4X4 Events and Weekend Outings Post Your Wheeling Pictures and Videos Here!

2019 Red Clay Rally, The Rovers are Coming

  #1  
Old 06-10-2019, 07:43 PM
ArmyRover's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 7,405
Received 615 Likes on 574 Posts
Default 2019 Red Clay Rally, The Rovers are Coming

Red Clay Rally 2019


So the event is over and I sit here looking back on how did I end up in a 600 mile adventure across Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. An event that caused a lot of long days and nights in the shop. Tons of planning and more work than I could have imagined being completed by 3 different people in different shops in different states. Just so we would bring Land Rover to the finish line in proper fashion.

It all started right here





The event organizer calling out Land Rovers and Land Rover owners on Instagram. So a short time later my buddy Ed found it and sent a screen shot of it to myself, Brent and Justin (Lucky8). We all talked about it a bit than decided we would think about it. Within a day I had quite a few folks in the southern rover community reaching out to me about doing the event, putting together a team etc.

Than I got a DM in a group conversation with Alloy + Grit and a few others from the Rover community and the event organizer. Alloy + Grit initially wanted to be involved in sponsoring and doing a write up but they didn’t deliver and shortly deleted their comments in the conversation. That was a disappointment but whatever.
 

Last edited by ArmyRover; 06-10-2019 at 07:46 PM.
  #2  
Old 06-10-2019, 07:54 PM
ArmyRover's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 7,405
Received 615 Likes on 574 Posts
Default

A decision had been made and a team formed. My 2 brothers from another mother (Justin of Lucky8 LR4 and Brent RRS) and two other volunteer victims (Ed and Ref) stepped up and we created a 3 truck team with my LR3, a Range Rover Sport and the untested LR4. So since shots had been fired on Instagram. I sent my own shout out.


We started researching the event in detail to see what we could learn about the challenge that laid ahead for us. I watched countless YouTube videos and read a lot of write ups on forums. So I knew there was going to be work I had to do on the LR3 to make sure it was ready. To be honest until day 3 I thought I had lost my mind and gone beyond what was needed for this event. So I went over the LR3 made a list of mods and maintenance items that I needed to handle before I was ready for around 1500 miles in 5 days with a off road competition in the middle. When you are driving and not trailering you need to really think about some things.

I want to point out that no matter how bad my task seemed moving forward, Justin @ Lucky8 had the worst of it. He had a business to run, and a truck to build. By build I mean it was a bone stock LR4 with a blown motor. His mountain seemed insurmountable at least from my point of view. As you will see or may have already seen not only did he build it he went past what most thought was possible with 35’s on it. That thing is epic and has to be seen to be believed. It is a perfectionist level build in an impossibly short timeline.
 
  #3  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:02 PM
ArmyRover's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 7,405
Received 615 Likes on 574 Posts
Default

So I made my list and it seemed really doable.



I just had no idea how much was involved and how much it would grow as other problems were found.

To compound the fun, I used the LR3 as my daily driver, and tow vehicle. So in April not only did it take me to and from work, it went to Rovers at Wintergreen, and towed a 24 foot travel trailer to Orlando and back.








Then I decided I had plenty of time to kill so I went out of town for duty for 12 days. While I was at it I decided to re-up. So one last time into the Breach.

 
The following users liked this post:
The Deputy (06-12-2019)
  #4  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:07 PM
ArmyRover's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 7,405
Received 615 Likes on 574 Posts
Default

Ok so enough screwing around it was time to get serious. Luckily I decided to get a tow vehicle as I was never pulling that trailer again behind the LR3 it did the job but it was sketchy.

So it entered Daily Driver duties while the LR3 was down for prep. Even better it arrived while I was gone so it was ready and waiting when I returned.





So now the LR3 was pulled in the garage and it was torn down...




 
  #5  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:13 PM
ArmyRover's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 7,405
Received 615 Likes on 574 Posts
Default

Unfortunately the list was growing I found more broken parts. So I had to order more and time was getting short. Than life decided to throw in it’s 2 cents with sending me off for duty for 3 days in the frozen north of Minnesota. Not sure summer ever arrives there. The worst part of the deal was it was my second to last weekend to work on the LR3 before the Rally.




Well I got back and buttoned things up. Cut fenders, rolled body seams, sorted out mounts with cutting grinding drilling etc. Not to mention repairing the cooling system then bleeding it and the brakes. Everything was really coming together.





The finish line was closing in fast.


 
The following users liked this post:
The Deputy (06-12-2019)
  #6  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:21 PM
ArmyRover's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 7,405
Received 615 Likes on 574 Posts
Default

So then things were really starting to look up. It was running great no leaks and everything was mounted. A few trips to Firestone finally saw it mostly aligned and ready to roll.




