Rainforest Preselections Italy, day 2
Back home from Scotland where the 2014 first Ultra4 Europe race took place. 22 buggys and cars were participating.
After scruteneering on Wednesday and some minor adaptations, the OffroadTerror-buggy was ready for the prologue on Thursday. After picking a number, we had to start in the 15th position. The prologue was a pretty simple, 4 km long, fast stage. Only some narrow curves between the trees slowed us down and forced us to back-up the Bruiser 4 times. To our own surprise we managed to set the best time at that moment with only 5 cars to start with among them Jim Marsden from team Gigglepin. When he took off we all checked the time and when he arrived in sight, we knew it would be close. Jim finished just 4 seconds before us so for the next day we had the 2nd starting position.
In total, 4 rounds had to be done, 2 on Friday and 2 on Saturday with one hour pit-time in between the rounds.
Friday morning, 9 o’clock, Jim took of pretty fast. 2 minutes later we could start to chase them and I had the intention to at least stick with him. To my big surprise saw Jim after a few kilometers in the forest. His wide new-builded truck was stuck in between two trees. He blocked the road, my co-driver Tom could get out of the car due to a tree next to the car, and it was only with the help of Jerry Hunt, who started 3th, we could winch the tree away to make the course free. All was going well the next kilometers, we could catch up with Jim. At kilometer 8,but at that moment disaster hit us, we hitted a rock with the front right wheel. Normally it should not have been a problem because of the Tireballs we run in the tires but for some reason the buggy was handling strange. At this point we were 50 meters behind Jim at a little rock section. Tom got out to guide me through the zone and noticed that the alu wheel was broken and there was a huge gap where the Tireballs were popping out. There we stood without spare tire because that morning I decided not to carry one and to rely on the Tireballs.
At the nearby marshal post, they told us the pit area was about 10 kilometers away. Tom could run back to pick up a spare tire or, and I remembered Jim asking at the briefing, when you passed a gate you can drive whatever way you want to arrive at the next gate. So, I was thinking, that way can pass by the pit area. I explained my plan to the marshal, who checked and agreed on the condition we had an escort by the organization. They arrived after 20 minutes and we slowly followed them on a complete broken and flat tire, still with the intention to continue this lap later on.
That was not the best plan but the only way to re-enter the race. Once arrived at the pit, we took of the tire and saw the brake caliper was also leaking and needed to be replaced. In the meanwhile the organisator Neil came by and asked us for our intentions. The maximum time for a lap was 3hours 40minutes and he told us it was impossible to arrive within this time. We took his advice and used the extra time to check the buggy and to see why the wheel broke. To our big surprise the remaining 3 wheels were between 300 and 500 grams while on Sunday before, when we installed the Tireballs, we all inflated them to 1.3 bar!!!
Our afternoon starting time came closer and to our own surprise we were still in the 7th position. A lot of other cars broke down or were still on the track after the maximum time. We decided to start the second lap with the intention to finish and we drove at a more comfortable speed. We finished after 2hours 50minutes and we were 6th after the first day. Once at the basecamp we checked the buggy for the next day race and, because we had some steering issues, we decided to change the orbital and the steering cylinder. Together with the other checks, the crew only finished at 2.30 am. Thanks guys.
The next day, we started in 6th position and caught up with Jerry after a few kilometers, we passed Hendrik en Stijn of team Rocky after the swamp on the hill climb and Peter, a Belgian spectator told us Jaap was only 3 minutes before us so we could start to chase them.
The first team we saw wasn’t Jaap with his Fire-Ant but the French WSR-team. They were stuck in a really big mudhole. As they almost got out, we decided to follow their track. When we were right behind them,but then they told us their alternator broke down. No way for us to go forward or backward, where a big tree was blocking our road. We could only wait while they were slowly recovering their car. After what felt like 30 minutes, we could continue our way but at that moment the front winch was not working anymore. Jerry already passed us and team Rocky came by. They assisted us out of this swamp by winching us out of this mudhole (thanks guys) so we could check what went wrong with the winch. We noticed a big hole in the housing of the front winch and at that moment we realized that we couldn’t finish the race with a proper working front winch and we decided to head back to the main road and the basecamp. After continuing the course for a few kilometers we arrived at a long muddy lane where we were reunited with team WSR. They were stuck with a broken alternator and the motor cut off with flat batteries. With no front winch we stayed waiting at the beginning of the muddy track and we tried to find an alternative route to get to the main road. Luckily Team Allisport came by and with a little help from them we got through the mud hole and we were ready to drive the last 2 kilometers to the main road. When we passed team WSR, we stopped and I was thinking that I didn’t want to be in their position. We decided to help them out by using our rear winch to remove a big tree and pulled them out. We attached a strap and we took them with us to the main road where Dave Cole was waiting to escort us back to the pit area.
