Monster Jam is a motorsport event where ridiculously powerful Monster Trucks battle it out for points in a championship that travels the world. Tonnes of dirt was loaded into Melbourne’s AAMI Park where it was transformed into a high octane playground. Led by the legendary, 11-time Monster Jam World Finals Champion, Tom Meents in monster truck, ‘Max-D’ the 10 Monster Trucks entered the arena ready to duke it out across three events: 1v1 Bracket Style Knockout Race, Two Wheel Points Challenge and, my favourite, Freestyle Points Challenge.
With an almighty roar from their engines, the full line-up entered the stadium parking from either end of the course with the first two monster trucks lined up and ready to race. Before you know it, they’re off! Completing a couple of laps with the first car across the line through to the next bracket, the other car is knocked out of the competition. Minus the occasional misjudged corner resulting in a roll-over, the rest of the racing wasn’t all that exciting. Monster Energy’s Coty Saucier took out the race.
After a quick break and reset, the monster trucks were back at it with the Two Wheel Points Challenge. As the name suggests, each driver attempts to pull the best tricks on two wheels which is the entertainment that the eager stadium crowd were waiting for. With the incredible power of these monster machines, these trucks can get up onto two wheels quite easily. However, holding the vehicles in a ‘hand stand’ position for an extended period of time is where the skill comes in. With the crowd voting using their mobile devices via a website, the audience scored each run out of 10. Megalodon, driven by Justin Sipes and in a truck shaped like a Shark, was one of the outstanding performers. Holding it up on two wheels for what seemed like an eternity. But it was crowd favourite Max-D taking out the round with a high-speed two-wheel donut. Tom Meents holding that spin at that speed was truly astonishing! Tom took out the round with a massive score of 9.602.
Shortly before the intermission, several of the trucks lined up on the down-ramp of the largest jump on the track. With them all squeezed in, Max-D set up to attempt a jump over a row of six monster trucks. With not much room to get up to speed, Tom took a couple of runs to the top of the jump, just ensuring his positioning was in-line. Then, with an almighty roar he was off and launched off the ramp, clearing all six trucks. But with the limited space of the AAMI Park pitch, he quickly ran out of room to stop and flipped into the shipping containers protecting the stands. The crowd went nuts and I was still in awe of the ridiculous air he achieved in such a small space.
After a 20 minute intermission the trucks were back out ready to smash it out in the Freestyle competition. Easily the most exciting part of the event. Each driver took their loud and powerful machine out into the dirt playground filled with jumps, old cars and the ominous double stacked containers awaiting a brave driver to attempt a backflip. The drivers take to the field one by one with a timer up on the big screen, roaring around the track to complete as many jumps, tricks and car smashes as possible.
The weather was quite nice for most of the day, but halfway through the Freestyle event, the heavens opened up turning the arena into a muddy, slippery playground. The change in weather made for some great entertainment, pushing the trucks over the edge and flipping over left right and centre! After flipping over before the break, Max-D re-enters the arena to a rain soaked AAMI Park. After hitting the jumps a few times, it wasn’t long until he headed over to the double stacked container and lined up for the backflip, pulling it off to an almighty roar from the crowd. While all the trucks attempted tricks, their attempts weren’t enough to take the win away from Becky McDonough in monster truck, El Toro Loco. Becky also took out the afternoon session in overall points.
Overall, the event was a lot of fun for all, but especially for the little kids with their earmuffs cheering on as the trucks flipped, smashed and crashed. For me, the most entertaining part of the event was the Freestyle. I’m sure the drivers enjoy this segment the most too! I didn’t have access to the pre-show pit-party, but I heard from some friends that did have access to this that it wasn’t all that exciting. I did however love how the event was presented and the audience participation with the interactive voting online was a great touch to help you feel part of the show. So if you’re keen for this event next time it is in town (or in your city), I would suggest sticking with the Show Only ticket. Sign up to the Monster Jam website for details on their next tour Down Under!