Not going to lie I was feeling like a LR3 Rock Star lol.

So from here it was a pretty straight forward plan. Truck was ready and loaded down with the gear, tent, cots food and china. I had to pick up Ed at the Atlanta airport than head to the Borla Factory for the start of the Red Clay Rally.

Yeah I seriously said China




It all went to plan and the team was linked up first thing in the morning. We arrived at Borla with plenty of time to spare before the start.

 
  #7  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:29 PM
ArmyRover's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 7,405
Received 615 Likes on 574 Posts
Default

Well the 0630 start time came and went. Around 0715 the organizer showed up gave a quick pep talk and got things rolling.





Day 1 saw very few miles of trails and a ton of running down paved roads, or gravel. We covered 250 miles give or take on the first day and aside from tight trails that pinstriped the trucks badly there was no challenge to be seen. Just tons of windshield time. We made all the check points and found camp that night even though it was not where it was supposed to be. We had moved up a few spots from our start in 27th position.







Day 2 saw us in good spirits and hungry so out came the China plates, tea service and propane fired Pizza oven. We had some homemade breakfast pizza with mozzarella, eggs, jalapeņo and chorizo. It was fantastic all the way down to the linen table cloth. Served of course on Churchill Blue Willow China. When we entered the event there was smack talking about us bringing grey Poupon etc. So we decided oh well why not and had fun with it.




 
  #8  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:43 PM
ArmyRover's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 7,405
Received 615 Likes on 574 Posts
Default

Then it was off to the trails it was a slightly shorter day. With only 160 miles or so to cover. We did see more trails and they were much more fun than day 1. Some good off camber spots, that pushed the trucks a bit more but it still left me thinking I worked way to hard I didn’t need 33’s or the OME HD Springs to clear the 33’s etc. It was a long day and Justin taught me a few things about wheeling my LR3 that I hadn’t figured out on my own.

I’ll take a moment to explain this. I was probably the least built truck in the team and the least experienced driver of the group as well. I have done a lot of events but many times its in the navigator seat. I want to excel and I never want to slow my team down or let them down. So I will become over protective of the truck and not let it eat. For someone like me it can be a tough pill to swallow when you realize that you have a lot to learn. Luckily Justin and Brent are good teachers and can get through my thick skull. I know I still have ground to cover on improving but knowing where I can grow and how much more robust my truck is than I had considered helps. I want to thank them both it is humbling to have such capable and helpful friends.







So we rolled through day 2 with no issues except for not finding the last check point. He told us he left 15 minutes before we arrived. Found out later from other teams he might have been in the wrong place and missed more than a few teams. Either way we made camp and got serious about eating dinner.





We got a good nights sleep and prepared to attack day 3. For those looking for a fast up and down tent that is really good quality at a reasonable price check out Gazelle Tents. I have the T4 and it is fabulous.

This would prove to be the shortest day in miles but the longest for awesome trails we hit the Daniel Boone Forest loop and it was pretty epic. Finally figured out why we had done all the work to the trucks. The 33’s were needed the MT’s had to be there and my Warn winch was put into play until it destroyed itself trying to yank a very sunk LR3 out of a mud hole. There was mud galore, technical sections and rocky hill climbs in short the best segment of the entire rally.




 
  #9  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:49 PM
ArmyRover's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 7,405
Received 615 Likes on 574 Posts
Default

Then we found the finish line and as fast as it began we were done. The first Land Rover team to ever finish. I’m here to tell you a decently prepared Land Rover with a determined driver can make it. So do not be afraid to get out there next year and compete to win.




I am truly blessed to use the southern term to have friends like I do. It didn’t matter to me where we placed, and they were on the same wave length we were there to finish. The fact that it was a competition didn’t change who they were or how we act on the trail. We stayed and helped other teams winch, we helped with route guidance and stopped to make sure those that were broken down were good to go. I watched others cut folks off, endanger themselves and others and act like fools to gain positions. Not Rover’s we did what Rover’s do putting people first and community.

I am a better man due to their influence and a better part of the off road community. Is Red Clay Rally the end all of off road events? Nope but I wouldn’t trade the time with my brothers on the trail for anything.




Then we drove off to celebrate the best way we knew how. A hot shower at a hotel and fine dining.......


 
The following users liked this post:
LandedMontey (06-12-2019)
  #10  
Old 06-14-2019, 05:39 AM
Fastercat's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Amherstburg Ontario
Posts: 399
Received 41 Likes on 35 Posts
Default

Looks like a great time. How did the fine trail dinning go over with the non rover folks? Lol looks like a hoot.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: 2019 Red Clay Rally, The Rovers are Coming


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.