At the time we arrived there, it was too late to start the last round and it was end of the race for us. We met with the other drivers and it seemed that Jim was the only one who managed to complete the 4 laps. Jaap was in his 4th lap but was now stuck with a broken front red winch. Hendrik didn’t even start the last lap after arriving the 3th lap in just two minute aboves the maximum time. When I saw Jim at the pit area, I punched him to check if he was human ( he was ). Congratulations my friend and well done.
Special thanks to team Rocky (Hendrik and Stijn) for pulling us out of the crap. Due to that, you guys arrived two minutes late. I owe you one. Also thanks to team Allisport for the use of the tools to get us out of that mess.
update 9 april 2013
Rainforest Preselections Italy, day 2
The Special Stages on Friday and Saturday went pretty well for us. After finishing early the last Special on Saturday we went back to base camp. Because the Rubi had some major changes done to it the last year and just to be sure we wanted to do a complete check of the car. In a couple of hours the team tightened every bold, checked all fluids, cleaned and gr...eased where necessary. We couldn't find a thing : the Rubi looked great and in perfect condition. After a quick shower it was time for some food and booze, Italian style.
Planning on Sunday :
9:30 All teams to the Special Stages area 10:00 Start of Special Stages 14:00 End of the competition
That was 4 hours to do 7 Special Stages.
We wanted to start immediately and do as many Specials as possible without getting caught in traffic.
The first one we did on Sunday was Special 6, the one with the little step down this time and then through a deep mud hole. Tom had a look at the mudhole and told me that we never could make it without winching. He wanted to jump out just before the mud and hook the winch straight away.
After 2 days of driving with our new Colossus-tires I'm feeling pretty confident that the Rubi could make it. So just before the hole I told Tom to stay in the car, didn't gave him the opportunity to get out, putted my right foot down and some seconds later we were through. Did I already mention the incredible grip of the Colossus-tires, especially in the mud and heavy sand? We clocked a fast time for this short stage.
The next one was SS 7, an even shorter Stage with no difficulties. It was an easy drive and another fast time.
Out of this Stage, we see that there was nobody waiting at the Stage next to it. A competitor in the soft class was still in it but he was already on his way back. This Stage was a river Stage with lots of water.
We decided to go with the flow and start this one. We had a quick scout to see how it goes, the marshall at the start told us that the Extreme Class needs to follow the yellow arrow, the Soft Class the black one. Just to be sure I asked the Marshall again and he said in his best English to follow the yellow arrow. The start went well and Tom runs after the Jeep to find the hill we need to winch up to get out of the river. I arrived at the yellow arrow and followed it straight on. I almost immediately noticed that there was something going wrong when the water got up to my chest. As in an automatic reflex I unbuckled myself and opened my door. I putted the Rubi in reverse to see if I could drive back but that seemed no option, the car was stuck in about 1m80 deep ice cold water. I tried to stay as high as possible out of it but I also wanted to keep my foot on the pedal to keep the Rubi engine running. There was a big chance that if the engine would stop it would fill up through the exhaust so I kept my foot on it. In the mean time Tom jumped into the water and tried to find the hook of the rear winch. As always the hook is on the bumper and he couldn't find it right away. I saw him reaching for it and the water was at his chin but still no luck. He quickly asked me what to do and I told him to dive for it and that’s the moment when he turned white ;-) At that moment I also saw the marshals running around and the tractor coming. To Toms luck he then found the hook and we could winch ourselves out of the water and continue our way to finish the Special Stage in a bit over 7 minutes.
The Rubi was still running and we decided to head out to Special Stage 4, an other river stage. We did a quick scout of the stage and were ready to run but at after starting the Rubi, I noticed that out of the exhaust there was a lot of white smoke. I turned the engine off and we checked the oil : there is water in it! We could only think of 2 ways how that got in, one is through the snorkel but that was to my best knowledge always above the water, and the second one is through the engine dipstick. we did a quick check of the airfilter-box and it was dry so the dipstick was the way the water got in. At that point we decided not to damage the new engine any more and we asked one of the spectators to pull us to the asphalt road. I knew the assistance quad could pull the Rubi back to basecamp.
