Friday, August 26, 2016
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Apparently the folks from Best In The Desert decided to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the longest off-road race in America by making it the toughest race in America, too! The General Tire Vegas To Reno "The Long Way," Presented by Fox also featured a unique split into two days and nearly 350 entries, including 60 UTVs. As the defending winner of this race, DragonFire decided to stack the deck with a full house of racers, including last year's BITD Pro Unlimited UTV class winner Lacrecia Beurrier, short course sensation Corry Weller, Lucas Oil Regional champ Bobby VanBeekum and UTV Rally Raid winners Jimmy Keys and Russell Griffin.
"DragonFire really upped the ante for the 20th Anniversary of V2R," says DragonFire Racing's Operations Manager Brice Ginn. "With a pair of queens in Lacrecia and Corry and a couple of kings with Bobby and Russell, not to mention a Joker with Jimmy, we thought we had a winning hand to beat Vegas To Reno... we really did." Pre-race odds placed VanBeekum at 4:1, Buerrier at 6:1, while short course sensation Weller went off in a nearly stock Yamaha at 7:1 and the KeysCrete team wasn't even on the board.
Unfortunately a raw deal saw Bobby VanBeekum having to fold on Day 1. "Very sorry to say we did not finish the first day... We lost the water pump line which ended up taking out a head gasket," explained the odds-on favorite to win the DragonFire Cup awarded to the top finishing DragonFire team. "I do want to thank all the great sponsors that stand behind us and let everyone know we will be back out front next time."
"That is when we started to see the ghost images of upside down trophy trucks, just the rear wheels sticking out of the ground, and outlines of drivers and co-drivers waving frantically at us to avoid the carnage all around," she explains. "One of the shadowy figures waved us to a space just big enough for us to squeeze through without stopping. We managed to make it through that mess without stuffing our own YXZ1000R into a ravine or hit anything."
The efforts of good Samaritans somehow saw all three remaining DragonFire teams make it through to the restart at Pit #2. "My team unloaded, fueled and sent us back out still in the top 5," says Lacrecia. As the teams plowed through another 200 miles of pure silt, belt temps began reaching 240-degrees, overheating the CVs and melting the occupants inside the race cars. "Luckily a couple of water crossings gave us a bit of a cool down. We crossed the finish line on Day 1 6th overall UTV and 3rd Pro Production UTV."
Desert racing newcomer Corry Weller started 27th position in class, out of 30+ entries, and after all of the Production Turbo UTVs. "We also started after the bikes, quads and trophy trucks," she notes. "This meant a very torn up course for us and very deep truck ruts... but that was to be expected." Nothing like eating the dust of 300+ entries and running a basically stock UTV in the longest desert race in the U.S. for a real trial by fire. "We wanted a light and simple race car for our first outing, so we went with stock suspension and only added the basic Best In The Desert safety requirements because we know what a great machine the Yamaha YXZ1000R is for this type of racing!"
A twist for Day 2 was that all vehicles started in order of finish... that meant Trophy Trucks, buggies and UTVs were all mixed up. "This time, not only were we in the top 10 of the UTVs, we were running in the top 65 of all the cars and trucks," says Lacrecia. "Our DragonFire teammate Russell Griffin just beat us on time Day 1, so we started right behind Jimmy who was in the saddle for Day 2. Although we always wish our teammates well, we didn't want to be eating Jimmy's dust all day."
Running with the big dogs did help Corry catch up to the front of the UTV field. In fact coming into the final 50 miles, the three DragonFire cars were in order on the track and made a charge for the podium. Dreams of an all-DragonFire podium will have to wait for another day, but at the end of the longest race in America, #1970 Griffin, #1924 Beurrier and #1870 Weller finished 5, 6 and 7! "Just to finish this race is a huge achievement, but to finish where we did is awesome, especially in a stock machine," adds Weller.
When the silt settled, the DragonFire teams were topped by KeysCrete's 5th out of 34 in the Pro Production class UTVs; 10th overall out of 70 total UTVs (including the Turbos and three new Maverick X3s) and 62nd overall out of all the truck/car/UTV class entries. "Guess it really is true that three of a kind beats the two pair we had at the start of Vegas To Reno," says DragonFire's Brice Ginn.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
UTVUnderground and Horsepower Adventures announced today, that they have teamed up to bring you an exciting new, approachable off-road event series in Baja, Mexico, “The Legends Rally”. The events are designed to let participants explore the stunning beauty of Baja, while enjoying gourmet food and drink prepared by local chefs and craft spirit experts. The events will be led by off-road legends including Larry Ragland, Walker Evans, Ivan Stewart and Larry Roeseler who will share their incredible experiences in off-road racing with participants.
