Rock racing is taking the world by storm, and the extreme rock racing Association (XRRA) is the spearhead of this surge. Where rockcrawling competitions are slow and technical, the rock racing teams stand on the throttle and launch their buggies over obstacles with total abandon for mechanical well being, and that makes for a great spectator sport. We attended the finals of the 2007 series in colorado Springs last year and not only was the crowd huge (nearly 7,000 people in attendance), the action was enormous.
For the novice, rock racing is side-by-side racing on two closed courses; it's sort of a cross between rockcrawling and dirt/desert/tuff-truck racing. the vehicles-usually a rock buggy morphed to go fast and jump big-start at the same time, but are racing the clock more than each other. Each buggy is allowed two occupants, a driver and a codriver, and they must race through the weaving course always staying within the banners. the course is made up of banked corners, loose dirt, rock climbs, technical boulder fields, and various jumps. Each team must get through the course as quickly as possible, then the competitors switch lanes for a second run. they then run both courses in the opposite direction for a total of four runs. the top six teams go to the finals for two more runs each and a winner is then decided. As you can imagine, this gives teams plenty of opportunity to bust up their rides, but with 50 teams per event there is some time between each run for repairs.
The courses are made up of big boulder fields, deep holes with steep sides, long swooping
The 2007 xRRA U.S. national champions, brothers Roger and Brad Lovell in their Alloy USA F
Rock racing is fun to watch but it can be rough to compete in. take Brian Shirley and kell
Here is where rock racing leaves rockcrawling in the dust; big jumps. the xRRA staff takes
The XRRA recently teamed up with the Gray Rock Off Road vehicle park in Mount Olive, Alabama, to purchase some property outside Jellico, Tennessee. this will allow XRRA to have a dedicated East coast facility for building custom courses and testing new types of obstacles, bigger jumps, and maybe even figure-8 tracks. It will also be open to the public for wheeling. xRRA will hold events all over the East and on the West coast including at Gray Rock in April. We really like that XRRA is holding all its events on private property. This allows them to build a course specific to what the drivers and vehicles can do without bringing bulldozers and such onto public lands to modify trails. in addition there will be some great sponsors coming to support XRRA including Rancho Suspensions and Maxxis tires. The series will be run with an East and West coast schedule with a final national championship event in Jellico in late September 2008. two of the biggest drawing competitions are the one held in Moab during the Easter Safari and the Father's Day event. the events often have vendor booths to see all the sponsor's products as well as a variety of food and drink, not to mention access to most of the race team pits to check out all the cool buggies being run.
April 19 Gray Rock, Alabama
May 17-18 Jellico, Tennessee
July 12 Hannibal, Missouri
August 16 Badlands, Indiana
March 22 Moab
May 3 To Be Announced
June 14 Colorado Springs
August 2 Cortez, Colorado
September 20 Jellico, Tennessee