The brand-new, right-out-of-the-box 2001 Ramsey National Off Road Challenge continued its yearlong three-event schedule with a stop in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, for round two of the multifaceted event and for the brutal Pennsylvania terrain combined with an extreme and unrelenting schedule of events to create a weekend filled with awesome off-road challenge that pushed vehicles and teams to their absolute limit.
How It Works
The 2001 Ramsey National Off Road Challenge is an ongoing points series that began in Cass, Arkansas, continued in Hazleton, and concludes in Attica, Indiana. It's geared for the more advanced 'wheeler and requires a somewhat modified vehicle to be competitive. However, all types of vehicles are welcome, regardless of modification, so you can just come out and have fun if you want. Each vehicle is a team, while each team is comprised of a driver and co-driver, and they compete in various off-road competitions on a daily basis throughout each three-day event. Points are awarded to the teams for their finishing order in each challenge, and quite simply, the team that has accumulated the most points at the end of the weekend wins. It's pretty simple in concept, but, of course, vehicle breakdowns, a team's ability to function as a unit, and luck all come into play.
Fighting for Every Inch
This segment of the Challenge was held at the colossal 15,000-acre Paragon Adventure Park, which is just a stone's throw outside of Hazleton, which is referred to as the Gateway to the Poconos. The park is a natural for this type of event because it features a mind-boggling array of obstacles situated throughout the areas vast acreage of former strip-mining land. The event began on Friday with a drivers' meeting at the Red Ridge Lake Campground (event headquarters and location for the included four meals), before the group convoyed to Paragon for the Engineering and RTI ramp scoring. From this point forward, it was hammer down all weekend, as event promoter and operations coordinator Bob Hazel of Sports-In-The-Rough began throwing a barrage of challenges at the 14 competitors. First up was Rock Course 1, which idled all but four of the teams on the amazingly slick, very sharp Pennsylvania boulders. Who would've thought that rockcrawling in Pennsylvania would be that hard, or that there would even be any? From there, it was off to the Capture the Flag competition, which required teams to get their vehicles to within 10 feet of the flags to mark off their number (of course, the flags were placed in evil, off-camber locations, thereby requiring a hefty amount of four-wheeling in most cases). By the time these competitions were over, it was suppertime, and the entourage headed back to the campground to eat dinner, mingle, and have the opportunity to talk with Ramsey Winch representatives Ron Vanderslice (Marketing Manager), John Dominy (Regional Sales), and Bob Webb (Product Development).