual representing the state of Colorado.