Each of the four planned UTV rally events per year will feature a unique route and offer a truly authentic culinary off-road experience and scenery that can only be found in Baja. Participants will stay at the famed Horsepower Ranch, nestled in a quiet valley outside of Ensenada, and experience a full day of riding that includes a gourmet outdoor lunch in a private location, prepared by local chefs.
“Our goal with this series is to preserve, celebrate and share the culture of off-roading. The Legends Rally format is designed to introduce new people to our culture in a fun, exciting and approachable way. UTVs offer the perfect platform to explore Baja and our group will provide a fun, safe environment to experience something special with friends, family and colleagues,” stated Mad Media CEO, Matt Martelli.
The Legends Rally launches its inaugural event September 23rd-25th at Horsepower Ranch, and will be led by off-road legend Larry Ragland. Michelin Star Chef Drew Deckman, who is internationally known for his “slow food” philosophy and using locally sourced produce and meat, will create the menu prepared by associate chef, Claudette Wilkins. Local winemaker Aldo Santini Jr., who is an expert on the local wine, beer, tequila, and mezcal in the region, will provide tastings to pair with Deckman’s dining experience.
“The beauty of Southern Baja is really unparalleled in North America, and there’s no better way to experience it than in a UTV with friends and family,” stated Joey DiGiovanni, CEO and founder of UTVUnderground. “Once you get off the main roads you really get to see Baja’s majestic beaches, mountains, and forests, and of course the people and the food are spectacular!”
Participants of the three day adventure will travel in on Friday afternoon, ride all day Saturday and head home on Sunday, so even the busiest professional can fit this bite sized taste of Baja into their schedule. The event is designed for UTV owners to bring their own vehicles but a limited amount of fully prepared rentals are available from Horsepower Adventures with hassle-free trail support. Guides will meet participants at the American border to ensure a smooth, hassle-free crossing in to Mexico and escort to Horsepower Ranch.
“We are thrilled to partner with UTVUnderground for The Legends Rally!" stated Todd Clement, President and Co-Founder of Horsepower Adventures. "We’ve been missing an entry point for new people to come learn about the off-road culture in Baja for quite some time. We’re really looking forward to sharing the stunning beauty and food of Baja."
Space is limited for this exclusive off-road adventure and culinary experience, so don’t wait - register now!
What: Legends Rally Pine Forest Loop UTV Ride - Lazo de Bosque de Piños
Where: Horsepower Ranch, Ensenada, MX
When: September 23rd-25th
Who: Come ride with Off-Road legend Larry Ragland through the stunning beauty of Baja
Featured Chef: Menu by Drew Deckman | Experience led by associate chef, Claudette Wilkins
Featured Spirit Expert: Aldo Santini Jr.
Riding Mileage: 150 miles
Cost: $1,500 per person (Includes food, hotel and rally entry)
About The Legends Rally
The Legends Rally is an exciting new, approachable off-road event series in Baja, Mexico designed to preserve, celebrate and share the culture of off-roading and introduce new people to the culture in a fun, exciting and approachable way. The Legends Rally is a culinary off-road experience that explores the stunning beauty of Baja, while enjoying gourmet food and drink prepared by local chefs and craft spirit experts from the region. Our events are led by various off-road legends including Larry Ragland, Walker Evans, Ivan Stewart and Larry Roeseler and each event will feature a different 150 to 200 mile loop starting at the famed Horsepower Ranch nestled in a quiet rural valley just outside Ensenada, Baja, CA.
The world's fastest growing all inclusive UTV site contributed to by both enthusiasts and manufacturers alike. UTVUnderground is the go-to site for fresh, original content and is known for its dedication to hosting all of the latest news and insight surrounding the UTV industry. Thousands of monthly visitors from over 100 different countries around the world go to UTVUnderground.comfor their daily dose of UTV news and information.
About Horsepower Adventures
Todd Clement is the founder and mastermind behind Wide Open Baja, an entity that successfully introduced thousands of people and organizations to the thrill and culture of off-roading in Baja, Mexico. Beginning in 1998, Clement developed the most sophisticated adventure-based touring organization ever conceived, engaging both individual thrill-seekers and Fortune 500 corporations. Leaving Wide Open Baja in 2007, Todd has now returned to the unique business he first pioneered.
Adrian Hoyle, a successful construction entrepreneur, shares a passion for the off-road culture with Clement.
