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Mountain Havoc 2016

Posted in Events on February 13, 2017
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Megatrucks and hardcore buggies: These are not trail-riding vehicles; these are competition vehicles. Think 5 gallons per mile, not 5 miles per gallon. So what do you do if you have a competition-spec off-road vehicle and no easy venue where you can compete? Why, you make your own venue!

Clayton Kraatz built one of the first megabuggies, the Warthog, which we featured in Petersen’s 4-Wheel Off-Road back in 2007 (Tube Buggy Mini Monster Truck - The Warthog) when we ran into the monstrous buggy at a Canadian event. After that, he competed in Four Wheeler’s Top Truck Challenge back in 2008. When TTC changed its rules, requiring entrants to run full body panels, Kraatz came up with the Havoc series, putting on a couple Hardgrass Havoc events up in Canada. Later, working with the Mountain Mafia Entertainment, headed by Ben Spinney, Kraatz moved the majority of the Havoc events down to just over the Canadian–U.S. border into Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho. There the Mountain Mafia crew had the best plan possible for an uninterrupted, successful venue: They bought their own off-road park.

Before Mountain Havoc 2016 started, everyone lined up and checked in. Luckily a few food vendors are on sight at every event, so no one had to bother making breakfast if they didn’t want to.
Matt Christian showed up in an absolutely fresh Chevy Colorado that had never been run before. With Axle Tech axles and tractor tires, he made short work of the courses.

The Purcell Trench Ranch is 90 acres of private land where the Mountain Mafia has been building trails, mud pits, rockcrawl trails, and timed speed courses for the past few years. This author can tell you that Ben Spinney has rarely taken a day off since 2013, spending most of his time operating heavy equipment and making dreams come to fruition. By 2016, the Purcell Trench Ranch morphed into a private off-road and outdoor venue with multiple campsites that host a number of events, including Mountain Havoc. June proved to be the perfect time of year to hold the second of the Mountain Havoc series in northern Idaho, with the Mountain Mafia further perfecting the way they run events after cutting their teeth on some smaller shindigs prior. Nowhere else offers the combination of awesome trails, obstacles, and the freedom to run whenever types of vehicles on them they want. If you are the type who thinks that 44-inch tires are just a starting point, then the Mountain Havoc series is probably one you want to check into.

2016 Mountain Havoc Results

Overall Winners
1. Leroy Latham
2. Richie Tremblay
3. Matt Christian

Tire Pull
1. Leroy Latham, 21.1 sec
2. Richie Tremblay
3. Bryan Foss
4. Larry Dowd
5. Matt Christian
6. Greg Tory
7. Brett Harrell
8. Dan Osterhout
9. Steve Montpas
10. Nolan Skop
11. Tracker Bain
12. Fred Zanco
13. Adam Furlong
14. Ken Martin
15. Lance Wilson
16. Cheston Beck
17. Ryan Carruthers
18. Jake Brazier
19. Justin Haft
20. Justin Wickson

Jake Brazier put on bigger tires and packed in a lot more horsepower since we last caught up with him at Hardgrass Havoc in Canada. The little Toyota was running hard alongside much bigger buggies and getting the same results!

1. Leroy Latham, 1 min 26.7 sec
2. Matt Christian
3. Richie Tremblay
4. Steve Montpas
5. Tracker Bain
6. Larry Dowd
7. Dan Osterhout
8. Justin Haft
9. Ryan Carruthers DNF
10. Cheston Beck DNF
11. Greg Tory DNF
12. Brett Harrell DNF
13. Bryan Foss DNF
14. Justin Wickson DNF
15. Ken Martin DNF
16. Jake Brazier DNF
17. Adam Furlong
18. Lance Wilson
19. Nolan Skop
20. Fred Zanco

Hill N Hole
1. Richie Tremblay, 1 min 41 sec
2. Leroy Latham
3. Bryan Foss
4. Ken Martin
5. Nolan Skop
6. Ryan Carruthers
7. Justin Haft
8. Greg Tory
9. Lance Wilson
10. Steve Montpas
11. Larry Dowd
12. Dan Osterhout
13. Brett Harrell
14. Fred Zanco
15. Adam Furlong
16. Jake Brazier
17. Matt Christian
18. Tracker Bain
19. Justin Wickson
20. Cheston Beck

Justin Haft’s X-Rated buggy is certainly a work of art. While they may be a bit of overkill in the tube work, the powdercoated chassis and ORI shocks certainly get your attention while providing more than enough protection packed in a rigid platform.

