Jump Champs 3.0 – Run Whatcha Brung
The recent Jump Champs 3.0 unfolded in spectacular fashion in Southern California. The event was part of the Jump Champs Series – a collection of off-road events featuring, you guessed it – jumps! The format is cool. Instead of a pro-only show, this high-flying festival is tailored more to the general public. The whole concept is to bring whatever you like and have some fun with it. The staging lanes were filled with everything from sand rails, and Baja Bugs, to vintage pick-up trucks, and even a Porsche 911. Many of the vehicles had windshields, and license plates, and no-doubt were daily drivers.
Jump Champs 3.0 as well as their other events attract several of the businesses that supply off-road parts and services for those who do it in the dirt. Desolate Motorsports, King Shocks, Tubeworks, Kartek, Titan Fuel tanks, K&N, FiberwerX, DMZ fab, Solo Motorsports, STEEL-IT, and many others were on hand creating a mega midway. Some of their handiwork and many of their components were found in the parking lot, and on the track. The midway gave fans a chance to talk with some of the manufacturers and see their products up close. The events that took place showcased these performance parts in action.
The formula works. You see many familiar faces mixed in with the first timers. Back again this year was celebrity scofflaw Blake Wilkey in his LS powered Baja Bug. Wilkey rose to internet fame when he released a video showing off the horsepower of his LS motor, and some fancy driving. Unfortunately, he performed his antics on public streets and without permits. Local law enforcement was not as entertained as the internet was. He learned his lesson, and now makes his popular videos on private property. He was having a lot of fun at Jump Champs 3.0, and the fans were loving it.
The Jump Champs are about much more than just hucking your truck. The events include a show & shine, desert drags, time trials, and the jump contest. What makes the events so popular is that there aren’t many places where you can open up your prerunner, weekend warrior, or daily driver on a professional off-road racing track.
The weekend’s largest attraction was the time trials. Vehicles were placed in classes according to configuration and performance. Since everyone is racing for elapsed time, instead of track position, there isn’t the usual fender banging and chicanery that takes place in short course racing. At this event, that type of behavior is frowned upon. Driving the track is challenging enough, after all it was designed to test professional racers in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.
At Jump Champs 3.0 Mother Nature added to the challenge. An intense downpour on Saturday morning left Glen Helen Raceway north of San Bernardino soaked. The track was slick, and sloppy. Thankfully the rains ceased, and the fans’ patience was rewarded.
As the day progressed, the track got better and faster. The fans got a great show without any dust. For those who came to see carnage, they got a little taste of it once the jump contest got underway. Justin Tex earned the Hanger 24 Roughest Landing award when he broke his shock mounts and steering, got sideways, and then tipped over when he touched down. He appeared to be fine as he crawled out and played to the fans who cheered vigorously.
Jump Champs 3.0 had it all; speed, competition, high flying action, and most importantly, fun. Their next event will be back at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, CA. on December 15th. We strongly recommend spending at least part of your weekend checking out the full throttle action!