Thursday, July 2, 2009

The WCC Experience - by Jake Wright

First off, WOW! I've never been to a bigger, tougher, crazier, or more competitive event... ever! Parker and company really stepped up the courses and the event as a whole was awesome. Huge thanks to my sponsors Losi, Spektrum, RCP Crawlers, Rocksmith engineering, and everyone else who made this event possible. Everyone who dragged their rigs up the mountain for the WCC left with memories that will last a lifetime.

So about those courses... We all know that Parker is a madman, but this year he really went all out. Water, mud, sand, cables, bridges, banners, and courses that made you drive 100 yards or more were just some of the challenges. Oh, and throw in a 6 minute time limit and some very inviting bonus lines and you have the WCC.

After practicing on Friday, I knew I had to make a few changes to get my rig to where I wanted it. The rock at Donner Ski Ranch is tricky, it has tons of traction in places, and zero traction in other places. I slapped on a brand new set of Comp Claws and took an ounce out of each rear tire in hopes of finding a little more forward bite... and it worked! My Losi felt like it was glued to the rocks!

The level of competition at the WCC was just incredible. The best drivers in the US were there and putting up low scores all over the place. I drove pretty conservatively on day 1 and didn't attempt any bonuses, but I did finish all 4 courses with a total of -53 points. This put me solidly in 2nd place but just a few points ahead of some incredibly talented drivers.

Day 2 the courses were even tougher and I did my best just to keep putting in negative scores. Time management was huge and I watched several great drivers put in great runs only to time out just inches from the finish. I was definitely in the zone on Sunday and I took on the bonus lines on all 4 courses, netting me a score of -69, and a total of -122 for the weekend!

Going into the final 10 shootout, I knew I needed a good run. Grover and Kolby were only a few points behind me and any mistake could knock me out of the final 5 shootout. The course had a 3 minute time limit, and was absolutely brutal. I struggled a bit on gate 1, but managed to finish with just seconds to spare... keeping me in 2nd place.

The final 5 shootout course was awesome. It was a crazy combination of water, mud, bridges, boudaries, and crowds. I felt like the entire RC crawling community was watching when I stepped up to drive.

I ran a perfect -10 in the finals course and locked in my 2nd place finish. Jake H. was on his game all weekend and there was no chance for me to catch him. I might have had a shot had I been more aggressive on day 1, but even then he would have been tough to beat. He is a great driver and competitor, and I feel that he's stepped up his driving a lot too... oh well, time to practice more

All and all, it was one incredible weekend of wheeling at one of the coolest compsites in the world. I went into Donner on a mission, and I don't feel that I let anyone down. I wanted to show the world what the Losi rig was capable of and I wanted to honor my dad on the rocks the only way I know how. I know he was there watching too... I ran the 022 stickers all weekend and certainly felt like he was right there with me.

For now, I've got to figure out how to get all that mud off my rig and then its back to the rocks for more practice. The Vanquish LaGuerra en Rocas Rojo event in Colorado is two weeks away and the next battle is always just over the horizon...


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