“Trees are your best friends” was the first bit of advice for my inaugural assignment with Car and Driver. And no, that advice wasn’t given by a tree-hugging hippie with a curly fro, it was from the veteran videographer from MadRam11, the media leader in all things that involve 600+hp machines, big-ass vertical rocks, and mayhem… emphasis on mayhem. “Trees are your best friend because you can hide behind them when a rock bouncer gets out of control, which isn’t uncommon” he says. I quickly made friends with the biggest, sturdiest trees in Arkansas, for this was the 2014 Southern Rock Racing Series Finals… where the word “Finals”, translates to “let’s break as many parts on the last event of the year as possible”.
If you remember the last blog post about shooting the Ferrari collection, this feature is almost like that. No wait, it’s NOTHING like that, other than the horsepower numbers. These tube frame home-built monsters push anywhere from 600-1000hp.. and they need every bit of that horespower because they’re racing UP a wall of rocks, trees, and mud. Looking around the “race course” in the middle of a rocky forest lined off by frail plastic caution tape, I’m stupefied by the agenda that something with 4 wheels will be driving up the terrain.
I’m not even going to begin to further wittily describe the event, considering how masterfully Daniel Pund’s words illustrate the madness. I’ve done my fair share of writing, but Daniel is a true guru of the craft… so get to reading here.
From a photographer’s perspective, there was eye-candy everywhere I pointed my nose. The people, atmosphere, scenery, and beautiful beastly machines of controlled chaos made it hard to narrow down selects for the blog post… so F* it, you’re getting a long wall of southern rowdiness!!!
My poor excuse for a beard and steel-toed mud shoes helped me blend in a little better with the rootin-tootin crowd. I was born and raised in the South, but I admit I was a little out of my element with this bunch… AND I LOVED IT!! As the editor Daniel Pund so elegantly put it, “Natural Light tastes better than it has any right to.”
I did the best I could to illustrate the rock-flinging madness in pictures, but nothing beats seeing these machines muscle their way up vertical jagged walls at full throttle in person. Much of the success of the new sport of Rock Bouncing can be attributed to youtube videos, more specifically from the author MadRam11. The video posted above is just the event I covered… but watch their latest “2014 EPIC CRASH COMPILATION” to permanently have your jaw glued to the table.
If this is a preview of the random assignments that are in store for me with Car and Driver, then 2015 is going to be one hell of a wild ride.