Man, I can't believe so many people had that much trouble on Chocolate Thunder. I crawled right up it in my JK just before the race with Woods watching. Then crawled right up it again the night after the race with a few guys from my club; it was more dug out than usual at the bottom and the waterfall at the top, but nothing too difficult.
It seems as if many of these rigs are becoming more desert racer than rock crawlers, and this year's rock-laden course really took them out of their game plan. I watched the time trials and half the rigs were so low to the ground that they couldn't keep from getting turtled on the first rock. Many racers have ditched rock crawling rubber in favor of desert racing tires, and were struggling on relatively easy obstacles. Can't fault tire usage with many race teams though, as sticky compound tires are almost impossible to find and BFG/Goodyear really backed off on offering rocksports much support.
The overall winner of the race was running an old-school rock crawling buggy rather than a new-fangled $200K IFS rig. It was also really awesome to see a full-bodied Jeep on 35s win overall on EMC, and watch a full-body toy with a carbed 22r and regular Iroks finish the main race. It still proves that money doesn't win this race or guaranty a finish.
Sucks for Tony, as he really put in the time and preparation for that race. I went to Johnson Valley 3 times prior to the race, and every time Tony was out there testing the rig. Tony and Larry worked their asses off getting ready for KOH. Its the world's toughest race course and no rig finishes without damage no matter how well you prepare. I watched a couple of good friends put countless hours of work, family neglect, and a small fortune into their race cars, only to break on the first lap. I give lots of props to all who do it, and completely understand why they do it.
ARBs are a high-failure item in this race, which is what many racers are gravitating towards Detroits/spools.
Out of all the KOH courses, this was the best IMO. Hopefully its not the last KOH.
Last edited by desert dog; 02-12-2012 at 08:10 PM.