Day 2 Event 3: The Mini Rubicon
What it is: Think of this event as a highly concentrated version of the infamous Rubicon Trail. It’s only 150 feet in length, but this boulder-strewn nightmare is engineered to be a world-class challenge from beginning to end. The course is narrow so the number of “lines” is very limited. In addition, we dot the course with five strategically placed deep crevices that create “waterfall”-type obstacles.
How it works: Penalties for infractions such as winching, reversing, stopping, etc,. are added to a team’s raw time. Competitors who complete the course are ranked by their actual time while those who do not finish are ranked by their distance traveled. There’s a 20-minute time limit. This year, we ran the Buggy Class first.
Finish Line Quotes
“I didn’t think it would be that deep and that big of rocks, like, right into your face.” –Shane Vizenor
“I’m having a blast. You guys don’t understand, I don’t get to do this stuff often. There is nothing like this where I come from.” –Alex Sanders
“That was the gnarliest stuff I have ever seen. That was awesome. I’d love to do it again. That was great.” –Ron Adams
“It was nice and nasty. Really good and chunky. It was awesome, you guys did a good job.” –Josh Hall
“It was a little chunkier than I thought it would be. A little more voidy. It was good, it was awesome.” –Tim Dallner
“It was pretty tough. It’s what we wanted. We were going to get in as far as we could there before that hole and call it quits and save everything for the Tank Trap tomorrow.” –Jeff Seely
“This thing is gnarly.” –Tony Montalto
Dallner’s S-10: With a history in competitive rockcrawling, the team’s strategy was to stay calm, cool, and collected and not break an axleshaft. It worked, and they completed the course with 18:32 on the clock before penalties.
Hall’s Samurai: Ran with the front 54-inch Baja Claws aired to 3 psi and the rears aired to 2½ psi. A C-clip fell off the transfer case linkage late into the course. They timed out a few feet from the finish line.
Keller’s F-350: Slow, careful run, but still damaged the front driveshaft coming out of Crevice 1. Chose to end their run with 5:29 on the clock.
Montalto’s Bronco: Co-driver drove the rig. Excellent teamwork resulted in steady progress. Timed out, but went the furthest of the teams that did not finish in the Truck Class.
Montpas’ Willys: First Truck Class competitor. Snapped the passenger-side rear axleshaft coming out of Crevice 1 with about 1:00 on the clock. Broke the passenger-side front axleshaft and twisted the driver-side front axleshaft shortly thereafter. The front winch cable broke with 17:10 on the clock. Chose to end their run with 18:17 on the clock.
Sanders’ Chevy: Had some problems getting out of Crevice 3, which used up over 8 minutes. Along the way, the winch cable broke. The homemade adapter that tilts the carburetor forward 30 degrees seemed to do its job, and the 350ci Chevy ran great even with the front end tilted skyward. Only gathered 5:10 in penalties.
Seely’s Suburban: Strategy was to get on the course and gather points but save the truck for the Tank Trap. Had problems getting onto the course. Both diffs got hung up and the co-driver stacked rocks. Got a few feet into the course and chose to end their run with 6:05 on the clock.
Spencer’s FJ40: Winched several times, but completed the winch pulls quickly to finish the course in just over 15 minutes. Gathered 6:30 in penalties.
Timson’s YJ: Did not run due to steering ram mount problems.
Vizenor’s “Li’l Nasty”: The winch quit working prior to Crevice 4 with 14:00 on the clock and the rig had to complete the course under its own power. Along the way the rear power steering pump blew an O-ring. Gathered 7:20 in penalties.
Results (overall time including penalties or distance traveled if DNF)
1. Dallner’s S-10 22 min. 52 sec.
2. Montalto’s Bronco 107 ft. 5 in.
3. Keller’s F-350 68 ft. 4 in.
4. Montpas’ Willys 57 ft. 4 in.
5. Seely’s Suburban 31 ft. 4 in.
1. Spencer’s FJ40 21 min. 41 sec.
2. Sanders’ Chevy 24 min. 20 sec.
3. Vizenor’s “Li’l Nasty” 25 min. 40 sec.
4. Hall’s Samurai 135 ft. 4 in.
5. Timson’s YJ DNS