Whether you’re into UTV, Unlimited Trail or the premier 4400 class off-road vehicle competitions, the W.E. Rock Dirt Riot race series is perfect for you. We were able to catch up with the W.E. Rock crew and many top competitors, over the weekend of June 14-15, 2014 at RAM Off-Road Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado for Round Two of W.E. Rock’s exciting Dirt Rock Mountain Series.
Held at the RAM Off-Road Park in Colorado Springs, the second event of the W.E. Rock Dirt Riot Mountain Series, sponsored by Olympus Offroad, promised to be bigger and better than ever before, with new trails, different obstacles, and gnarlier jumps for the competitors to overcome this year.
Participants got their first look at the new track on Friday, June 13, with practice rounds running all day. But it wasn’t until Saturday, June 14, that the real party got started. With a mandatory driver’s meeting at 8 a.m., drivers and co-drivers saw their first round of competition kick off around 9 a.m. with the qualifying round for the 4400 (Ultra4) Series vehicles.
Among those in the field were hometown hero, Chris Hoyt, 2014 King of the Hammers finishers Hunter Sparrow and Roger Lovell, multi-year KOH competitor Clay Gilstrap, and the new-comer to the scene with plenty of name-related notoriety, Bailey Campbell.
Though known for their insane abilities to traverse obstacles ranging from long desert straightaways to intense rock-filled canyons, the 4400 Series vehicles were right at home at RAM Off-Road Park with hairpin turns, a number of fast-paced straights and more than a dozen jumps on the course. The setup proved to be challenging even for the most-experienced drivers.
With the 4400 Series qualifying round out of the way, the day’s full-blast competition schedule started off with the UTV and Stock Trail series races. Though these are significantly different classes, both ran simultaneously as the Stock Trail Series only had two entrants.
Still, there was plenty of competition on course as UTV teams sped around the full course, taking advantage of their small size and fast pace to maneuver around the Stock Trail competitors while maintaining their focus on taking the first few time-slots when the checkered flag dropped.
In total, 14 UTV teams competed, with all teams completing at least their one mandatory lap for points. Six teams were able to complete seven laps in their allotted race slot. In the end, Shane Chiddix walked away with the win, having maintained the fastest lap time each go-around for a finishing time of one hour, four minutes and 57 seconds.
Chiddix was followed by Justin Meador, who brought his lap times up from sixth fastest to second for a 1:07:49 finish time, and Ray Mandel, who brought his lap times up from tenth fastest to third, for a 1:10:18 finish time.
In the Stock Trail Class, Ryan Robinson took the win with a finish time of 59 minutes and 30 seconds for four laps, while Keith Sach finished second with a 1:10:51 finish time for the same number of laps.
Following the UTV and Stock Trail Series race, the Unlimited Trail competitors hit the course, along with the 4600 and 4500 classes, for their chance at fast lap times and big money. Seven competitors from the Unlimited Trail Series competed, with everyone finishing at least two laps.
Four 4600 Series teams and five 4500 teams competed along with them, with all competitors in the 4600 class completing at least seven laps, and all but one competitor in the 4500 class completing at least five laps.
Showing everyone how it’s done, Jeff Rector, who finished in eighth place overall in the UTV race, hopped right into his 4500 Series vehicle to compete in back-to-back races.
Though he only completed one lap in his second race for the day, he still acquired points for his participation in both, adding to his total for the championships.
With three classes on the race course at the same time, horns and sirens could be heard blaring regularly as drivers jockeyed with each other attempting to make passes, move up through the pack, and improve lap times.
Pushing the limits of their vehicles, a number of drivers overturned their rigs in various locations, but with the help of a wonderful volunteer recovery team, were able to continue on in their race after only short delays.
In the Unlimited Trail class, Paul Kroger took the checkered flag with a finish time of 1:11:29 after maintaining second and third-place lap times up until the last lap, when front runner Rawlin McGhie ran into trouble, and he fell back to a fifth-place finish. Kroger’s first place finish was closely followed by Trevor Ritch with a second place finish time of 1:12:27, and Ryan Miller with a 1:16:42 finish time for third place.
In the 4600 class, front-runner Matt Peterson maintained his first-place status throughout his eight laps, finishing with a time of 1:33:54. Peterson was followed over the finish line by Cody Folsom for second place with a finish time of 1:37:05. Jason Kaminsky took third place in 4600 class with a finish time of 1:41:06.
A front-runner also stood out in the 4500 Series class, with Jordan Townsend maintaining his first-place lap times for all nine of his laps for a finish time of 1:30:36. Kevin Rants was right on Townsend’s tail for time of 1:32:34 for second place at with the same number of laps. Not much farther behind the two 4500 class leaders was Jesse Bayne, who took the third-place finish with a time of 1:41:05 with eight laps on the counter.
4400 Series Competitors
The last race of the day kicked off at 2 p.m. with all the 4400 Series competitors first aiming to finish just one lap to acquire points, and then racing to their heart’s content with incredible speed and spectacular jumps for more than two hours.
Chris Hoyt, who got his start in competitive off-road racing through the W.E. Rock Dirt Riot events, was at the top of his game in the highly-competitive 4400 Series, having qualified in first place for the afternoon race.
Proving why he’s seen much success in his rise to the high-performance 4400 Series over the past couple years, Hoyt was able to maintain his speed and agility on course for the full race, eventually taking the checkered flag with a 2:03:45 finish time for 13 laps.
Giving Hoyt a run for his money was 23rd-place finisher from the 2014 King of the Hammers event, Hunter Sparrow. Leading part of the race with first-place lap times, Sparrow threw down some intense competition to follow Hoyt across the finish line with a 2:04:53 finish time, matching Hoyt’s 13 laps completed.
Rounding out the top three finishers was Roger Lovell, who finished the 2014 KOH event in 12th place. His finishing time was just shy of Sparrow and Hoyt’s at 2:08:45. Nearly catching Lovell at the end was Dustin Isenhour, with a finish time of 2:08:51.
New-comer to the 4400 world, Bailey Campbell finished in a respectable sixth place over all, completing 12 laps in just more than two hours and four minutes with her dad, the famed Shannon Campbell as her co-driver.
Prior to the race, Bailey’s mom Tammy Campbell told us this was the first event she had really ever jumped the Monster Energy-sponsored rig she piloted over the weekend, but Bailey drove like a pro right from the start line.
Billy Briney, who competed in the earlier UTV race, also joined in the last race of the day, showing he too could compete in two different classes of competition, but finished 17th after completing just five laps.
With all the races in the second round of the W.E. Rock Dirt Riot Mountain Series completed by just after 4 p.m., the day finished off with a much-deserved awards ceremony, recognizing all the amazing drivers and co-drivers that took to the course at RAM Off-Road Park to put on an excellent show for fellow competitors and spectators alike.
W.E. Rock Dirt Riot event in the future.As the crowd began to clear and the last of the broken rigs were recovered from the course, talk of after parties was in the air as many competitors tucked their rigs in trailers for the night. All in all, it was a fantastic day filled with plenty of dirt-loving fun and we can’t wait to partake in another
For more information on future events go to the W.E. Rock Dirt Riot website; for results from the RAM Off-Road Park event, check out the full listings here. And for more photos from the day’s happenings, be sure to check out the Off Road Xtreme Gallery below!