W.E. Rock Rock Crawling Lady Driver Bio for Virginia Foster
How long have you been competing in Rock Crawling? What Classes? Finishes? 2016 was first full year. I did one competition in Congress 2014 a year after my daughter was born. I got 3rd ...out of 3. I have always run Sportsman A, although we are talking about going to a pro class soon as I want to continue to learn how to be a better driver. Last year I got 3rd in Congress and 2nd at Donner.
How did you get into rock crawling and decide to go competitive? What is your background? I was always taking pictures from the passenger seat of my husband's tubed out Land Cruiser. We used to go to the hammers a couple times a month. On this occasion, we met with some wheeling buddies who like to shoot the $hit...and get out of their cars with great frequency. I didn't wake up at the butt crack of dawn to be staring at a bunch of dirt while we wait for somebody else to get on the trail with us (never go alone - safety first). So in the middle of SOS I told my husband if he wanted to continue this family sport, he better find me my own rig. And he did! A sweet lil single seater with tons of extra parts for a steal of a deal that was easily made wife compliant by my husband. Now we can go out wheeling with just us anytime we want. I got all of two months in of driving before I got pregnant, and didn't wheel for the next year. The previous owner had wheeled it in W.E. Rock and left a W.E.Rock sticker on the rig. Which got my husband thinking crazy. And the next thing I knew we had a friend come with us to Congress to watch the baby while I tried not to die and/or tell my husband repeatedly that he should have increased my life insurance prior to that weekend. I couldn't even remember what all the switches did in my car at that point. I had a blast and learned a ton, but we (I) did terrible as I had pretty minimal driver’s seat time at that point.
What has been your most exciting achievement in W.E. Rock Rock Crawling? The first time I placed you couldn't wipe that grin off my face. I wasn't "Just a Girl" at that point, I was a driver you shouldn’t underestimate.
What is the most challenging part of Rock Crawling? Finding my own line. My single seater rarely does what other cars do. What’s easy for some is hard for me and vice versa. You gotta know your rig and find your own line on trails.
In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a good rock crawler? Observant, patient, prepare fully for the unexpected. Always bring toilet paper to the trail or hang out with the person that has a stash.
What does event prep look like in your world? Prep seems to start at the end of every race for us - I say us because I'm pretty spoiled as I spare fairly few hours in the garage now that I've had a kid (I tell my husband I spent enough time working on his rig). Fix what's broke, make it look pretty again, trailer maintenance, and water in tires. Exercise and diet is fairly important for the spotter. Meal planning and crossfit help in that area.
What does a typical competition weekend look like for your team? Pack and load, drive forever, get nervous and can't sleep while my husband laughs at me (melatonin is awesome), drink lots of water before the competition because the weekend can be hot and who likes porta-potties??
What do you look forward to at W.E. Rock events, past the actual competition? Watching other competitors and of course the shoot out. I love it when other women do well. I rarely get to watch them wheel as the other women in W.E.Rock are in the pro classes and we all drive our courses at the same time.
What are your goals for this year’s W.E. Rock Series? Place at every event we go to. Try not to let the first course of the day ruin me. Hit every bonus line without flipping. What can I say? I flip it a lot. I like to tell myself it’s because we try to do the majority of the bonus lines and push my skills to the limit. My rig is now purple…we refer pushing ourselves to that limit as “Upside-down Purple”. It goes along with the principal of “rubbin’s racin”. Things happen when you are trying your hardest. Just be safe about it.
What excites you about competing? Learning so much every time I compete, trying not to pee my pants every time I'm looking down a large waterfall, and having the dream team with my husband. It's great couples therapy. Watch any team couple. We have a lot of fun. We work hard, and play harder. But you may hear a few cuss words in the process.
What is a piece of advise that you have been given that you have taken to heart and instill into your racing career? Or, quote that you always remember. Repair and despair. If nothing broke, you weren’t really wheeling…or your next wheeling trip is going to really suck when you find what really did break but now it’s in the middle of nowhere.
Tell us about the rest of the Team that Supports you. Define the roll of the driver and spotter in your team. My husband is a great driver and should really be driving in the competition. Problem is, I'm a terrible spotter. We argue a lot on course (I'm always scared, and I yell a lot), but our team has a great advantage in being consistent and good communication. My daughter loves being in the passenger seat when we go wheeling. Which makes it easier to practice and/or wheel for fun. She has a helmet and a five point harness (carseat) just like mommy and daddy do. She’s a Lil adrenaline junky like her parents. It’s terrifying.
• None. Feel free to email any ideas 🙂
Virginia Adds: Thanks to my mother-in-law for committing to watch my daughter every competition in 2017 - she's priority #1. My daughter for giving me courage. My husband for having zero doubts and believing in me from the beginning.
Author: Virginia Foster