We had the chance to have a chat to Micka Rossen, once a competitor at the event, now turning his hand to track officiating. We sat down with him and got his perspective on the running of a track, the level of skill he witnessed and the commitment that Tuff Events had to their volunteers and staff. Here are his thoughts on the 2013 Tough Dog Tuff Truck Challenge:
DirtComp: Hi Micka, we’d love to talk to you about the 2013 event and what you thought of it while officiating a stage for the weekend. What was the track that you officiated this year?
MR: This year I sat out from competing and spent the weekend at the Devils marbles as the stage manager.
DirtComp: What is your background with TTC?
MR: I competed as driver the previous 3 years in 2 different 4wds that I built. One of which Screwy now drives under the livery of team Opposite Lock, the other, also a 40 series Landcruiser was driven by Matt Bond and his brother Jason.
DirtComp: What sort of preparation did the track officials put into the lead up of the 2013 event?
MR: The track officials themselves spent the two weekends prior to the event on the site doing working bees, sorting out track fencing, the new entry and exit points ans clearing safe areas for the spectators.
DirtComp: Did the track’s respective officials set the courses for this year?
MR: A lot of the track officials get to have their say in the design annually of the course itself. Although the courses remain in the same location, we are given access to equipment to relocate rocks, tyres and other movable objects in the lead up to physically bunting off a section and creating the actual route.
DirtComp: As we walked around the event all of the track officials looked mighty busy doing their tasks. What sort of hours were you putting into the job?
MR: At the working bees we did 2 full weekends work. On the event weekend, we were on the tracks from 7:30am to 4:30pm both Saturday and Sunday. Other officials like the Night stage guys were there for considerably longer – the mystery night stage usually runs well into the morning wrapping up around 2am some years.
DirtComp: What was the most memorable drive of the weekend?
MR: On our stage watching Team Blitz, an unknown new team come through as the 2nd last car of the weekend and win the stage with a great drive making the bonus look quite easy after packing just a few rock stacks. Up until their run, there was a really close group of seasoned teams that were tied for the course and I would never have imagined a newcomer to Blitz (pun) the course.
DirtComp: Would you official again?
MR: Definitely can’t wait for next year it was great fun.
DirtComp: Was Tuff Events a good organization to volunteer for? Would you recommend people put their hand up to help next year?
MR: Yes they were very good, they looked after us very well. The entire weekend saw volunteers making sure that we had sandwiches and rolls, fruit, lollies and snacks and there was ample water and drinks to keep us focused and free from exhaustion – The level of care was a testimony to the work Pete and his crew have done to build up this event. I will be happy to go back and do it again and would definitely recommend volunteering to anyone interested.