PLACERVILLE, CA – W.E. Rock proudly announces Naozumi Tsuda’s JRCA, Japan Rock Crawling Association, is now officially sanctioned by internationally known W.E. Rock Events, LLC. The three round Suzuki Samari events will now be named Jimrock powered by W.E. Rock and the extreme rock crawling event will now be called W.E. Rock Japan. “We are very excited to extend our international presence into Japan,” said Rich Klein, President and founder of W.E. Rock Events. “Rock crawling around the world continues to be successful and we are very excited to join forces with this already successful Japanese series.”
Trail-Gear arrived on the lakebed almost a week before the big race to make their final tweaks and get the car fully dialed in. A 9th place finish at last year’s King of the Hammers proved that the 4-cylinder, Ecotec powered engine at the heart of the #17 Trail-Gear Godspeed buggy had what it took to be a contender at the toughest off road race in the world.
“I’ll drive fast enough to put that fire out.” Those were the words of Matt Messer, owner of Trail-Gear, regarding concerns of a potential fire if any race fuel were to spill onto the turbo during refueling in the pits. It was obvious that their only options were to win or break trying. Starting at the middle of the pack in 44th position meant having to reel in a large number of other racers to move into contention.
Trail-Gear took the jump off the line and raced into what would be a high speed, low visibility first lap. The winds were low at The Hammers and the dust was like a dense fog that just wouldn’t evaporate.
Gary Feravanti limped into the pits halfway through the race on with only 1/2 of a rim on one corner and 4WheelParts owner, Greg Adler, sat for ages waiting for tire changes and other adjustments. It was nerve wracking to think what shape the Godspeed buggy might be in.
Roger Norman will add to his repertoire of off-road racing competing in the 2011 W.E. Rock West Series with the Torchmate Racing Team. “I am really excited to be able to learn and participate in the rock crawling series,” Norman said. “Being able to be a part of the Torchmate team is great, it allows me to have a solid chance at learning from the best, in a proven machine.”
Torchmate Racing Team is naming Norman as their Pro-Modified Rock Crawling featured driver for 2011. “After seeing how he seemed to be really excited about King of the Hammers and rock crawling, I think it is a good fit for everybody,” said Bill Kunz, Owner of Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems. “It certainly shows Rogers dedication to the sport of offroad racing and to all the other competitors. I just hope that he doesn’t get discouraged at first. It is hard in the beginning, but I know he will be able to pick it up quickly.” Torchmate Racing will completely prep and maintain the rock crawler at their facility in Reno, NV.