Have you ever wanted to throw down on a real short course track? How about the opportunity to be on the world famous Glen Helen course? This opportunity has come into fruition in the name of Jump Champs.
This adrenaline-pumping event gives the average Joe to the full bore off-road racer the chance to bump elbows and test their skills, as well as their equipment on a closed short course. This is one event that you always want to make sure to mark on your calendar.
What Is Jump Champs?
Jump Champs is the brainchild of Sean and Andrea Kepler who wanted to bring back events that haven’t been done since the Romona raceway and occasional county fair tough truck event. Since its birth in 2015, the event has grown in every way to benefit spectators and more importantly the race competitors.
The number of competitors that participate in the event grow in attendance and new faces become regular faces at each event that follows. At each event, racers are given a large official jump champs contestant ID sticker with their class and transponder number marked on one side.
These large stickers can be seen on the sides of vehicles or on garage walls well after the event. Racers have been keeping them as a badge of honor and a prideful memento from a great weekend in the dirt.
What Is The Number One Rule On Course?
Safety, safety, safety! Jump Champs’ number one priority is safety when it comes down to everyone attending and competing in their event. All Competitors must wear a single layer fire suit (which are available for rent) along with a DOT approved helmet and a small fire extinguisher must also be placed inside the vehicle.
Nick Howell is the man behind all the safety measures on and off the track. There have been many changes to the course and spectator access to prevent any dangers that may exist. Nick is accompanied on the course by a seasoned and experience recovery team consisting of Ryan Winner, Dalton Johnson, Dennis Haddock, Jakob James, and Blake Koen. With their oversight, racers have the best ability to attack the course without the worry of other racers putting themselves in danger.
What’s The Full Rundown Of The Event?
The full Jump Champs event consists of two main events along with a few sub-events going on consecutively. This multi-event setup is a real crowd pleaser and will keep all ages entertained throughout the day.
Desert Drags is a fairly young event for Jump Champs which has no shortage of on the edge side by side racing. The drag strip takes place in the wash area along the end of the course. Competitors race head to head in an around the barrel style drag race. Each matchup will include the best of three races, with the winner advancing to the next round.
Time Trails allows all the contestants to race against the clock through the course for the fastest lap. Racers are allowed multiple laps on the course during their Class heat. If a slower vehicle holds up the class, the Jump champs crew has multiple eyes on course watching and will stop those vehicles at the beginning of the lap. They allow makeup laps if a vehicle slows the entire class to make up for the stoppage.
The Jump Contest is the main attraction and has evolved throughout the years. It started with metal kicker ramps to a flat landing and now takes happens with a dirt tabletop style jump with a dirt landing. This year’s jump contest was sponsored by Method Race Wheels was moved from the short course area to the REM track at Glen Helen.
The competitors had to drop down into a groomed dirt hillside before taking off over a dirt table top and into another groomed hillside. It was reminiscent of watching freestyle motocross, but with trucks taking on the hills.
My Stock Ranger Can’t Keep Up With A Race Truck
To keep a fair edge, the racers are broken up into classes by vehicle. The super stock class consists of stock street legal vehicles with minimal off-road related grades. Modified class is as it sounds, a slightly modified street legal vehicle with a few small upgrades. A Bronco only class sponsored by desolate motorsports, showcasing their Broncos kits capabilities.
The Baja bug and sand car class consist of Volkswagen bugs along with tubular chassis sand rails that all have rear/mid engine with a transaxle transmission. Linked or 1450 vehicles are both mid-size to full-size trucks with non-factory high powered motors equipped with rear suspension links which allow the rear end differential housing to articulate with numerous amounts of travel.
The 1400/2000 class is also mid-size to full-size trucks with a factory or modified engines that also have a leaf spring rear suspensions. The ever-growing UTV and UTV turbo classes bring out the owners of all makes and models making this class the most popular. The fan favorite class is the Unlimited class where there are high powered vehicles ranging from a turbo V6 funco sand car to a full race-ready Trophy Truck.
Jump Champs crew would like to remind everyone that their event happens twice a year, once in may with the jump contest and a time trails only event in December. All Jump Champs information can be found on their website. We would like to thank the jump champs crew for putting on a great event. As the event motto goes “It’s better to be a racer for a day than be a spectator for life,” make sure to get in on the action and sign up for the next Jump Champs event.