Day 3, Final Event: The Tank Trap
What it is: It's approximately 1/4-mile of some of the most extreme terrain you'll ever encounter. It sits deep in a natural valley surrounded by a staggering amount of poison oak and various plants with sharp protruding objects. All the flora seems very angry. The area is brutal in its basic form, but we make it even worse (or better, depending on how you look at it) by adding dirt hills and deep holes filled with water. The unrelenting course kicks off with a pair of deep water holes that have earned a reputation for shattering Tank Trap dreams before they even begin. From there, the course transitions into the Canyon. This section is about 100 yards in length and is filled with steep, slippery rock waterfalls that thwart forward travel, and off-camber sections that tip rigs into sheer rock-laden walls. The Canyon has claimed many victims. After that, there are three more water holes before the infamously deep Water Hole 6 that is the ultimate test of waterproofing. The grand finale is a hard left turn into the last water hole and then a steep climb up a long, mega slippery slope.
How it works: There's one rule for Tank Trap: Competitors must travel through the marker cones when they appear. That's about it. Each competitor has 30 minutes to travel as far as they can. Rankings are by overall time or distance traveled if DNF. The Tank Trap is so tough, we make it worth double points. This means it is strategically important to teams who need to gather much-needed points or extend a lead.
Finish Line Quotes
"It was a blast. It was a good way to end a good week. Very nice. The steepness of the climbs to crest the water holes was the most intimidating thing because all you're looking at is sky, sky, sky, and you just know you're coming down in six feet of water." -Mike Karwath
"The DVDs we watched, so many people run through it, but it's a totally different ballgame when you're in it. No words can explain it until when you're in it. It's tough." -Joe Quichocho
"That was rough, man. You always hear it and you watch it on videos and you're like 'yeah, I can do that.' Then you get out here and start doing some of it, and you're like, 'man, do I really want to be here?'" -P.J. Hale
"That was tough. We got hung up on a couple spots that we didn't even expect. The water was deep. It came up over the top of the motor right up into my lap almost. This is the highlight of the week, finishing the Trap." -Jason Gray
"Tank Trap was one event I wanted to finish, and when we didn't I was really bummed. I shouldn't have been. I should've been more excited we were there." -Kevin Simmons
"I had to walk it after the event to make sure
I saw what I saw when I was going through there." -P.J. Hale
|(POINTS BASED ON FINISHING ORDER)
| Karwath's YJ buggy
| Gray's Blazer
| Quichocho's CJ-7 buggy
| Knoche's Samurai buggy
| Hale's Willys buggy
| Barker's Ranger
| Simmons' Ford pickup
| Sinkey's Bronco
| King's Power Wagon
Barker's Ranger: Came to the event with a new C6 transmission. Easily cleared the first two water holes and entered the Canyon with 1:40 on the clock. After winching in the Canyon, they entered Water Hole 3 with 12:50 on the clock. Miscommunication between driver and co-driver culminated with the truck rolling onto the driver-side in the trench just past Water Hole 5. After several attempts to right the rig, the batteries went dead, so the engine and winch were unusable. Timed out.
Gray's Blazer: Restrained run with low rpm to help keep the power steering belt on the pulleys. Entered the Canyon with 1:50 on the clock. The cooling fan threw water high in the air as they entered Water Hole 6. Winched part way up the final hill and drove the remainder to complete the course.
Hale's Willys buggy: Flew through the first two water holes and entered the Canyon with 1:35 on the clock. Got stuck at the bottom of the final hill and winched part way up before driving the remainder. Completed the course. Engine was smoking because it was overfilled with oil.
Karwath's YJ buggy: Fastest time of the event. Blew through Water Holes 1 and 2 and entered the Canyon with only 55 seconds on the clock. Entered Water Hole 3 with 1:50 on the clock and cleared Water Hole 4 with 2:26 on the clock. Co-driver operated the rear steer occasionally and never exited the rig.
King's Power Wagon: Entered Water Hole 1 with :45 on the clock. Entered the Canyon with only 1:18 on the clock. Hit the waterfall in the Canyon too hard and simultaneously blew the front driver-side tire, the rear axle, the rear driveshaft, and the rear of the transfer case with 1:30 on the clock. Spent the next 24 minutes trying to coax the rig further up the Canyon, but the rig's engine started to overheat and they chose to end their run with 25:30 on the clock.
Knoche's Samurai buggy: Easily drove through the first two water holes and entered the Canyon with 1:15 on the clock. Blew through Water Hole 3 with 3:40 on the clock and Water Hole 4 with 4:00 on the clock. Arrived at the bottom of the final hill with 5:30 on the clock. Broke both upper rear link bars at the frame, as well as the rear driveshaft, which required winching the entire length of the hill using the Warn 9.5ti winch.
Kuether's "Fat Girl" buggy: Disqualified prior to the event for a rules infraction.
Quichocho's CJ-7 buggy: Transfer case kept popping out of low gear even with the driver trying to hold the shifter in place. Driver switched to high-range and it stayed put. Entered the Canyon with 1:32 on the clock, Water Hole 3 with 3:12 on the clock and Water Hole 4 with 3:30 on the clock. Employed the Warn 9.5ti winch to help climb the final hill with 5:30 on the clock.
Simmons' Ford: Left the starting line with the winch rope in the co-driver's lap. The winch rope became knotted, which cost the team some time. Entered the Canyon with 7:25 on the clock. Both rear sway-bar links broke in the Canyon, which allowed the body of the Ford to lean into the Canyon wall. Driver and spotter switched positions with 14:20 on the clock. Entered Water Hole 4 with 29:50 on the clock. Timed out.
Sinkey's Bronco: First competitor. Entered Water Hole 1 with 3:33 on the clock. Almost rolled in Water Hole 2 with 6:50 on clock. Exited Water Hole 2 with 11:45 on the clock. With 15:10 on the clock, the bolts fell out of the passenger-side front brake caliper. Small engine fire quickly extinguished with 16:45 on the clock. Halfway through the Canyon with 25:30 on the clock. Timed out in Water Hole 3.