The Tank Trap Determines the Best of the Best
About the Tank Trap:
The Tank Trap is legendary, often spoken of in hushed, reverent tones. Tank Trap is a regular feature at the Hollister Hills SVRA, but for one day each year it’s significantly modified for Top Truck. In its basic form it’s a quarter-mile-long natural valley that climbs approximately 195 feet in elevation. For our once-a-year thrashathon we dig seven giant holes and we fill ‘em with 120,000 gallons of water, which significantly increases the challenge level of the course. Here’s how it works: Shortly into the course, competitors have to navigate two deep water holes that are preceded by steep dirt hills. Next up is the “Canyon.” This evil 100-yard section is quite narrow and bordered by steep walls. The Canyon contains slippery rock waterfalls, ledges, and the ghosts of former competitor’s hopes and dreams. But the worst is yet to come. Ahead are five more strategically-placed water holes, each separated by steep dirt hills. And if that doesn’t suck the will out of competitors, there’s a nasty, often underestimated thing we call the “Crevice” located between the fifth and sixth water holes. But wait, there’s more. The crown jewel is the final hill, which steeply rises just past the last water hole and guards the finish line. Add to all of this the fact that competitors are given only 30 minutes and you have a recipe for some world class action and drama. And no, we don’t let competitors see the course in advance. Strategically, Tank Trap is a major player because it’s worth more than double the points of the other events.
See Our Tank Trap Coverage here:
See Our Original Coverage Below:
Top Truck Challenge 2013 is now in the record books and all the competitors have long earned a lifetime of battle scars and great campfire stories. We know you want to know more about Top Truck Challenge so we've decided to give you coverage of the awards ceremony at Top Truck Challenge! Each and every competitor worked hard and long all week and as such deserve a ton of respect from all of us since they battled the trails and challenges with such positive attitudes!
John Retzloff and Ken Retzloff finished the week in First Place in their 1977 GMC K15 Sierra. Their consistency and the fact that they communicated and worked so well with each other throughout all the grueling events this past week is what earned them top honors at this year's Top Truck Challenge. Where others struggled, the Retzloff's made up a lot of ground on the rest of the competitors and never looked back.
Matt Huit and Jared Harmer did an awesome job wheeling all of the technical trails of Top Truck Challenge in their 1981 VW Rabbit Pickup but ultimately a set back in the Frame Twister as well as the Tank Trap kept their Monstrous VW Rabbit from taking home the victory. They did however put on a great show for everyone and managed the only finish in the incredibly tough and slippery Coal Chute which helped earn them a hard fought 2nd place finish.
Josh Middleton and Tony Monalto fought their way to a third place finish at this year's Top Truck Challenge in their '79 Ford Bronco. It was exciting to watch these two run through the Frame Twister especially since they wheeled their way through it while blasting AC/DC's Hells Bells cranked all the way up to 11. Although we couldn't tell from all the hard charging driving that they were doing, the duo was plagued with engine troubles that left their oil pan full of water at the end of every day. Not ones to give up, they changed the oil every night to have the truck ready for the next day's events which contributed significantly to their podium finish.
Paul Boundy earned himself the Long Distance Award at Top Truck Challenge this year. He drove out all the way from Canada logging about 2,800 miles one way!
Nolan and Tyler Skopliak took the much coveted Team Spirit Award at Top Truck Challenge this year. The Skopliak's battled through all the challenges with a never give up attitude. What really pushed them over the edge for this award was during the Hill Climb when Tyler got out to pull cable and ended up having to run all the way up the steep hill. Not only that but Tyler sprinted one of the steepest parts of the Hill Climb towards the end so his team could finish within the allotted time since both driver and spotter have to cross the finish line.
Glen Green and his big loud Ford were a real crowd favorite throughout the entire week at Top Truck Challenge. As such they earned the People's Choice Award from the rest of their fellow competitors as the truck they'd most like to go home with. With over 600 hp on tap, it's easy to see why everyone loved Glen's truck so much.
Pepe "Peps" Palomo finished the week with tons of great memories as well as the Judges and Editors Choice Award as the truck they'd most like to go home with, or as Editor Cappa would say, "... the truck we'd most like to steal." The little mean green Tacoma powered it's way through what was seemingly impossible and although it struggled at times, it was still a hell of a well built rig!
Not only did Paul Boundy earn the Long Distance award, he also ended up with the Hard Luck Award after encountering mechanical difficulties that would surely have detered many from attempting some of the challenges that he did. The front ring and pinion on his 2003 Chevy Silverado fell apart early on in the week forcing Paul to attempt all the first day's events as well as the Obstacle Course in two-wheel-drive. Paul did manage to get the truck back together for the Tank Trap but after wedging the truck in the rock wall canyon, the front driveshaft failed as well. Paul and his co-driver kept a great attitude throughout the week and kept working to fix their rig which is why they earned the Hard Luck Award.
Aaron Fava put on a hell of a show maneuvering his massive rear-steer Chevy Crew Cab truck through the tight technical trails. Fava was also the only competitor to actually finish the Tank Trap and his rear-steer skills really showed throughout the week, especially in the Tank Trap. It's no surprise then that Aaron Fava walked away from Top Truck Challenge with a whole lot of respect from his fellow competitors as well as the highly desired Elegant Driving Award.
Be sure to pick up the December 2013 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine to check out the rest of the TTC results standings!