Suzuki Conquers the North West Rock Crawl Challenge.
Samurai, SJ410, LWBSJ413, and LJ80 represented. -E. Bewley
VANTAGE, WA. -On September 21st, competitors gathered from all parts of the North West including Canada to show all what they were made of. Converging on the small town of Vantage Washington for what was described as the toughest rock crawl course seen yet, all makes of four wheel drive vehicle was represented for a two day show down on the rocks. After looking at some of the vehicles, support, and trick components brought by the one-hundred competitors for the weekend, it was obvious to us that this event would separate the talk from the walk for all of those involved.
Competition began early Saturday morning with a drivers meeting and instructions. We were caught off guard by the unusually high number of Suzuki vehicles signed up for this event. Thirty-one of the one-hundred competitors drove Suzuki trucks. The majority of which were Samurai with the notable exceptions of one 1985 Long Wheel Base SJ413, a SJ410 Pickup,
Ben Olson’s “LJ80.”
There were several interesting iterations of Samurai with everything from Sam Miller and Jay Fellenstein’s extremely clean and well laid-out vehicles running stock drivetrain, Calmini lifts, and 32-inch tires
Tim Lund’s samurai
to Tim Lund’s coil-over sprung vehicle with a high pinion 9-inch rear differential, and other goodies, sporting 35-inch Boggers to our own Samurai running a spring over on a Calmini 5-inch combo kit with front and rear Dana 44’s sporting 35-inch TSL/SX tires. But for all these parts it was apparent from the beginning of the first obstacle that driver and spotter’s skill was going to win the day. Throughout the day, competition was fast and furious. Due to the ‘golf scramble’ type start and the effect of having four courses going at once, it was difficult to keep up with all the rollovers and broken parts that were flying off of competitors vehicles.
an example of the crowds
At the end of the first day, it was apparent the Suzuki had an extremely strong showing with five of the twenty qualifying runs, Including Sam Miller and Al Berikoff top honors in their respective Super-Modified and Extreme class.
Sunday began with the battle worn contestants showing their stuff with the running of two of the same obstacles they ran the first day, two from the opposing course that their competitors ran previously, and one obstacle designed to be much harder than the previous four. Over 3,000 spectators were treated an incredible show as the field of competitors were extremely good. The margin of victory for the Extreme class was only ten points out of a possible two-hundred fifty. In the end, Al Berikoff took third place in the extreme class. While Jay Fellenstein posted incredible scores in the final obstacles to pull into second place for the super-modified class.
This intense competition included not only over twenty-one roll-overs but incredible driving and a festival-type atmosphere that is sure to draw even more enthusiast next year. We can’t wait!