The 2010 season marked unprecedented growth of the King of the Hammers phenomenon, seeing expansion of the Ultra4 format of 4 wheel drive off-road endurance racing spread across the United States and into Canada. Hammerking Productions has ridden the wave of popularity to the next level with the release of the 2011 Ultra4 Tour schedule. The Ultra4 Tour consists of six events across the United States that will test the limits of the unlimited 4-wheel-drive racing machines known as Ultra4 cars and the teams that drive them. Loren Healy (No. 4428 Jimmy’s 4×4/ATX Wheel Team), the 2011 Ultra4 Grand Slam of Off-Road champion and reigning King of the Hammers, will return to defend his titles against a host of teams all looking to dethrone him and end his reign. Monster Energy’s Shannon Campbell, the 2008 King of the Hammers; Jason Scherer, the 2009 King of the Hammers (who will pilot the No. 4454 Desert Concepts Motorsports car); and privateer Erik Miller (Car No. 4421), the 2010 IEC champion, will be back with a vengeance. Rocksports icons Dean “The Iceman” Bullock (No. 4411 PSC Motorsports car) and JT Taylor in the lucky No.13 Torchmate Racing car will also look to lead a large contingent of new teams in the Ultra4 racing series.
The Ultra4 Tour will make its first stop at the fifth running of the Griffin King of the Hammers (KOH), February 6-12. The week-long, festival-like Rocksports event has become known as the most difficult one-day Off-Road race on the planet. Teams and fans from around the country make the pilgrimage to the Johnson Valley OHV area near Lucerne Valley, Calif., for a full week of race action. The festivities include a vendor trade show, anchored by 4 Wheel Parts (delivering off-road accessories daily to the event site), and seminars on everything off-road from shock tuning and GPS classes to first aid and marketing can be attended during the week. The highlight of the week is Friday’s running of the fifth annual King of the Hammers race, an event that witnesses the top 100 Ultra4 teams doing battle with each other on 150 miles of the most difficult terrain in the world.
The second stop on the tour will be the Best in the Desert Silver State 300. Ultra4 drivers will run as fast as possible across the unforgiving desert of Nevada, April 29-30th. Beginning near Las Vegas and making a 300-mile loop, teams will find themselves traversing areas most travelers will never have the opportunity to see, while traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph.
Stop three on the tour will take place in hills of Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, for the third running of the Rausch Creek Qualifier (RCQ). This lap race has traditionally been a wet race for the teams, with deep forests and large, unforgiving climbs. In 2011 the RCQ will play host to manufacturer trail rides as well as a vendor show. The park will remain open to recreational 4-wheeling for the first time since Ultra4 racing began. Thanks to recent expansion of the park footprint, multiple off-road opportunities will be available before, during and after the race.
Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, will welcome a brand-new event for 2011. The Ultra4 American Rocksports Challenge will race at the home of America’s longest and most spectacular road course July 15-16 for this no-holds-barred race across a man-made surface that includes unbelievable vertical climbing action as well as high-flying jumps. Teams will race for the best time to determine the winner. In addition to the Rocksports action, Hammerking Productions will present its first-ever celebrity kart race, called the ARC Cup, at Miller Motorsports Park’s state-of-the-art karting center on Friday evening for charity. This event will also play host to a parking lot sale, vendor and 4×4 car shows.
The Ultra4 Stampede will again invade Reno, Nevada, the “Biggest Little City in the World,” for a “far from expected” racing experience Sept 8-10th. The Exit28 Motorsports Park has become known for trails as tough as the Hammers, and many teams that were unable to finish the assault in 2010 are looking for revenge in 2011. A vendor midway, bikini car wash and ORI Club Challenge will return in 2011 as well as the excellent nightlife that is associated with the Ultra4 Stampede.
New for 2011 is the Ultra4 Grand Prix at Glen Helen Raceway in Devore, California October 21-22nd. The Ultra4 Tour’s final stop will be an exciting mix of off-road racing tracks, turning Glen Helen into a six-mile course that recalls the days of Glen Helen’s glory. A vendor midway and weekend camping will be available as Ultra4 race cars will run in heat races to advance to the main event. Race action is expected to fill the entire day Saturday and into the night as the main event will last for two full hours. Rain or shine, blow or snow, all races will run regardless of weather.
