Falken Tire atop the standings at W.E. Rock Grand Nationals Finale
Team Falken, a leader of high performance on- and off-road tires for both cars and trucks, continued to dominate in the W.E. Rock competition when Falken Driver Justin Hall of Team Rock Hard Racing/Tsuda Racing tied for first place in the Unlimited Class for the National Championship.
Held this past weekend at Utah’s world-renowned rock crawling arena – Three Peaks Recreation Area – in Cedar City, UT, the National Championship pits drivers from the W.E. Rock East and West Championships against each other to crown the best rock crawler.
Hall drove his single-seater “moon buggy,” running on Falken WILDPEAK M/T 38x13.50R17 tires, to top of the leader board, something he has done all season long. He again had a strong effort all weekend, though he was challenged throughout by fellow entrant Rick Deremo. Unlike other forms of motorsports, the points system used in W.E. Rock competition does not include a tie breaker, so a split championship occurred and Hall and Deremo shared first overall.
Falken’s positive results continued in the Unlimited Class where Matt Messer, entering a newly built Trail Gear Rock Crawler, secured fourth overall. Messer had been running in second at the end of Saturday’s competition, but “new car gremlins,” as Messer put it, hurt his remaining efforts. Nevertheless, Messer finished the season as the W.E. Rock Western Series Champion.
Proving she was a top driver from the start of her young career, 14-year-old Olivia Messer, Matt’s daughter, put on a solid display and finished a respectable sixth in the National Championship. Olivia earned third place in the Western series finals, and as this was her inaugural season, her overall performance put her in strong contention for Rookie of the Year.
In the Pro Modified Class, Team Tsuda Driver Massa Tsuda returned to the U.S. from Japan to again run the Falken-liveried rock buggy. Tsuda and his spotter Naozumi Tsuda put on a good show on Saturday, finishing the day in first place in their class. However, a rollover occurred on Sunday which broke the transfer case shifter, and Tsuda ended up taking home seventh. The rock buggy competes on Falken WILDPEAK M/T 37X12.50R17 tires.
As the season wraps up in the U.S., Matt Messer, Olivia Messer and Team Tsuda will compete in the W.E. Rock Japan Nationals on October 20, 2014. The Trail Gear team is shipping their rock buggies to Japan for the event.
Naozumi Tsuda stated, “We were on track for first in our class until the roll, but throughout the two-day event, Falken Tires demonstrated its great traction and never failed us. We are disappointed with our outcome but Matt, Olivia and Massa will redeem themselves in Japan next month.”