Falken Tire, manufacturer of high performance on- and off-road tires, swept the Unlimited Class at the W.E. Rock Western Series competition with Matt Messer in first; Justin Hall second; and Olivia Messer in third. In addition, Massa Tsuda, driving the Falken-liveried Rock Crawler, took second in the Pro Modified Class.
All three unlimited cars ran the Falken WildPeak M/T 38x13.50R17 tire while Tsuda fielded the WildPeak M/T 37x12.50R17 tire. The event, held over two days in Goldendale, attracted 29 competitors running four classes, all battling within their respective fields for the W.E. Western Series titles.
“Hands down, the Falken tires are the best I have ever run,” Matt Messer declared, who earned the series title in the Unlimited Class. “The WildPeak M/T’s performance and consistency not only helped me win in Goldendale; they were the ‘difference-maker’ that enabled me to win the 2014 Western Series championship.”
En route to his victory, Messer edged out Hall for the overall win. It was a fierce battle, with Messer taking the lead after Saturday’s rounds and never relinquishing it.
“I had a few difficulties,” admitted a disappointed Hall. “The car and I didn’t cooperate together. And the weather was all over the place – super windy and dusty. However, my Falken WildPeaks would latch onto every rock and clawed me to a respectable second overall finish.” In addition to the wind, temperatures ranged from the 90s to low 80s over the weekend.
The W.E. Rock event – short for World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship – is based on competitors racing against the clock as well as one another to determine who can finish the course in the shortest amount of time. Additionally, W.E Rock competitors use their technical capabilities to negotiate through designated obstacle courses and are penalized when veering from the course’s established route. The driver with the lowest points wins the event.
“To run 48 courses in one season with one vehicle is unheard of,” Matt Messer added. “We ran every course with the same set of 38-inch WildPeaks. They held up with zero failures and helped us become champions.” Of particular interest is that both Matt and Olivia shared their race car throughout the season.
Team Tsuda traveled from Japan to compete, resulting in second place in the Pro Mod Class. “I am highly honored to be a part of Team Falken,” stated Naozumi Tsuda, team owner and crew chief. Team Tsuda has been instrumental in the development of the WildPeak M/T.
“Falken continues to align itself with key drivers and teams in our off-road ventures to further establish the WildPeak’s credibility and viability,” stated Nick Fousekis, Falken Director of Motorsports and Event Marketing. “It is extremely gratifying to see how well they perform in these grueling events. Most importantly, each of these venues serves as both a test market and a validation of how our WildPeaks succeed under even the most extreme conditions.”
Added Olivia Messer, who reached her first podium with her third place finish: “I would like to thank Falken Tire for helping me get through my rookie season. I can’t wait for the Nationals.”
The Grand Nationals will take place in Cedar City, UT, on September 13 and 14.