UTV Rally Raid Round 3 Race Report
September 13, 2014
Quite literally, the new RZR XP 1000 was smoking fast at the last round of the UTV Rally Raid series (more on the “smoking” part below). As a benefit of winning the Round 2 race, we started Round 3 on the front row. Generally, a front row start is a huge benefit at the Hawk Pride Mountain Off Road course due to the usual Summertime dust. However, at this event, the course was in great shape, maybe even a little on the wet site.
Off the line, Double E Racing got the jump on me and led the first half of the lap. After Double E allowed me to pass, I was able to get out in front and start letting the XP 1000 dig into the race course. The first lap of the race turned out to be the night’s fastest lap. Generally, the Hawk Pride course gets rougher as the night carries on and that night was no exception. Even though I was pushing the car much harder as the night went on, the lap times still slowly increased.
At the half way mark, I pulled into the pits to get the tape removed from the lights. It was at that time I was told I had a 3+ minute lead over the field. That’s almost the perfect lead amount at the half way point – executing the plan perfectly. The car was great. The weather was great. The lighting was great. It was time to settle into a good, safe pace and stay out of trouble. As fate would have it, that’s right when the problem started. No thanks to our mechanic (and truck driver, car washer, cook, and race driver), a radiator hose clamp was left loose allowing one of the lower radiator lines to work its way off, bringing me to a very quick halt about 5 minutes after leaving the pits. Fort-five minutes later, I was gracefully resupplied with two gallons of water and a screwdriver by Randy of HORS racing. Huge thanks goes out to Randy for his great sportsmanship. After getting the clamp tightened up and the radiator hydrated, I was back on the course.
All in all, I dropped almost 45 minutes sitting on the side of the race course while the competition was passing me by. That’s a pretty demoralizing feeling watching your lead quickly slip away and drop way back in the standings. However, that didn’t mean the night was over. Thanks to the amazing lighting system from KC HiLITES, I was able see almost as well at night as I was during the day, as evidence of my night lap times only dropping a few seconds from my daytime laps. When you factor in that one lap is close to 18 minutes, dropping only a few seconds is a significant success measurement for a lighting system.
At the end of the night, I finished up only one lap behind the leader, led over half of the race, and took home the fastest lap award. All of this effort landed a top ten (10th) finish, which I am very satisfied with considering I sat on the side of the track pouting for 45 minutes.
After a good showing at this race, identifying a weak link (my clamp tightening ability), and finishing the race with no damage, I feel we are in a very good spot for UTVRR Round 4 next month.
Another highlight of the event, from my basic calculations, this puts me over 200 race hours on GBC Dirt Commanders and HiPer Wheels without a wheel and tire failure. It doesn’t get anymore bulletproof than that.
For more information on UTV Rally Raid, visit http://www.utvrr.com.
This team wouldn’t be possible without the help of the following team sponsors:
Octane Media, Polaris, GBC Motorsports, KC HiLiTES HiPer Technology, Driven Racing Oil, Morgan Performance Fabrication, PRP Seats, ATVScene.com, Blue Torch Fab, Yoshimura, DirtyDawg Performance, and K4 Switches.