Off-roading is one of the few forms of motorsport that can be just as challenging and exhilarating whether you’re traveling at over 100mph over gnarly desert terrain, sailing 100ft through the air, or crawling at 5mph over massive rock obstacles. There’s a new event called Jump Champs that takes place at the famous Glen Helen Raceway and without a question, it must be on the bucket list of anyone that’s a fan of off-road racing. The event started last year and they just recently had the Jump Champs 2.0 weekend, and as the name implies there’s all sorts of high flying action. In my opinion, there are two quick and simple reasons why every off-road enthusiasts should attend Jump Champs, assuming they continue the event next year, which with the popularity it’s gotten after just two events there is no reason why it wouldn’t.
The Jump Champs event is a combination numerous mini events crammed into a two-day long extravaganza. Some of those events include a time trails shootout and a head to head rhythm section battle. But the main event is the “Jump Champs”, where two dirt ramps are set up; one 4 feet tall and the other 10 feet, both perfectly groomed to allow the racers to get a good clean launch because they will be landing on flat ground. That means you get a perfect mix of high-speed racing and the balls to the wall pedal to the metal “Send It” action where drivers risk both their health and equipment just for the approval of the thousands of spectators on hand. Plus it’s at the Glen Helen Raceway which is one of the more famous off-road tracks in the country, and that in itself is bucket list worthy, so when you add in the action-packed Jump Champs weekend it’s sort of a no-brainer, right?
If that’s not enough to convince you, I have no doubt the second reason will. Not only is there all sorts of off-road racing to enjoy, but there’s a twist to this particular event. They allow anyone to register and compete. That means you have “Average Jope” out there in his pickup truck competing on the same course that some of the biggest names in the off-road world are competing on. For example, the 4-foot ramp I mentioned above for the Jump Champs contest is actually for the more “daily driven rigs”, and the big one is of course for the big boys and their toys. What’s interesting is there are a quite a few privateer trophy trucks that are competing as well and they sometimes work up the cajones to send it off the big ramp, which is always entertaining. Just like with desert racing, they separate most of the vehicles into different classes to make it as fair as possible. And also just like with desert racing, the big dogs are the ones in the unlimited class. This is where you’ll see the four-linked high horsepower off-road beasts flying through the air as far as 120 feet.
You may not see major teams like BJ Baldwin and Brice Menzies at the Jump Champs event, at least not yet. But that could very well change next year. There are quite a few big names you will see putting on a show for the crowd. A lot of the guys from the Dirt Alliance were there including Chris Isenhour and his gorgeous F-100 “Whoop Eater,” and Blake Wilkey in his Land Shark 2.0. I’ve seen both of these rigs in person and they are even better and more badass than video and pictures give them justice. You might remember Wilkey from his Urban Assault video where he took the original Land Shark on a hoon session through San Diego that landed him with all sorts of trouble, but it was awesome. So as an added bonus you get to see some seriously badass vehicles and guys that are not afraid to push them to the limits.
I assume that’s more than enough reason to want to attend. In the meantime, enjoy some of the highlight reels that are starting to trickle in from the event.