More and more women are getting into off-road racing, and Amanda Bracket is as enthusiastic about racing as her Jeep XJ is bright. She caught the attention of Heinz57Racing and soon found herself as part of the team.
“They were looking for a new female driver and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity," said Amanda. "It’s an adrenaline rush you’ll never get sick of and it’s so much more than just racing. The great times, great people and a whole new community you become apart of to make amazing memories.” Lady Luck was not on her side at CRAWLfest. During her first lap the pink XJ suffered a broken steering tab failure on the right knuckle.
For some people, off-road racing offers a freedom that cannot be found behind the wheel on our public roads.
“The only reason I’m in off-road racing is because the penalty for doing anything ‘fun’ is too much these days", says Adam Bullock. He gets his adrenaline fix tearing up the track in his Unlimited class rig. “Now that I have a family, this is a cheap hobby the family can enjoy.”
Cheap is not something you’d normally expect to hear roll off the tongue from someone racing a heavily modified vehicle, but if you’re willing to put in the hours and turn a few wrenches, you can find yourself behind the wheel of a sweet rock buggy at a reasonable price. Adam and his heavily modified Toyota truck (that now looks like a Jeep CJ) placed 8th overall in the Unlimited class, and while he didn’t find himself on the podium, Adam certainly wins the “best tow rig” award in his vintage 1977 GMC Fleury RV!
Chris Dale is still patiently waiting to get behind the wheel of his Jeep Grand Cherokee and experience the thrill of racing. Until that day comes, his kids have been doing a fine job the last three years piloting the Jeep for him. Dale Racing is a family affair, with racing roots
that go all the way back to England where Chris raced in the British Off-Road Championships. Being exposed to racing at an early age, it was just natural that his children Jack, Rebecca, and Georgia would eventually follow in his footsteps. During pre-running, the front right axle shaft let go, but thanks to great support from the family and the Baja Jeep Club, a team of people had the shaft pulled out and a spare installed just in time for the morning races. A tire blow-out during the first heat caused them to limp to the finish line with an 11 min 13 sec time, but they picked up the pace in the afternoon and managed to secure a fourthplace finish in the Stock class.
TMR Customs is a name well known in the off-road racing world. Tim and Mike Rogers have been instrumental in supporting the racing community by stepping up as the primary sponsor for the TMR Customs Off Road Racing Series.
Not ones to sit on the sidelines, Tim and Mike each take a turn piloting the TMR “Priorities” tube chassis race buggy. 4wheeling for the brothers goes all the way back to their youth when they would drive around in an old Jeep CJ that their father had received from their uncle. Tim recalls, “I remember asking my Dad, what’s that on the floor? Well it turned out there wasn’t a floor and I was seeing the ground rushing past!”
The TMR “Priorities” rig is a fierce racing machine - crate GM 6.2L LS3, Reid Racing Turbo 400 transmission, SCS Transfer case, and Ford 350/450 axles holding up massive 42” BFGoodrich tires. It’s no surprise they secured 1st place in the Unlimited class and by a margin of just 1 second, laid down the fastest lap time of the day at 3 min 55 sec.
CRAWLfest was a blood bath of vehicle carnage - 11 DNF’s, a front axle housing completely snapped in half, a vehicle rollover, numerous snapped axles and u-joints, blown tires, busted leaf springs... the list goes on. So why on earth would anyone be interested in destroying a machine that cost so much money and time? Maybe your friends are right - maybe you are a bit crazy. Everyone has a different story. For some it’s about getting that adrenaline rush, others want to be part of a community, while some are just following the path they began walking down with their parents.
Best of luck to all the racers in the 2019 season! YouTube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZbtRKAtUgL4
David Bouthillier is a motorsports enthusiast, metal fabricator, and software developer for a hi-tech company in Kanata. Together with his wife Ange, they have created GLASSGLOWZ Media, a company that focuses on motorsports photography and videography. When he’s not behind the camera, David can usually be found in the garage working on his 74 Dodge Challenger, or out for a rip on the ATV’s with his wife and kids. You can follow him on Instagram @glassglowzmedia, YouTube, Facebook, or www.glassglowzmedia.com
The “Hoist Wagon” running strong in Modified class. Pete Hamann giving the crowd a big highfive
Dale Racing struggling to make it home.
Sharon Sauer searching for traction.
Pete Hamann from Heinz57Racing with his custom tube chassis buggy.
Cracking under pressure.
The Dale Racing team.