A frustrated ambition
Our last race at Bukowno was a complete failure. The clutch in our Suzuki Samurai burned out and was virtually obliterated. We were forced to withdraw from the competition after having completed three laps. We came back home disappointed and with considerably deflated egos. So, when the registration for Sandbox (Piaskownica) Summer Edition race opened up, we immediately signed up, eager to show Sasquatch Team’s true mettle. Sandbox (Piaskownica) Summer Edition was set to take place at the same location - in a former sand excavation site in Silesia. It was going to be either us or the sands of Bukowno (GPS 50.267003, 19.443379)
Did we make it? How was it this time?
But first - watch the Sasquacth Team event trailer.
Sandbox (Piaskownica) Summer Edition
The event took place on July, 16 on an offroading track in Bukowno. The area is predominantly sandy with occasional patches of shrubs and weed. In the outer part, the track gradually changes into a small forest with undergrowth and waterlogged areas. Until recently the area was open to the public. Sadly, local authorities decided to limit and control the off-road activity due to the noise complaints.
The format of the event was similar to that of 3rd Suzuki Jamboree. There were two classes - RTVs (road taxed vehicles) and Extreme (UTVs). The participants were given 5 hours to gather as many points as possible. The points were given for checking-in at four locations along the set route. Each check-in was worth 10 points. To add variety the organiser prepared two special sections - each worth 100 points. The participants were allowed to complete the special sections multiple times. The teams were also free to skip the special sections and focus solely on completion. Consequently, one full lap equaled 40 points and a full lap plus two successfully finished special sections corresponded to 240 points. (4 x 10 points + 2 x 100 points).
Having learned the lesson from the epic fail in May, we got rid of unnecessary items in our car to make it lighter. We removed the roof rack and left the accessories in the flatbed tow truck we use to transport our Samurai. We rent the truck, just in case something goes wrong during the race.
Additionally, we chip tuned the engine. Yes, we chipped the Samurai. It is yet to be decided whether it was ingenious or desperate.
MT tires were an obvious choice - weather forecasts indicated rain and we decided to be prepared for the muddy part of the track. We also deflated the tires to a lower PSI right before the event.
30 teams showed up at the event, including 22 teams competing in ATV class and 8 racing in UTV class.
Take a look at the amazing machines of the Sandbox Summer Edition.
To score points teams needed to press the electronic token (tied to the exterior of the vehicle) to a receiver box. The 10 point boxes were green and the 100 point special section boxes were black.
Check-point 01 (P 01)
CP 01 was located in a flat spot and thus easily accessible. However, the track section right before the CP 01 was studded with bumps and small rocks. The terrain became even more challenging as the race progressed.
Immediately after punching in the teams could opt-in for a ride on Special Section 01.
Special Section 01 (OS 01)
The first special section was a steep, sandy and tricky slope with the checkpoint attached to a tree bark at the crest.
Check-point 02 (P 02)
The check-in at the next location teams needed to make a tight U-turn uphill. The green box was attached to a tree bark. This checkpoint proved to be quite challenging for larger and heavier vehicles. Often, the drivers were forced to backtrack downhill and re-do the U-turn.
Check-point 03 (P 03)
The most tricky spot of the race. The teams approaching the checkpoint area were welcomed by a pool of water. They could decide to take a risk and cross the pool with a splash or go around it wading through a nasty mixture of mud and sand. Either way, cars got stuck.
For the first three hours of the event, the checkpoint was challenging but doable. However, later in the race, after more and more UTV drove through the mud, a winch recovery became inevitable. On the last two laps, even UTV’s had problems there.
Special Section 02 (OS 02)
Special Section 02 was a comprehensive test for the driver’s off-roading technique. Among the obstacles to traverse were: side slopes, deep ruts, stumps, S-curves, stair descent and axle-twisting mounds.
Check-point 04 (P 04)
The last checkpoint on the lap was fixed to a pole standing in the vicinity of the black box that marked the end of the second special section.
Movie - Full Lap
Sasquatch Team's performance
With 4920 points we placed second. The winning team got 6880 points (respect) a the third team scored 4860 points (… close one).
We came back home with our Samurai unscratched and with trophies (now proudly on display in the living room).