Arrived at the basecamp, Ales, the organisator, called me while we were doing a check to see if anything else was damaged. I passed my phone to John who speaks Italian and Ales asked if we are coming back. John told him that we are not. Ales then told us that we were qualified first at this point and if could continue we are pretty sure of the win.
Someone then suggested to change the oilfilter and the engine oil but with an engine that not had run more than 1000 km yet, I was not willing to take the risk and I made the hard decision to throw the towel in for this event.
we started loading to head back to Belgium where the Rubi will be threaded like she should to be a 100% for a next competition. — bij Offroadterror Racing.
Update 28 march 2013
rain forestchallenge preselections 2013
While we were waiting for the arrival of the King Of The Hammers Buggy,
my co-driver Tom and I decided to participateat the Rainforest Challenge
Preselection Italy 2013 in Farra d'Isonzo, North of Italy. We still have
good memories of our 2011 victory over there and the organisation was
willing to have us back in the race.
With our serviceteam for this race, Sven and John, we left Belgium on
Wednesdag 20th march 2013 by truck with the hope to catch some Italian
We arrived there on Thursday, time enough to install the service truck,
do some last-minute check-ups and enjoy a good Italian meal.
This year Rainforest Challenge Preselection Italy 2013 was a 3-day race.
On Friday evening, there was one short stage, called a prologue but it
had nothing to do with the starting order on Saturday. It was more like
a show-up for all the participants. We just waited for our turn and let
the Rubi do her thing. The new-installed 4.6 Golen Stroker engine and
even more the new-received Colossus tires with bad-ass profile really
liked the track and the traction and we finished in just 2 minutes and
36 seconds. That was a 30 seconds faster as the Doc-Crawler Buggy, who
we were considering as one of the toughest challengers for us. We were
very happy with the result and head back to the basecamp for some food,
drinks and rest.
The Saturday the schedule was : 9:00 briefing, 9:30 transfer to Special
Stages, 10:00 start, 18:30 finish and in between a lunch break from
13:00 tot 14:30 (only in Italy).
The Rubi was looking and performing great except for its RPM problem
(only up to 4000 RPM, above that it went in safety mode). After the
morning briefing one of the spectators who was admiring our Colossus
tires, asked us if we could fix the Rubi. ?? Fix the Rubi ?? Where the
guy now points at a broken u-joint at the front right axle. We didn't
felt a thing last night. Since we changed 6 years ago, to the Terraflex
Dana60 axles, we never broke one except of 2 weeks ago, when we broke
the left one. 4 weeks before we changed both front U-joints to Spicer U-joints and it seems
this are way weaker than the CTM U-joints we used to drive. We
immediately start the axle-shaft-swap and we made it just in time to the
official start at 10 am.
The first two Special Stages are in the centre place of the event, a
wide river bank. Iit are 2 short stages in the forest, the first one is
a simple drive and we finish that one in just over 1 minute. In he
second one there was just one hard part, a small step of 1 meter high
coming out of the river and the teams before digged it out. We picked on
the front Gigglepin and also did this one pretty fast. The next 2 SS are
next to the river, with water-crossing up to 1m20. Both Special Stages
didn't gave any problem and the Rubi passed them great thanks to the
amazing 4.6 Golen Stroker, the good King Shocks and the extra-ordinary
Colossus tires, we are testing for the Brazilian company. I was
immediately amazed by the traction, it's a whole other kind of driving
because the tires always have and keep grip! They just eated the
After clearing the first 4 Specials we went for a drive to find the 3
others. It was already 12 o'clock so we wanted to have everything done
fast so we could go and check the Rubi after the major changes she went
through last winter. The 5th Special Stage was a somewhat longer stage
than the previous ones but nothing special ; a drive through the woods
going up and down the sides of a dried-up riverbank. With the amazing
traction we didn't had any problems in this stage, not even on the side
slopes, which we easily drove. Lunch break : hot food and drinks for
everyone in the middle of the forest provided by the organisation, who
did a great job. After lunch we drove back to Special Stage 6 with
marshal Romeo, our good friend who was the co-driver of the
Acerni-racing-team in this years King Of The Hammers. While scouting the
Special, at a sideway hillclimb I asked Romeo if anybody allready drove
it, he told us that up to then everybody winched it up. The small hill
is made of a first climb with a tree over it and a second one to the
left that had a big hole in it. I talked to Tom and he was planning to
get out and winch. I, convinced by the traction and grip of the Colussus
tires, was willing to go for it, I'M DRIVING. So we started the Special.