Together, they form a powerful business enterprise of industry experience and business knowledge. With multiple locations planned for Baja and North America, Horsepower Adventures is destined to become the dominant force in the world-class adventure tour industry.
Cognito Racing’s Justin Lambert takes class and overall win in his RZR XP 4 1000, RZRs take 11 of top 12 positions
Minneapolis, August 24, 2016–Polaris RZR continues to show sheer dominance in the Best in the Desert Racing Series (BITD), winning 11 of the top 12 Pro UTV finishes and the top two overall in the General Tire “Vegas to Reno” The Long Way presented by FOX.
Polaris Factory Racer Justin Lambert and his No. 1918 Cognito Motorsports RZR XP 4 1000 won the Pro Production class AND was the fastest UTV overall. Lambert and his team have been on an incredible run: currently on a five-win streak, including back-to-back Vegas-to-Reno wins and two overall UTV wins this season. That’s especially significant as the team competes in the non-turbo UTV class and continues to outdrive the higher-horsepower, turbo UTVs.
Finishing the sweep of Pro Production was Matt Burroughs and his No.1948 RZR XP 1000, who took second, and Rhys Millen in the No. 1987 RZR XP 4 1000 taking third.
Newly signed Polaris Factory Racer Jacob Carver took second in the UTV Turbo class in his No. 936RZR XP Turbo, followed by fellow factory racers Mitch Guthrie Jr., Marc Burnett, Brandon Schueler and Branden Sims.
It was another dominant performance for Team RZR, during which 45 of the 65 UTV entrants were RZR, including 11 of the top 12 finishers. The next BITD Race is Bluewater Desert Challenge, presented by Polaris, Oct. 6-9.
Justin Lambert is sponsored by Polaris, Cognito, Mystik Lubricants, ITP Tires, Method Race Wheels, Sparks Performance Products and Fox Racing Shocks.
Mitch Guthrie Jr. is sponsored by Polaris, Walker Evans Racing, Super ATV, ITP Tires, Cooper Standard Tire Balls, Kicker Audio, Baja Designs, PRP Seats, RCV Performance, Odyssey Batteries, SSI Decals, Rugged Radio, Hardcore Tuning, Factory UTV, KBN, Bert’s, UTV Underground, Fatography and Mad Media.
Mark Burnett is sponsored by Polaris, Monster, MB Motorsports, Lincoln Welders, UNI, P.C.I, Eibach, HJC, Heatshield, FOX, ORW, RacePak, Pace Off-Road Logo, Rigid industries, RPI, RCV, Razor Back Technologies, CP Tools, Energy Coil, Lucas Oil, General Tires, Aeromotive, OMF, Cryoheat, iON, Antigravity Batteries, Factory UTV Red Cap, Magnaflow, Apollo Sat Phones, Bullet Liner, Dragon, Beard Seats
Brandon Schueler (Jagged X) is sponsored by Polaris, Walker Evans Racing, BF Goodrich, Jackson Motorsports Group, Polaris Engineered Lubricants, Varta Powersports Batteries, Factory UTV, Vision X Lighting, CR designs, OMF Performance and Mountain States Contracting.
Branden Sims is sponsored by Polaris, Lonestar Racing, ITP Tires, Method Race Wheels, Fox Shocks, Baja Designs, Factory UTV, Beard, Rugged Radios, Trinity Racing, Northern Az Auto & Off-road and Sims Motorsports
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader with annual 2015 sales of $4.7 billion. Polaris fuels the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts with our RANGER®, RZR® and POLARIS GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; our SPORTSMAN® and POLARIS ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; VICTORY® and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; SLINGSHOT® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, SWITCHBACK® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories sold under multiple recognizable brands, and has a growing presence in adjacent markets globally with products including military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric
Burroughs and co-driver Dan Lewis pushed early in day 1 of the two-day event through mostly sand and silt racing conditions. After the 4.5-hour race day, they held second place in the UTV Pro class. For day 2, the course covered rocky terrain on its way to Reno, Nev. With just over 7 hours of racing for day 2, Burroughs and the Monster team completed a grueling Vegas to Reno race with no flat tires or car troubles.
With his second-place finish in this BITD race, Burroughs now holds second-place overall in the UTV Pro class for the 2016 season points battle.
Congratulations to Burroughs, Lewis and the Monster Energy team for their second-place finish in the Best In The Desert Vegas to Reno race. STI-supported drivers Jonathan McVay (1952) finished 9th in the UTV Pro class, and Matt Hughes finished 10th, also running Chicane RX tires. The class had more than 30 racer entries.