Rock Course
1. Brett Harrell, 4 min 31 sec
2. Justin Haft
3. Matt Christian
4. Richie Tremblay
5. Larry Dowd
6. Greg Tory
7. Nolan Skop
8. Ryan Carruthers
9. Leroy Latham
10. Tracker Bain
11. Dan Osterhout
12. Cheston Beck
13. Fred Zanco
14. Adam Furlong
15. Steve Montpas
16. Bryan Foss
17. Jake Brazier
18. Lance Wilson
19. Ken Martin
20. Justin Wickson

Mountain Man
1. Leroy Latham
2. Matt Christian
3. Brett Harrell
4. Justin Haft
5. Richie Tremblay
6. Greg Tory
7. Cheston Beck
8. Steve Montpas
9. Dan Osterhout
10. Nolan Skop
11. Adam Furlong
12. Fred Zanco
13. Bryan Foss
14. Larry Dowd
15. Tracker Bain
16. Ryan Carruthers
17. Justin Wickson
18. Ken Martin
19. Lance Wilson
20. Jake Brazier

Charging down the track in one of the original megabuggies is Bryan Foss, in the newly renamed Foss Hog. Foss is the current owner of the rebuilt Warthog, which has seen some changes over the years.
Green certainly seemed to be the color of choice for competitors. Three other rigs at the 2016 Havoc event were sporting various shades of green besides Steven Montpas’ Willys buggy and Nolan Skopliak’s Ford single cab, named Gord.
Steven Adair hits the air horn as Richie Tremblay in Porkchop flies through the finish line.
Steve Montpas making a good show at the hillclimb event.
Tracker Bain flies into a Fifth Place finish in his Bronco at the hillclimb.
Nitrous works, whether covered in mud or not.
Nolan Skopliak (or Skop, as he is better known) did some high flying over the Hill N Hole course.
Justin Wickson came down from Canada with his “Jeep” buggy to compete in Mountain Havoc. It had to be a bit scary taking a nosedive down the back of each of these rollers.
Lance Wilson did Canada proud time and again in each event. That little Canadian flag on the back seemed to stay absurdly clean considering the terrain—maybe they were replacing it each event.
Cheston Beck is no stranger to the megabuggy scene, with his giant Scout on Axle Tech axles and 54-inch TTC Baja Claws.
We saw Jake Brazier win the Badass award up in Canada during a Havoc event a few years ago. It was no wonder. Back then his ’Yota was clearly outclassed by the competition, but that didn’t stop Brazier from putting twice the heart into the comp that anyone else did and making for one heck of a spectacle to watch! He has since beefed up his vehicle, but he’s still putting the same amount of effort into each run.
Ken Martin didn’t let the term Unitbody deter him in any way. His overbuilt Comanche took to the rocks, mud, and sky multiple times over the weekend. While there wasn’t much Comanche left in the build, it is always cool to see some body panels and what the owner started with.
Larry Dowd took one look at the tire section at the end of the Rock Course and hit the throttle. Tires are softer than rocks, right? The landing can’t be that bad.
A blown bead on a Super Swamper Bogger set Tracker Bain back in the rock course
Competition went well past 9 p.m., with Big Daddy Longstroke (check the name of the side of the excavator) pulling Martin’s Comanche off the rocks when competition was called for the evening. The Coalition Crawlers came to help put on the event and run the recovery crews for the weekend.
Day 2 started with the competitors lining up the next morning. We can only assume a lot of these guys did not get much sleep because they were up early checking over their vehicles and making what necessary repairs they could before starting the day.
Ryan Carruthers charged straight into the rock course with what was left of a Chevy K5 (maybe about 5 percent of it). Earlier in the year we saw him kick the windshield out of this thing during a qualifying event after it impaired visibility.
Fred Zanco went for a ride on the Mountain Man course in his Zniper buggy. The Mountain Man could be compared to the Tank Trap course of our Four Wheeler Top Truck Challenge. While Mountain Man lacks the vertical climb and the deep waterholes, the course is unimaginably difficult. Almost as many competitors timed out as finished.
When you have big equipment, this is how you most quickly remove a buggy that has had an issue on course.
When Larry Dowd’s blue buggy went over, his co-driver wasted no time hopping out and running winch line in an effort to get them extracted and back on course.
Dan Osterhout’s buggy runs a cool cantilever coilover setup that seemed to work well for him. He ended up placing Ninth in the Mountain Man.
Steve Montpas making a full-throttle run for the finish line at the end of the Mountain Man course.
The winner of Mountain Havoc 2016 was Leroy Latham in his buggy on Axle Tech axles. He had taken home First Place in last year’s Havoc event as well, and in the first Hardgrass Havoc up in Canada. Latham is definitely the guy with a target on his back.
Justin Haft made a good Fourth Place finish in the Mountain Man.
Nolan Skop didn’t quite finish Mountain Man. Spindle failure, which happens from time to time with enormous buggies like these, left him three-wheeling in one of the worst holes.
How could you not do a little posing after finishing an event like this?
From left to right, the Mountain Mafia crew that put on this year’s event: Steven Adair, Ashley Armstrong, Jake Dudney, Mac Miltz, Jordan Regan, Nick Rizzuto, Sage El Schermanador, Austin Smith, Brooke Spencer, Ben Spinney, Grey Whittier.
PhotosView Slideshow


Mountain Mafia Entertainment

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