Everything went well until the left front tire hitted a tree and we
couldn't past it without winching, Tom jumped out of the Rubi and after
a short winching part we are heading to the finish. After the previous
Special going so well we hurried up to the 7th and last Special of the
day. It's almost the same as the 5th one, the only difference was that
in the end you had to go up a hill, do a U-turn around a tree and go
back down and this for 3 or 4 times. Doing that a new I got a new prove
of the grip and the tires : normally we would drive up, throw the
steering wheel once we are halfway past the tree and the car would turn
around on the rollcage and go down. The first ones went pretty well but
not as smooth as it should and at the last one we even had some problems
: we always got stuck just a the turn with the rear tires. The tires had
so match grip that in stead of sliding past the tree, they drove up the
tree (our friend Sven told us that he saw the rear tire climbs up the
tree up to 1 meter!!).
At this point we finished all the Specials for today, had a great
feeling about the results and went back to the basecamp for a little
checkup of the Rubi.
Update 11 jan 2013
OFFROADTERROR THE KING OF THE HAMMERS 2013
Behind the name of the team OFFROADTERROR.BE lies the Belgian Axel Burmann that accompanied by his faithful navigator Tom Olieslagers appears on the scene of the European extreme off-road with a ...special predilection for Italy and WTI. Axel has confirmed his participation in the 2013 edition of the King of the Hammers after taking measures this race last year. So February 2 to 9 will also see him committed to compete with the big names in the U.S. who have made the history of KOH.
Axel and Tom will present on the starting line with the Bruiser Buggy has already accompanied them last year and obviously where it updated. Here are some specifications:
Engine: 502 Ram Jet Chevrolet with 502 horses
Gearbox: Advance Adapters Atlas II
Front Axle: Corporate 14 bolt
Rear axle: Corporate 14 bolt
Shocks: 4 coilover King Shocks combined with 4 bypass King Shocks
Tires: Irok 42 "
Winch: GigglepinMeer weergeven
update 1 june 2012
Croatia trophy 2012
Croatia trophy was a disaster this year.
The rubi gave u during the prologue, probably the cylinder head cracked .
we thought we could run with the assistance JK but after the prologue for only 3 km the automatic run hot , that and the know problem with the electronic acceleration pedal and the jeep CPU going in safety mode when the supercharger kicks in made us decide to give up and try again next year.
Big decisions to be made for both competition cars.
Major changes for both of them.
for the rubi we will need a new engine , we will stay with the stroker but not sure if it will be the Golen ( that served us very well the last 3 years ) or the titan , we will know next week ( week 23 ) we will also need to simplify the wiring but that’s a job for hotwireauto.com
for the JK it is not so simple , nobody wants to thatch the electronics , wiring or the CPU to simplify this one , The guys from RIPP supercharges are going to provide us with there GEN
2 kit with new CPU to get the safety mode errors out and maybe a little more power and torque.
As for the automatic we reinstalled the cooler and it runs better but it still runs hot in high gear. ?
we will keep our fans posted !
update 6 april 2012
King of the Hammer 2012 USA
The King of the Hammer 2012 is finished, it was a new and great experience and we know know what to change to the buggy and what went wrong.
we knew form the start that it was a risk to start with a buggy with no driving time in it and a buggy that had no driving time on itself.
On our first pre/test run we “blew” up the new automatic, it had not enough cooling and no temp gauge so no way we could have seen it running hot.
we found and almost new automatic form an other competitor that would fit but wen putting it under the buggy the housing broke , Shane then took every thing apart and made from two broken one 1 good one , that problem was solved , then there was still the cooling issue , the buggy had a small dual cooler that cooled the PSC hydro steering and the automatic , that would never be enough , we then went to the guys from OPW and they provided us with a big radiator with fan that we then put on the buggy and the auto problem was gone.
we thought we wer good and ready for the race and on the next prerun the engine starting sputtering and shutting down after a wile. a fuel problem , we could not find anything and nobody there that could read our 502 ramjet engine , we then changed fuel pump and our problem looked to be gone.
we knew we still had to go to the fox guys who wer going to adjust our shock because the buggy was jumping in the back but there was no time on Tuesday so I decided to do the classification on Wednesday and then after that do the shocks
no time to test because it was already time for the classification round at chocolate thunder .
