CalROCS is a ‘run what you brung,’ grassroots rock crawling series, which is designed to allow anyone to compete, as well as put on a spectator friendly, and family friendly, action packed event. Each weekend starts the same way: competitors walk the new courses that CalROCS has laid out and they share stories of past events, achievements, and carnage. They cannot wait to hit the rock so they can get new stories to share around the campfire, new achievements, and new broken parts to fix, just so they can do it all over again.
Round 5 was the final round for the CalROCS extreme rock crawling competition and, just like the whole season, CalROCS put on a great event, and its competitors put on a great show. Round 5 was held at Surplus City in Oroville CA; Surplus City has built a great obstacle course using the natural terrain, large pipes, and tons of concrete. With obstacles named “Terminator” and “Half Pipe,” CalROCS formed courses that challenged the drivers to the very end.
CalROCS knew that the competition would come down to just a few points, so they set up courses that would keep the drivers on their toes. Drivers were not holding anything back — fighting for their spot on the podium. Many of the drivers ended up on their lids trying to take bonus lines or taking a different line, where others had to back up. Round 5 first place trophies went to Ashley Hall (Stock Mod) with 107 points, Jim Brown (Full Body) with 40 points, Dan Patterson (Pro Mod) 54 points, Taylor Tracy (Super Mod) with 120 points, and Justin Hall (Unlimted) with a crazy -55 points. These high point scores are just a small testament to how wicked CalROCS courses are.
The stock mod class had been battling points all season long, one backup meant the difference between first and second, but the Season Championship trophy went to Ashley Hall. Full Body has been the most competitive this season, Jim Brown took home most of the 1st place trophies during the season, so it was no surprise that he also took home the championship trophy as well. In the Pro Mod class, Dan Patterson pulled off many crazy lines putting him up at the top so he could be crowned the winner of the CalROCS season. Super Mod was taken over by Canada, with the rookie, Rob Kaufman, behind the wheel of the #22 Trent Fab rig. For the Unlimited there was no surprise about who won the championship trophy, Justin Hall took almost every bonus line CalROCS put in front of him and fought for every last point to win every round in the CalROCs season.
CalROCS and WFO put on the craziest shoot-outs at the end of each event. Not even the event coordinators knew what kind of insane lines would show up on the shoot-out course. Timed rock crawls, side-by-side races, and the biggest obstacles available could be thrown at the drivers for the shoot-out course. The round 5 CalROCS and WFO pulled out all the stops for the shoot-out. The course would be a side-by-side race, two competitors at a time. The course started with a drag race to a hairpin turn into the first set of obstacles. Drivers could choose from two lines on three sets of obstacles – the driver who finished the course the fastest won. Everyone was cleared off the track because the drivers were on the rev limiters hitting obstacles at 25 mph when they normally hit them in double low at 1 mph. Tires were in the air and drivers were running over the top of each other to get to the best line to score the best time.
The Canadian, Rob Kaufman, stole the show this year at CalROCs. Whenever you heard the roar of a Trent Fab buggy hitting the rev limiter, you knew that Rob was on the course. The crowd and media followed Rob in the #22 buggy to every course, because even though this was his first year in a rock crawler, he always put on a great show. Rob bought his rig from Derek Trent in the beginning of the season with no experience in the sport. After a short overview of how the rig worked, and what lockers and cutting breaks are, Rob entered the competition. Kaufman is not afraid of the skinny pedal and he picked up on how to find the right line very quickly. With the help of Joe Magliano, Rob took first place in all the events except one – and stole the championship trophy.
Justin Hall is an inspiration to us all. In 2008 Justin was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but he did not let this slow him down at all – it was his dream to become a championship rock crawler and that is what he did. Justin has competed not only at CalROCS but at W.E. Rock, as well, and consistently puts up great scores. And when Justin says he is going to conquering the Terminator in one try, he means one try, taking all four tires off the ground at the top, and making the Terminator look like a simple sand hill. Justin has also started a non-profit organization called Crawlin’ for Crohn’s, and, with the help of CalROCS, this year he raised over $2800 in the first ever Crawlin’ for Crohn’s raffle.
CalROCS always puts on a great event for the spectators and the drivers. Courses are set up to challenge the drivers and allow the spectators a front row seat at a safe distance. CalROCS always has a free raffle available to anyone who comes to the events, and they have been known to give free ponchos when it rains, and free watermelon when it’s hot. They provide a family environment for all to enjoy this great sport. The sportsmanship and friendly competition of the drivers is great and keeps good sprits at the event even when someone breaks out a rulebook or contests a judge’s ruling. And, of course, the carnage and high revving engines provide non-stop action all weekend.
So, come check out CalROCS next year. Meet all the drivers and see all the action in the CalROCS Extreme Rock Crawling series. Then after you get hooked and want more, build your own rig and join in the competition. CalROCS is designed to provide an event in which anyone can compete, as well as join in the great community of Rock Crawlers.