The Obstacle Course begins with a shockingly tall and long slippery hill descent known as the “first hill” and it ends with a nasty dogleg gully that’s tantalizingly close to the finish line. In between is a treasure trove of terror. The “lower section” forces competitors to navigate a 360-degree turn through three deep water holes and sand. From there, competitors travel up a hill to the “upper section” that includes a deceiving off-camber U-turn (known as “U-turn Hill”), two deep water holes, and numerous tight turns. This event has a 10-minute time limit, but speed is the enemy. This is because the course is marked with numerous cones and each one hit adds 20 seconds to the overall time. If all four tires of a rig travel outside a cone the rig is disqualified at that point. Safety violations net a whopping two-minute penalty. Clearly, accuracy is the key to success in the Obstacle Course.
Think back to those hillclimbs you’ve done in your 4×4. Yeah, the TTC Hill Climb isn’t like that. The Hill Climb is built specifically for TTC, it’s approximately 600 feet in length and it has an average angle of approximately 60 degrees. It twists and turns as it winds through the poison oak and it’s peppered with strategically-placed deep holes and dirt hills. Yes, we added hills to our Hill Climb. The Hill Climb is loose, steep, and unpredictable. Naturally, we don’t let drivers see it before they run it because that would ruin the surprise. The Hill Climb rewards those who can think on-the-fly and punishes those who are thinking about the next event. We allowed each competitor 5 minutes to tackle the hill and during that time they could stop, reverse, or winch. If a competitor exceeded the time limit, traveled out of bounds, or violated a safety rule they were disqualified at that point.
The Mini Rubicon, a staple of Top Truck for years, was a brutal event that forced competitors to fight for every inch of forward progress. It was tough and unforgiving. We wanted something tougher. So, for 2013 we replaced the Mini Rubicon with the awe-inspiring Coal Chute. This event uses a newly developed area (Rock Rash Ridge) at the Hollister Hills SVRA that contains an amazing collection of man-made obstacles. Naturally, we tweaked it to make it exclusive to Top Truck. Our mind-bending course was approximately 525 feet in length, and included steep walls in excess of 7 feet tall and jumbles of rocks and cement tubes. We even brought in a water truck and created a waterfall on the final cement climb. The course was broken into four distinct sections. We threw competitors a curve ball and allowed them to skip one of the two first sections. However, we penalized each competitor 10 minutes if they bypassed the first section and 6 minutes if they bypassed the second section. Strategy was a major player at this event. There was a 20-minute time limit and safety violations netted a two-minute penalty. If two of the vehicles tires traveled outside of the cones the competitor was disqualified at that point.
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