RockCross Forecast Calls
for Rain, Mud and Format Changes
ARIZONA -- The third and final event of the 2007 Skyjacker Pro
RockCross season will be held at the Firebird Raceway December 1st and
promises stormy weather and lots of muddy action.
Some adjustments are coming to the sport as well, and involve switching to a new triple elimination format
with a maximum of five teams in each heat. This changes from three teams
on the course at once and double elimination.
Perfecting this concept put UROC president Ranch Pratt in
position to make on-the-run changes,
delivering just a week's notice about
the decision to change the RockCross format. "I called the teams first
to let them know of format changes," said Pratt in an interview this
Benefits of the change are closer racing
and more excitement to the sport, Pratt said.
"People are catching the spirit of how it can look and feel and be,"
numbers for the competition: eight in Pro Modified class; eight in Super Modified. ORC
can confirm rock racers Steve
Bulloch, RJ Brown, Rich Deremo, Ben
Hanks, Shannon Campbell and the BFGoodrich Roger
Lovell will be competing tomorrow.
Unfortunately, because of weather, Pratt rightfully described the courses as
"soup." At this same location, Pratt once canceled a UROC
event, but he said there will be no cancellation this time. "It's going
to be challenging. You're in a huge bowl. There is no protection for
spectators. Even just the threat of rain can have a discouraging effect
on attendance," he said.
Pratt seems to find himself in contreversy a lot lately. In early November, Pratt sent a press release
announcing that the Area BFE management had approached him with the
concept of holding the 2008 and 2009 RockCross season openers at the Moab
recreation park; on the Saturday before the Easter Jeep Safari. This is the
location and date normally held for the Maxxis XRRA season opener.
distributed a countering release a few days ago, saying that
UROC made an adjustment - "in an effort to ensure that teams
competing in various events do not have a conflict in their schedule"
- to hold the RockCross opener on Friday instead, one day before
Maxxis XRRA's rock race event on Saturday. However, the Pure
Adrenalin Cup, a concept Pratt developed and implemented for the first
time at Event #2, will take place on Saturday.
"When we found
out that XRRA had made the choice to stay in Moab, we immediately began
to work on a solution," stated Pratt in the follow up press
BFGoodrich driver and DIRTsports 2005 Driver of the Year Shannon Campbell, who has supported Pratt's
RockCross format since the season's debut at Event #1 in Salt Lake
City, had positive comments about the format change. "It's what racing is," Campbell said.
To many racers, Pratt has created a unique rock racing concept that combines the
skill of rock crawling with the speed and action seen on dirt tracks.
the teams begin at 8am. Qualifying runs from 10am to noon with gates
opening at 11am. Team introductions last fifteen minutes, with the RockCross Eliminations
beginning at 12:15pm. Pratt estimates and ending time between
2:30-3:30pm, with the Pure Adrenaline Cup following. Tickets
for adults; $5 for 5-11; and free for 4 and under.