The Mini Rubicon
What it is: 125 feet of brain-bending, boulder-strewn intensity bordered by sharp drop-offs and poison oak. In many ways, just getting started on the course is worse than the course itself.
How it works: Competitors have 20 minutes, and time can fly or it can crawl (no pun intended), depending on how their luck is going. Standard rockcrawling rules apply. In this event, it doesn't matter what order you run, because it's going to be bad any way you look at it. In a good way, of course.
Finish Line Quotes
"That was a rough ride, let me tell you." --Sam Collins
"First time I've done the rocks, so I didn't think I'd make it."--Terry Gilpin
"I'm glad I put rear steer in. It hurt me a little bit in the Obstacle Course because I didn't have enough time with it, but this is slow and easy enough to keep control."--Cory Hanson
"Another day in the rocks. Just have to do it fast, and that changes everything." --Geoff Grothe
Mini Rubicon Redux
Boggio's S-10: Last competitor. Got stuck hard on the rocks while attempting to enter the course. Eventually used the winch to drag the truck hard to the passenger side in an effort to unseat it. With six minutes left on the clock, the front driveshaft pulled apart at the splines, and they chose to end their run.
Buck's Ranger: Early in the course they tried a previously unused line. Immediately got stuck. Fought for every inch of forward travel but continued relentlessly. Hammered the rig over the last section of rocks. Pretzeled a driveshaft somewhere in the course and crossed the finish line with the engine coolant hovering at the 300-degree level.
Burton's TJ: First competitor. Ran the course with no air pressure in the 53-inch Michelins. Never got stuck, never winched. Utilized the rear steering a lot. Good driver/co-driver communication.
Collins' F-250: Struggled to get on the course, but then attacked it with urgency. Damaged some sheetmetal, but otherwise a clean, fast run.
Dibble's ASM buggy: About three quarters of the way through the course they got hung up, necessitating a pull from the winch. Clean run, no drama.
Gilpin's K3500: Caved in the front passenger-side door during a run-in with a tree at the beginning of the course. Broke a front-axle traction bar about 20 feet into the course. The carbureted engine stalled 18 times in a little over 19 minutes. Opted to end the run near the 20-minute mark.
Grothe's Bronco: Excellent driver/co-driver communication. Got stuck near the end of the course and winched. Made it through on the clock.
Hanson's Toyota: Continued to 'wheel with a vengeance to recover points. Fast run until the halfway point, where they had to maneuver through a challenging section. Crab-walked the rig through using the four-wheel steering. Leaking seal on the front portal axle was no big deal.
Pellett's Ram: Fought to get on the course. Got stuck, tried to winch off boulders, but had problems with the winch cable slipping off the rocks. Reversed direction for another line, but broke the left rear axle. Chose to end their run.
Sheeley's TJ: Took about four tries to get the right line onto the rocks. Struggled for every inch of travel and once got tilted precariously. Never found the right line and timed out.
RESULTS (corrected time or finishing order if DNF)
1 Burton's TJ 4 min. 54 sec.
2 Collins' F-250 5 min. 2 sec.
3 Hanson's Toyota 5 min. 55 sec.
4 Dibble's ASM buggy 9 min. 12 sec.
5 Buck's Ranger 14 min. 23 sec.
6 Grothe's Bronco 14 min. 53 sec.
7 Gilpin's K3500 DNF
8 Sheeley's TJ DNF
9 Pellett's Ram DNF
10 Boggio's S-10 DNF