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2007 World Extreme Rock Crawling Season Underway
Tough competitors tested their rigs and skills during the 2007 World Extreme Rock Crawling Season kick off at the Fiesta Casino near Las Vegas, Nevada. Rock crawling is a new competitive sport designed to test the mental skills of a driver, the brute strength and ingenuity of a spotter and the mechanical abilities of the vehicle. The course is laid out with a series of obstacles and the team with the lowest score wins.
Brad and Roger Lovell
Spotter Roger Lovell communicates with driver Brad Lovell
There are penalties for backing up or changing directions, touching a course marker, or using a winch to go forward. Competitors are disqualified for going over a ten minute time limit. WE-Rock’s newest rock crawling course near Las Vegas is not completely developed and limited in size. As a result, there was a lot of up close and very technical rock crawling.
Near vertical climb near Las Vegas, Nevada
Extreme Rock Crawling
Team Lovell of Colorado Springs, Colorado took to the rocks in anticipation of one more successful season in their FABTECH Ford Ranger. “I must admit that I was a little light on confidence coming into this event,” said team driver Brad Lovell. “We had an intense re-build after a fire and seized engine ended our 2006 season. This time we grinded through the first course and I knew we would be alright.”
The same section of rock can yield so many different course options and lines of attack. Competitors are thwarted by the shift of cones, sometimes by inches in one direction or another. There is also hard romping throttle acton that sends spotters running as rigs fly over stone.
Team Lovell uses K&N Engineering products. “There is a lot of silt and fine dust on these courses,” said Lovell. “K&N Filters keep the debris out of our engines and our sensors do not clog up. There is also a slight taper to give me the clearance and flexibility I need in this kind of competition.”
The most exciting event for Brad Lovell came on the third course of the first day. A near vertical climb caused smoke to billow out of his exhaust, blinding the team. “I had to take a couple stabs at the hill and every time the front would just launch into the air,” he said. The smoke cloud was not helping anything but the engine never missed a beat. It’s all about tires, suspension and the center of gravity. I have to make sure we don’t flip over.”
Time was running out, but Lovell found enough traction and the Ranger bolted to the top. On the second day, Team Lovell went into the final round in second place. Team spotter Roger Lovell stacked every rock he could find for at least five minutes. His actions paid off because the team had a perfect run. “My brother Roger is my eyes outside of the vehicle,” said Brad Lovell. “He directs me by fractions of an inch.”
Despite their best efforts, there was not enough to overcome the 12 point margin between Team Lovell and the first place driver Dean Bulloch. “We are ready to push it to the limit,” said Lowell. “We have a good series started and we’ll catch Dean in the upcoming events.” The Lovell’s next event is WE-Rock #2 in Globe, Arizona March 30th through April 1st.
Follow Team Lovell's progress throughout the racing season at the
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.knfilters.com.
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