Friday, August 28, 2009

V2R Notes from Chad

Looking back on the Vegas to Reno, I thought it was deceptively fast. The roads were not wooped up like San Felipe or Primm so the speeds we were running were faster. I assume that because of the speeds, it led to mistakes which would make sense by the number of broken down, rolled and wrecked vehicles. We averaged 40 mph each day, which is fast for a stock truck.

The rack seal blew on Day 1, but other than that, the H3A had no problems. I missed the 10 car from it’s ability to run so smooth through the rough, but it is amazing how fast the H3A with 8’ in the front and 11” in the back can go. Running that truck back-to-back for three days gave me a different perspective on it. It is a durable, fast, nimble truck. And even though it is fast, I think we can make it faster. I really think that the H3A is such a bad ass truck, that no one else can compete against it - especially in the long races. I look forward to getting it ready for Baja.

HUMMER forever…

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vegas to Reno #1

It's Tuesday and part of the team departed Reno this morning in route to Las Vegas. Tomorrow is Tech and Contingency for the Vegas to Reno. This year, the race is a three-day, 1000 mile event - starting in Beatty, Nevada and finishing near Carson City.

This year, Rod Hall Racing will be fielding two H3s in two stock classes. Chad Hall has been running a class 10 car with Johnny Harrah, but at the last minute had the opportunity to race his H3 Alpha in 4100. Chad tested the car this week and was happy with how fast it was running. His co-driver is Thad Stump who just returned from seven days of racing in the Outback with Josh Hall. Emily Miller will be running the blue H3 I5 in Class 3100 with Sam Cothrun in the co-driver seat. Sam owns SamCo Fabrication and has prepped both trucks for the event.

We will be updating from Vegas and on Twitter, so sign up today. Our Twitter name is rodhallracing1. Live tracking will be available on

Saturday, August 8, 2009


It is a beautiful evening in the classic western style mining town of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. The ceremonial finish just came to a close and the celebrating is about to begin. It was a short day with 2 Selective Stages and Josh was on fire. He and Thad were second off the line and quickly moved to the front when #100 blew an early turn. He set a blistering pace and won the first Selective by one minute fifty-five seconds over Bruce Garland.

At the start of the second Selective, he was running a similar pace, but had a flat approximately halfway through the course. We are waiting on the official results, but currently he is listed as 7th for the stage.

Thad noted the course was rougher - more similar to racing back home. It suited Josh perfectly and the team is happy to be celebrating another stage win - making it three days in a row of bringing home a Selective. Congrats to great driving and navigating. Amazing to think this is Thad's first time in this particular role.

The sun is setting and we will be packing up early in the morning to transfer back to Perth. The team has accomplished what it set out to do - scout the race, learn the nuances, and show Australia what the Americans and the HUMMER H2 SUT can do. Despite a few early setbacks that penalized the team's overall result, the goals were not only reached, but far exceeded.

Hats off to the great competitors and race organizers. Many thanks for the hospitality and fun. We've made great friends in Western Australia and look forward to coming back in 2010.

Posted by E. Miller

Friday, August 7, 2009



Another great day for Hall Racing! The Leg consisted of 3 Selective Stages - 86.99, 242.75 and 62.02 kilometers. The day was tight, technical and overgrown in many sections. As the race is nearing the end, the competitors were definitely pushing it. Several competitors suffered multiple flats. However, after yesterday's flats on the H2, Josh was running Slime and had only one tire lose air at the end of Selective Stage 2. (Technically, the Selective Stages were considered #15-17 as they are progressively recorded. But for ease of reference, we refer to the Selectives per day.)

Thad noted that Josh's driving was incredibly smooth and fast today. And by Stage 3, Josh had captured his second stage win by :19 seconds in a short 62.02 KM stage! Several trucks had difficulties and the previous race leader - #110 - is now out of the race after hitting a tree. The trees and brush were definitely thick, and when Thad stepped out of the truck, the crowd got a great laugh as heaps of brush came pouring out.

We are now in Kalgoorlie - the final stop of the seven day event. Tomorrow is a short day with two Selective Stages and three transit sections, for a total of 164.98 kilometers of racing. And on another note - Annie Seel, the Huseberg rider who rode into the pit at the end of the second selective with a large stick impaled in her leg, through her boot. The story around the bivvy is she tried to remove it herself on the trail, but was unable to. The medical team was able to remove it onsite and within a short period, she was on her bike and back on course. Congrats to Annie!


Thursday, August 6, 2009



Today's Leg had Josh Hall written all over it - long selectives with next to no breaks. However, it was a rough start and before RK 60, Josh had two flats - leaving them with no spare. They were unable to get assistance at the refuel area as Marathon rules only allow Service Crews to fuel the truck. Competitors are not allowed any other assistance and exclusion is the penalty. Now we know why most of the trucks race with three spares.

The flats resulted in Josh running a little more conservatively until the last stage of the day - an 86.86KM selective. At that point, he turned it up. He took the tight, technical slalom style section all out and posted his first stage win! He beat out Bruce Garland by :19 seconds.

After a rough start in the first couple days, it was apparent the team refocused, decided to take each day at a time, set goals for individual stages and legs, and learn the nuances of this rally for a future return. Josh is a gifted driver, Thad the perfect co-driver and the truck is super capable. We look forward to the final two days of racing. Despite what happens now, it has been a tremendous experience for the team.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Good evening from Laverton, Western Australia. We are now spending two nights in this bivouac which will make our journey tomorrow a little easier. Today was another great day for the team - the HUMMER ran flawlessly, Josh was fast and Thad is nailing it in his role as navigator. In three Selective Stages, they posted 6th, 3rd and 2nd respectively. The overall result was third fastest for the day. Needless to say, the racers now know the team is truly competitive.

