Step By Step
With a front All Pro hybrid 60, rear Toyota 8-inch, 5.29, and Detroits, Lisa No Fear Linker in the Bundrant 89 Toyota had no problem tackling any of the scrawny little rock obstacles. Crowd pleaser Linker pulled maneuvers known only to women superheroeslike the Yee-haw-I-can-drive-on-two-wheels-like-Daisy Duke. What a champ! Linker walked away from each tactical maneuver in good shape like a true All Pro.
Articulation, stabilization, and traction-ationwhat more do you need? Rear steer? Yes, the topic of debate at the Rock Crawl consisted of class division, including categories that divide extreme competition rigs from those who are just getting started in competition circuits.
The only all-women team of Crook and LeBaron stole second and headed towards the exit gate in their 83 Scrambler. The ARCA competitors commented that their advantage is the ability to see things differently and adjust line selection based on their creative advantage. Of course it always helps to have a setup that will take you anywhere. Their rig has a Vortec V-6, a 700R4, an Atlas II, a front reverse-cut ARBd Dana 44 with 5.13s, a rear reverse-cut Detroited Dana 60 with 5.13s, four corners of coils, and 38x15 1/2 Super Swampers.
Blackey torched up this obstacle as competition volunteers stood by in admiration and a little bit of bewilderment. Gina Vandall, much to the chagrin of her spotter, Brandon Gillen, was able to move the vehicle in ways it had never been moved before. The 91 YJ has a custom-built coil suspension, Teralow for the NP231, 4.56 gears, and front and rear Detroits.
The 302, C4, Atlas 4.3ed 71 Ford Bronco driven by Becky Gremillion pulled off a little bit of sanity on this insane sidehill decline. Hows that for a little downhill three-wheel? It feels better than childbirth, reported Gremillion with a smile. The reverse cut front Dana 60 (4.88, ARB) and rear Dana 60 (4.88, ARB), custom suspension, Hummer wheels, and 391/2-inch TSLs helped to make the process a little less uncomfortable.
Most people think they know style, but they wouldnt know real style if it bit them in the ass. Kathy Baucom, on the other hand, is the Queen of Style with her ultra-articulative 99 candy pink TJ. Its not just the matching pink hair that makes a package. Its the axles (twin ARBd Tera 60s with 4.56 gears), bolt-on suspension simplicity (6-inch Rock Ready Skyjacker suspension lift), and sticky rubber (37-inch SSRs).
Control, throttle consistency, and a little patience pays off on the downside of one of the off-camber obstacles in the Lower Course. Cliffords Cruiser has a Chevy 400, an SM420 transmission, and a Dana 300 transfer case. Underneath the surface are a reverse-cut front Dana 44 and a reverse-cut Dana 60, both with 5.13s and Detroit Lockers.
Schrader and Schraders subtle communication got them through the tightest of spots in their 69 Commando. The Jeepster has an arsenal of components that make it competition capable, such as a small-block Chevy 350, a Turbo 400, an Atlas II, front and rear Dana 44s, 3.73 gears, a front ARB Air Locker, and a rear Detroit Locker.
Women have always been integrally involved in motorsports in one way or another. So it wasnt a surprise when Sports-in-the-Rough put together the first just-for-women rockcrawling competition. The purpose of the diva-only event was to allow the ladies to dip their toes into the thick and turbulent waters of competition. The challenge came naturally as most of the women already had affection for off-roading and an affiliation in it.
Upper and Lower competition courses at the Rock Garden in Farmington, New Mexico, were set up to test each teams abilities in navigation, driving, and communication. Both challenging courses contained a series of eight stages totaling a punishing 16 stages and demanding two full days of competition crawling. The competitors weren't less fierce, but they were a lot more compassionate than the "other half" competitions.
Three words that best describe the competition are camaraderie, challenge, and communication. The second women's rockcrawl, if its anything like the first, will offer the same good-spirited competition. Save a spot on your calendar for the next Skyjacker National Rock Crawling Championship for Women in Johnson Valley, California, February 20-21. You can visit www.sportsintherough.com or call 800/556-2801 for event details.