Round 2 of the 2012 UTV Rally Raid proved to one heck of a ride and the real racing was on. The racers were in for the wettest ride we’ve ever experienced at RR and they needed all their skill as racers to bring this one home. Saturday was a beautiful day all day. Weather reports showed 30% chance of rain for the day, and that 30% came to reality just as the race was about to start. The rain began as the drivers lined up on the grid and the flood gates opened up as the race went on, proving that Rally Raid will test your nerves as much as your skill.
The crew at Stoney Lonesome put in a ton of hours and money to make this course everything that it could be and it showed, they did a great job as always, and their dedication to UTV Racing and UTVRR shone through. Continual reevaluation of the course and its challenges made this the best race yet. The racers were very complimentary of the work and changes to the course and all the efforts that are being put into UTVRR to keep it at its place of the premiere racing series for UTV only racing in the USA. Even when the rain started the improvements in the course were reflected in the lap times and ultimately in the decrease of carnage from round one. Only a handful of vehicles failed to complete the race due to damage and most of those were caused by crash rather than the course tearing up the vehicle.
As the race wore on thru the night and the rain picked up, and the lap times were amazingly only dropping off by a small margin, the skill the racers showed was second to none. With a course that’s just over ten miles long, and the high speed that is carried, you needed real skill at round two to keep the speed up, and it showed the drivers of UTVRR have what it takes to run with the best out there anywhere in the USA. UTVRR has a very high speed course and with a large storm over the course for well in excess of the first two hours of the race the drivers metal was tested, stories of power slides in high speed corners and high speed overtakes were common place when drivers hit the pits. We had several racers keep their spirits up with funny comments as they came thru the timing tent. “Are we supposed to get rain” or “Awesome weather we are having” were just a few of the comments drivers took a second to shout at us as they rolled thru timing. Judging by everyone’s good spirits, the racers were having fun despite Mother Nature not being on our side and giving the racers a story to tell. On more than one occasion we were asked if we would be calling the race due to weather and the response from Quantum Racing was a resounding NO! Off road racing is what it is and weather is no reason to call it, as the thunder rolled and the lightening came down the racers pushed on into the night and really showed what the Southeastern UTVRR racing community is all about, real racing for real drivers. We appreciated their funny comments or general smiles as they acknowledged we was just as committed as they were for standing out in the rain as they were for racing in it. If nothing else, Quantum Racing is as focused on the sport and UTVRR as it ever was and we were prepared to get wet with everyone else.
Course improvements for round three will make for an even faster race carrying even more speed across the ten miles and challenging the high speed racing skills of the racers that UTVRR is known for. Tight sections of the course will challenge drivers technical ability at low speed, but the ethos of UTVRR has, and will always remain the same – High speed UTV racing, fast, unique and challenging.
Even in the rain, the pits were lively as always, you could see racers pulling into the pits with flat tires and the pit crews were out in a frenzy of repair, dedicated to getting their racers out there and back into the mix. It’s always very apparent that the UTVRR family is “in it to win it” and a storm changes nothing. Some pits were grilling and feeding us, thanks Basch Brothers for the pork chops bathed in hot sauce. As always we had some veterans helping our the new guys and we had competitors helping each other out. That never gets old. It’s one of the things that make us love doing this, the UTVRR family. We like the competition but in a close second place is the hospitality that the UTVRR series has shown from everyone involved, from the racers to the park employees, helping one another and watching out for each other if a vehicle goes missing, helping in each other’s pits and generally having the very best sporting nature possible. We saw new racers that were previously unknown being helped by seasoned teams from last year with everything from help and advice to literally helping out in the pits should it be needed.
This race proved to be the closest competition we’ve ever experienced at a Rally Raid. The top 4 spots were seperated by only 1:04 total time. That’s amazingly close for a 4 hour race. At the end of the night, #58 Team RT Pro’s Justin Fleming outlasted them all and took home the win for Round 2.
Outlaw Class Winners!
Class 2 Winners!
2nd Place didn’t make it to the award ceremony…
Class 1 Winners!
And Fastest lap of the day with a 16 sec lap time
At round two we had Busted Knuckle Films come out and shoot a video for the series, we managed to grab a few minutes with them as the race wore on. These guys are seasoned racers and video guru’s, they have been to many events and seen all manner of series so when they comment to us “this is awesome and unique” we know they were impressed and that tells us we are on the right track.
Quantum Racing and its entire staff are extremely proud of the UTVRR family, the racers make the series we just give them somewhere to race, and race they do. Round two saw forty one teams line up on the grid with all age ranges from 14 to 65 in all manner of vehicles from factory stock RZR 570’s to rockin pimped out RZR XP’s, Sand Vipers, Canam Commanders and even custom built buggies. Class One, Class Two and Outlaw always amaze us with the dedication to the race and the series. Teams that had radios were calling into race control as they passed vehicles broken down in the forest and even after the race some racers went back out to help with the collection of people and vehicles.
Special thanks go out to Crane One, James Schofield, Johnny Ford, LCB, Octane Racing and SxS Mulisha for the parts they played in round two with help with everything from Tech inspection to driver collection, course sweeping and publicity. This is the dedication that the UTVRR family has to the UTV racing scene and it will only get stronger as we move on in our quest to stay ahead of the competition and remain the fastest, most dedicated and friendly series in the USA. UTVRR pulls the biggest draw of any series in the USA for a UTV only racing series and we know why, racing isn’t just a course, it’s the entire package and with UTVRR you get it all.
We’d like to once again thank our headline sponsor RacerTech for their commitment to Rally Raid and the UTV racing scene. We’d also like thank JoomGo our class two sponsor, PCI Race Radios, Mountain MotorSports, Blue Torch Fab, and Adventure ATV for their class and fastest lap sponsorships.
Watch out for the “Busted Knuckle films” video and pictures that were shot at round two with driver interviews and race footage.
To find out more about UTV Rally Raid visit www.utvrr.com or www.southeastsxs.com.