Tomorrow, Josh is third off the line. We have been told the day is the "toughest" out of the seven with 460 KM of Selective Stages and 85 KM of transit sections. Essentially, it is an all out race for the day with minimal breaks. It is also the second of three "Marathon Legs" - meaning the team has to perform their own service. Our support team can only refuel the truck. The long, all-out racing could favor Josh's experience with grueling endurance events.

Rod, Jason and I will be heading to various parts of the course in the morning to grab video, photos and update the action as cell service allows. Make sure you sign up for Twitter posts to keep up with the latest.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009



It was a redeeming and rewarding day for Josh, Thad and the H2 team and we are happy to report great news. The longest day so far on the rally, the guys had 4 selective stages and 7 transit stages, for a total of 745.68 km. The first selective east of Mt. Magnet was 122.59 and they took it relatively easy with the goal to warm up, settle in and focus on completing the day. By the time they entered the Agnew Service Area around 4 pm, they had made considerable time on a substantial portion of the field.

We saw them approximately 30 km into the last selective stage and they were moving fast. It was apparent that they were running a very competitive pace. We are now at the bivouac and checking the results as they keep coming in. Although these results are unofficial, here are the team’s result from each competitive stage today – 6th, 2nd, 5th, 3rd.

Tomorrow, we travel from Leonora to Laverton. There are 3 selective stages for a total of 301.17 and 163.81 transit stages for a total of 464.98. The progressive total of kilometers covered for all three days is 2390.17. We are waiting on tomorrow’s starting list, and because of the strong results, the HUMMER will have a much better starting position.

Jason Jacopian is working hard to get video posted tonight, but internet speeds have been challenging. With tomorrow's shorter stages, we are headed in early to get the video out and a mid-race update posted.

Stay tuned and good night from the Outback!

Monday, August 3, 2009


It’s a tough day for the team. I’m writing this update from Yalgoo which is known as the entry into the Outback. The day was over 600 km with two special stages – the first 244.75 km and the second 134 km. We saw them pass approximately 25 km into the first selective stage and they were running hard and strong. Just beyond that point, they were able to pass the car that started 2 minutes before the #111 H2.

Rod, Jason and I headed from RK 25 to RK 134 – the start of the “Timed Crossing” – and were able to catch the race leaders and record splits. The first truck off the line started 36 minutes ahead of Josh, but last year’s winner (Riley #100) who started in third position had moved up to first place by this point and put almost 8 minutes on that first truck. Based on how fast Josh was running when we first saw him, as the clock kept ticking, we knew there must be a problem. He came through the “Time Crossing” at approximately noon, and told us he broke a brake line and needed brake fluid.

Approximately 20 km down the course there was a tough creek crossing with one stuck medical vehicle. The team stopped and surveyed the area, chose a line and proceeded on across the deep mucky bog. The section was seriously wide and the truck got stuck beyond their ability to get out on their own - up to the diff and skid plate. After several tries and assistance from other vehicles, a recovery vehicle with 20 feet of Snatch Um strap was able to move them a few inches – just enough to get #111 unstuck.

Needless to say, a disappointing day. However, despite a big penalty, tomorrow is a new day and it’s a long event.

Sunday, August 2, 2009



Good evening from the coastal town of Geraldton. We are approximately 350 km north of Perth and settled in at the bivouac. The competition today consisted of short “special stages” (SS) – approximately 100 km total - as well as several transition stages. A "special stage" is where the competition happens essentially. The team ran into troubles midway through the stage when the insulation around one of the two mufflers basically had collapsed and clogged – causing the unit to become extremely hot and basically glowing when Josh was able to get a visual. After using one fire extinguisher, they made a wise decision to wait for the sweep to grab another extinguisher before continuing on. The team was down for approximately 30+ minutes but were able to pick off a couple trucks before the transition stage.

The second special stage was a short loop with many hard to see turns. In the first kilometer off the start, the team followed the deep ruts in the track, only to turn back as many teams had to do as well. Stories back at the bivouac confirmed that a majority of the field missed at least one or more turn. However, Josh reported that Thad did an excellent job navigating and we could tell from the in-car footage. There is no doubt that although he is new to it, he’ll make an excellent navigator for the long-haul.

The team is now working on the second muffler which was starting to develop the same problem as the left. Although the truck will be louder, the problem should be fully resolved. The H2 starts in 17th position tomorrow morning as we head east to Mt. Magnet. We have not been issued our road books yet, but will know the stages and distances shortly.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


We are wrapping up the first "official" day of the rally. The Prologue was a short stage intended to define the seeing for tomorrow's start. The course was 15.84 KM through a forested area east of Perth. The truck was running great but a navigational error cost the team 4 KM. Fortunately, the Prologue does not count against the team for the overall scoring, but does determine Leg 1 starting order. So tomorrow, they will be starting near the back of the pack. But then again, nothing new in the world of Stock Full racing back home. Veteran racer Bruce Garland ran the fastest time - 12:04 with an average speed of 78.8 kph.

The Ceremonial Start took place in downtown Perth at sunset. The H2 attracted alot of excitement and interest as it stood out from the Patrols, Pajeros, and other smaller traditional rally trucks. Definitely the absence of a windscreen sparked several discussions on the pros and cons for racing across the Outback. And a final highlight - Rod Hall was given the Australian flag to officially start the division.

Tomorrow's race - LEG 1 - heads north to the coastal town of Geraldton. The total distance is 575.03 KM and consists of two special stages. Josh and Thad leave the line at 8:55 am.
We will be posting as possible, but we understand cell service is limited once we depart Perth. We will do our best with updating as connections allow. However, if you can't find us here, click on the homepage for rally update links.