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Off-Road Competitors Venture Out of Rockcrawling Zone for Hill Climb Race
The Colorado Hill Climb Association (CHCA) has a new rock racer class. It is perfect for competitors who take their rigs to crawl and race on rocks. Rockcrawling brothers Brad and Roger Lovell tried it out because they said it was a heck of a ride at the Canyon City, Colorado event.
Hill climb rookie Brad Lovell scrambles to the top of the mountain in his Ford Ranger with K&N products, photo by Jud Leslie
CHCA finish line for Hill Climb competitor Brad Lovell, photo by Jud Leslie
“Our overbuilt tanks were surprisingly competitive with the dedicated hill climb cars,” said Brad Lovell. “It was our first hill climb and we had no idea what to expect. When we arrived we saw everything from Rally cars to methanol burning open wheel monsters. We saw plastic wheels, aluminum chassis and 800 horsepower go-kart sized racers and our Ford Ranger stuck out like a sore thumb.”
Hairpin turns are part of new rock racer class in the CHCA Colorado Hill Climb Association, photo by Jud Leslie
Loose gravel and drop offs are only part of the ride in a hill climb competition, photo by Jud Leslie
The Rock Racer class went first on day one and Brad Lovell was first out. “My plan was to be cautious on the first run and go for broke on the second,” said Lovell. “I slowed for the turns that caused me trouble and kept my hands steady on the wheel.”
Lovell learned fast that it is important in a hill climb to be smooth with the steering wheel. “I flung the No. 232 Torchmate Ranger with K&N products all over the road,” he said. “I was concerned about the loose gravel and drop offs as we scrambled to the top.”
The second run was much better for the brothers because they started to figure out the hairpin turns. Lovell set the low time for his class of 3.39. “I felt pretty good about that,” he said. “I pushed harder in the final run and lost it in a hairpin.”
Race day consisted of two timed runs, and the best time became the official time. “What a ride,” he said. “Our fastest time was 3.38 and we took the lead in the class. I did not want to be dethroned and I stayed in the throttle and pushed turns that made the hair on the back of my neck rise.”
Lovell hit 94 mph, stepped on the brakes and slid around the first turn. “I could feel my tires grab and I could feel the lateral G-forces develop,” he said. “As I reached the top, I knew I had a good time and a good run.” Rival JT Taylor bettered Lovell’s time by 6/10ths of a second.
“It was so dusty and dirty on the mountain and there was loose gravel everywhere,” said Lovell. “We never have to worry about our K&N
. K&N Keeps the debris out of our engines and prevents our sensors from clogging up.”
Next up for Brad and Roger Lovell will be the 2nd Annual ROC Race on Memorial Day Weekend.
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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.knfilters.com.
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