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Stage II Of The Ramsey National Off-Road Challenge Series

Posted in Events on November 1, 2001
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Rain was falling from the Pennsylvania sky as Sam Patton and Michael Cox hung, suspended from the seatbelts in their '84 Jeep CJ-7. Their Jeep sat on its side in a mud puddle, and their morale was falling like the rain; the roll meant they would acquire no points for the obstacle course competition, and they needed every point they could get to retain their lead from the first day of competition.

It was the second event of the three-event 2001 Ramsey National Off-Road Challenge series, and the competitors included a number of folks from the first event in Cass, Arkansas (4WDSU, Aug. '01), as well as few new players anxious to try their hand in off-road competition. The setting was the 15,000-acre Paragon Adventure Park near Hazleton, Pennsylvania, just a few spectacular miles from the Pocono Mountains. This region boasts every type of terrain imaginable, from hard-core rockcrawling to deep, gooey mud.

As with all of the events in the Challenge series, competitors and their vehicles were put through a number of challenges over the course of the three-day event, starting with the engineering and RTI ramp scoring and moving on to hard-core 'wheeling. Judged events included rockcrawling, capture the flag, a hillclimb, an obstacle course, a high-speed lakeside obstacle course, acceleration/deceleration exercises, and a mud run. The drama was high as the teams accumulated points in the various competitions, and the scores seesawed back and forth. Often, the brutal competition caused breakdowns that necessitated trail-side repairs, ranging from simple tire replacement to complete transfer case swaps.

The event headquarters was based at the Red Ridge Campground, where the daily drivers' meetings were held and all the meals were served. A few Ramsey Winch representatives were on hand throughout the event, including Ron Vanderslice, Marketing Manager; John Dominy, Regional Sales Rep; and Bob Webb, Product Development. The event also featured trail rides for those who wished to challenge the Paragon terrain but not compete in competition, and three levels of trail rides left daily. We met many trail riders who were so enraptured with the competition, they decided to forgo the trails and simply watch all the excitement.

The Ramsey National Off Road Challenge series is organized by Bob Hazel of Sports-In-The-Rough, and by the time you read this, the third and final event in the Series will be right around the corner. It will take place at the Badlands Off Road Park in Attica, Indiana, October 5-7, and we will be there to cover all the action. If you would like to compete in this final event or if you'd like more information on the 2002 Ramsey National Off-Road Challenge Series, contact: (866) EVENT-INFO (383-6846),

Top Five
2001 Ramsey National Off-Road Challenge Series
Hazleton, Pennsylvania

1. Dan Gable - Toyota Land Cruiser
2. John Lloyd - Jeep CJ-8
3. Charlie Melchner - '01 Crusher
4. Tom Rollins - Chevy S-10
5. Erik Altom - '97 Jeep TJ

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