2011 Axial/MSD Scale Nationals: Class 2 and Axial Spec Class

Day two of the 2011 Axial/MSD scale nationals featured the Class 2 vehicles and the Axial spec class. Weather was a little better than the day before, rain in the morning, with some light clouds in the afternoon.

Arriving at the comp site, with a caffeine IV.
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Competitors trickle in and line up for tech inspection by about 7am.
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Miscellaneous competitors talk turkey as they try to wake up.
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A few shots from the comp site.
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Random rigs before the show gets underway.
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Ty Giebel from Colorado was the first to run this course with his custom SCX10.
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One of my favorite rigs from this year’s event.
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Hold your line driver, winching was the safest way out on this obstacle.
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NorCal’s Erik Gammon working his custom Toyota build, another one of my favorites.
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One of the Axial spec class courses. Drivers had to negotiate a full course towing the trailer. Sounds easy right? It wasn’t, if you rolled the trailer you got dinged for points. If you jack knifed the trailer you got dinged for points. Last gate drivers had to back down off a rock and through the finish gate. Slow and steady was the key to negotiating that set of gates without any penalties.
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Another spec class course. For this one you had to drive a waterproofed 2.2 Honcho through a wet, technical course with a big dirt hill climb at the finish.
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Wraith spec course was a KOH style course where time was the deciding factor. He who made it through the fastest won. Congrats to Axial team driver Dean Hsiao for posting the fastest time of the day. That boy is good!
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Axial team driver Ryan Gerrish extracting his custom SCX10.
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Back at the shop after day 2 for the awards and raffle. Fellow competitors vote for the various awards that will be given out, like attention to detail, tackiest accessory, best tuber, etc
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Setting up for the raffle and winner announcements.
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Ben and his crew throw shirts and hats out to the competitors.
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The crew is tired, but still rowdy.
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A few more cool custom builds.
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Class 2 winners
1. Luis Muzquiz
2. Lance Parker
3. Jerry Orton
4. Dan Garber
5. Nate Schmidt
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Spec class winners
1. Brett Thorne
2. Aaron James
3. Matt Davis
4. Ben Palmer
5. John Ripplinger
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That wraps up day 2. Stay tuned for the TTC coverage next.

2011 Axial/MSD Scale Nationals: Class 1 and 3

Axial teamed up again this year with Montana Scale Designs (MSD) to be the title sponsor of the 2011 MSD Scale Nationals in Helena, Montana. For those that may be new to the “Scale Nationals”, it is basically a hardcore competition for scale R/C rock crawling vehicles. Unlike the standard 2.2 competitions, these rigs are built to be as realistic as possible. Guys spent countless hours building these custom one off trucks, then show up in Montana to compete with some of the best builders/drivers in the country. These trucks are then put through a 3 day torture test to see which driver and vehicle can prevail/survive the weekend.

The setting for this years event was similar to last year, but with more water obstacles mixed in. If you have never attended the scale nationals, building waterproof vehicles is a must. Every year there is usually a fair share of water and mud to negotiate out on course, which is half the fun. This year was no different, there were many natural “scale” waterfalls integrated into the comp courses. Weather forecast for the weekend was rain too, so that just added to the mud and water levels.

The weekend started off for me and my companions at 6am sharp Friday morning when we met in the parking lot of our hotel, showered and ready to roll. From there we grabbed some coffee and supplies for the day, then hit the road for the short 15 minute drive to the comp site. We pulled into the comp site as rain and drizzle fell from the sky. Dark gray clouds assured us it would be a wet one, but the temps were warmer then expected which was nice. On Friday we ran 2 classes, the class one vehicles (aka the Street Class) and the class 3 vehicles (aka the Modified Class). For more info on the different classes and rules check out the scale rules thread on RCC. Here’s a rundown of the competition from Friday.

Competitors wait in line to have their trucks inspected to make sure they meet the rules.
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One of the endless custom builds at scale nats this year.
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Driver’s meeting
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Event organizer Ben Palmer goes over the itinerary for the day.
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A few course shots, there were a handful of bridges set-up for drivers to negotiate as well.
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Bulu production’s Brett Carlson was on hand shooting video all weekend. Brett produced a full blown DVD of the event last year for sale to the public, which was awesome. Brett will also be doing a DVD of this year’s event as well.
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Here’s a short teaser video that Brett edited together from this year’s event.

Axial team driver Dean Hsiao from northern California winching his custom class 3 rig up a slippery rock face.
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Minnesota’s Ryan Overbye getting ready to start his first course of the day. Ryan was one of many that ran all 5 classes this year.
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Andy Brooks made the trip out from Ohio with several cool custom rigs. Here’s his custom “Hack-a-lac” build in action.
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This off-camber rock face was extremely slippery. Many competitors ended up sliding into one of the gates, if they didn’t fall off the rock, because of the total lack of traction. Ripsaw tires excelled here, Andy walked through this set of gates with zero drama.
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Class one rigs awaiting their turn on the courses.
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Class one Hummer doing work.
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Once the day was done and all the scores turned in, everyone headed over to Ben Palmer’s shop for awards and some general mischief.
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Ben starts the award announcements.
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The Class one winners
Congrats to Team Axial Driver Patrick Norton from Texas for winning Class one. Also would like to thank team driver Zach Chatelain as well, for his 5th place finish. Great job guys!
1. Patrick Norton
2. Luis Muzquiz
3. Jerry Norton
4. Lance Parker
5. Zach Chatelain
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The Class three winners
1. Luis Muzquiz
2. Lance Parker
3. John Ripplinger (Chad Hand pictured)
4. Devlin Shipley
5. Larry Lawther
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That pretty much covers day one. Keep an eye for the next installment, Class 2 and the Axial Spec Class. Followed up by the Top Truck Challenge coverage. Who is ready rumble, and get really muddy?!?