on the rock parts all went very well , on the dessert part the engine started to act up again and sputter and shut down twice, to make up the lost time I run the buggy a bid faster than planned and at about 500 meter before the finish we took a curve and the buggy jumped up in the back and floated to the right wer we fit a big rock with our front right wheel, the alu wheel immediately exploded and with a hill and only 3 tire’s there was no getting up there in the loos dessert sand , we had to forfit the classification round .
after mounting a new wheel and tire the damage was massive , front axle bent for at least 2 inches , steering bracket bent and axle was leaking oil and dif housing was cracked , we fixed her up as good as possible and with no prerun done, an engine that was not running good and a bent axle we knew it would be tough to do the KOH , almost 2/3 of the competitors will not finish this race with a good running 4x4 and we wer going to start with a damaged not good running engine .
Friday 10 fed the race.
as a DNF ( did not finish) we knew we had to start last and with a nod so good running car the chance was small to non that we could finish this heavy race.
start went well and after about 500 meter we past some competitors on the first hill but then the engine shut down the first time, after a few minutes it started up again end we wer off again, in the newt 4 miles the engine shut down again about 6 to 7 times and runnig hot at 260 ° F and with the other competitors flying by we knew that it was a risk for them and us that we would get fit from behind so I made the decision to stop the race and drive back to basecamp.
it was a good race and we made a lot of new friends and if work does allow it we will be there next year with an improved buggy .
in short what needs to be done :
1. bigger and 3 row radiator for the engine in the back
2. bigger cooler for the automatic in front where engine cooler is know
3. new place for steering cooler in front where engine cooler is know
4. find out what the engine problem is
5. new 14 bolt front axle
that should be it .
The off road season in Europe is almost over.
This year we did a lot of testing on the JK and the Rubicon.
Croatia trophy 2011 was a good event , up to the last day we had second place and then the motor mounts broke of and game over , we fell back to 8th place .
In November there is one last WTI contest in Italy but we will be at that moment in the US to test the buggy for King of the Hammer .
so the calendar for next year will probably look like this :
1. feb 2012 king of the hammer USA
2. may 2012 Croatia trophy
3. june 2012 TTC ( if we get elected ) USA
4. some WTI Italy contest but that will depend on the calendar
5. oktober 2012 bad boars challenge Croatia
6. maybe some other events tru Europe and the US as we find the , any tips just let us know .
You can follow the buggy King of the hammer build on -> http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/101327529951667/
you can follow the group on -> http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=44026949516
Rainforest challenge Preselections Italy 2011
first real competition testdrive for the rubicon , rainforest challenge 2011 preselections in farra d'isonzo Italy 18 & 19 & 20 march 2011 .
a 3 day race simular as the rainforest malaysia , first prize is a free ticket for RFC malaysia.
Team offroadterror particpated with the rubicon in the extreme class and came in first !!
WTI Finale Cerveteri Italy
In the weekend of 11 & 12 dec 2010 we went to the area of Cerveteri near rome for the WTI finale , this time we took the TJ rubicon and drove EXtreme class.
we ended on the 3 th place due to some mecanical problems on Saturday we had to quit the last task getting maximum time + 65 min
now it's time to get the rubi ready for CT 2011
WTI Berceto Italy
In the weekend of 30 & 31 October the real test of the JK took place at her First WTI in Berceto Italy , the JK did well and we came in second .
Manny thanks Bramtje and Scorpion for the assistance .
Update 1 sept 2010
Due to professional reasons the competition driving is on hold at least until end of September 2010 .
The Jeep JK is in good condition and almost ready for the next competition , only a few small things need to be done , 1 get stiffer springs and 2 install the PSC hydraulic assist cylinder .
The TJ rubicon is an other thing , after almost 9 months she still will not drive , she’s overall in perfect condition only problem is he automatic, last December we installed a brand new automatic and from then she will not shit , she only drive’s in first or reverse .
The shop’s checked everything and she should shift up but she won’t .
I’m giving here this month to come to here sense’s and the she probably will go on retirement.
I’ll keep you posted .
NEW competition Jeep Wrangler JK 2010
After a long wait the NEW Competition Jeep JK has been shipped to Belgium.
The JK is build specially for competitions like Croatia trophy , Istria challenge and maybe Transylvania adventure trophy .
We expect the container to arrive around 10 march 2010 , after that we have 6 weeks to get here ready for Croatia trophy .
The Rubicon aka RockRubi will still be used in more extreme challenge’s like the Italian WTI.