Hammerking Productions, Inc. created the “King of the Hammers” Ultra4 off-road race in 2007 and released its first full-length feature film in 2008. Its follow up “2nd Crusade” was the recipient of the 2009 Xtremey award for best car and truck film. The follow up “Anarchy” is on sale currently. Since its inception, the King of the Hammers franchise has grown to include a regional qualifier network across the United States and Canada. Hammerking Productions has produced event coverage for the Spike and Speed television networks. The King of the Hammers event draws 30,000 spectators and has grown to include over 100,000 fans worldwide. “King of the Hammers” is largely known for being the toughest one-day off-road race on the planet. It attracts teams from around the world and has been the focus of international media coverage. The event is held each February in the Johnson Valley OHV area in Southern California. In 2010 Hammerking Productions, Inc. expanded its services to include race program management, commercial film production and marketing services for the off-road industry. Website:www.kingofthehammers.com.
Best in the Desert Racing Association was founded by Casey Folks. As Director of the Best in the Desert Racing Association, Casey brings over 35 years’ experience as a competitor, promoter and businessman. He has competed in almost every type of off-road event throughout the western United States. His accolades also include over 30 races in Baja California, Mexico, and the Tunisia Rally in Northern Africa. Under Casey’s direction, the Best in the Desert Racing Association has achieved exceptional growth in attendance and popularity. Casey Folks never expects anything less of himself than he does the racers, and relies heavily on a dedicated staff that consists mostly of loyal volunteer off-road racing enthusiasts. The philosophy of the organization is to provide top-quality, world-class, long-distance off-road desert racing events and, more importantly, to make those events exciting, spectacular, fun and different. Casey truly believes “Life is an Adventure!” www.bitd.com
Rausch Creek Off-Road Park opened in the spring of 2003. Located within minutes of Interstate 81 at the Tower City/Tremont exit (#107), Rausch Creek Off-Road Park has over 3,000 acres at its disposal for the off-road enthusiast. The land was used previously by the coal companies that established most of the infrastructure in Schuylkill County, Pa. The Central Pennsylvania region is the heart of the state’s coal region and is rich with history. The landscape of the park’s acreage varies greatly. The majority of the area is lined with trees, providing substantial shade during the hot summer months and adding driving challenges year-round as the trails wind though the forest. In addition to the club-friendly trails, the park has a number of camping sites where groups can plan longer stays. Camping is primitive and included in the daily admission charges. Two people who are integral to the Rausch Creek operation are Bruce Shallis and Lynn Ehrenfeld. Bruce has been involved in this sport for over 15 years, with many years’ experience with Jeep Jamboree and Camp Jeep events, and is involved with professional competitive rock crawling. Lynn has several years’ experience with 4×4 clubs, trail building and guiding rides and is the park’s onsite manager. Website:www.RauschCreekOffroadPark.org.
Miller Motorsports Park is a state-of-the-art road racing facility for automobiles, motorcycles and karts located just 35 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City in Tooele, Utah. It is considered the finest facility of its type in North America. Opened in 2006, Miller Motorsports Park hosts many of the world’s most significant racing series, including the FIM Superbike World Championship, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, AMA Pro Racing Superbike Championship, the Lucas Oil Offroad Racing Series and, new for 2011, the Ultra4 American Rocksports Challenge.
In addition to the professional racing series that visit Miller Motorsports Park, the track also has its own locally-based racing series for road racing cars and motorcycles, and karts (with competitors’ ages ranging from five to 65 years old). There is racing taking place almost every weekend between April and October.
Miller Motorsports Park is the most advanced, safest and best-equipped racing facility in North America. So outstanding was its design and execution that it was named “Motorsports Facility of the Year” during its first year of operation by the Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, Germany, on November 8, 2006. The facility offers something for everyone, with outstanding fan amenities, unmatched corporate meeting and entertainment options and the finest paddock and garages available for teams. Miller Motorsports Park is a significant addition to the national road racing industry, and a major component of the ever-growing Salt Lake City sporting market.
Miller Motorsports Park is situated in Tooele County, just 25 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, 35 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and about 10 minutes from Tooele or Grantsville. It is directly adjacent to Tooele County’s Deseret Peak Recreation Complex. Miller Motorsports Park is easily accessed by major highways (I-80) and surrounding county roads. Website: www.MillerMotorsportsPark.com.
Exit 28 Motorsports Park is located in Storey County, Nevada, adjacent to the Reno-Tahoe industrial center, minutes from downtown Reno and Sparks, Nevada. The Exit 28 Motorsports complex’s 100,000 acres can host all styles of off-road racing with its diverse terrain, beautiful weather, nearby hospitality and gaming. The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is located only 20 minutes from the park via I-80. Exit 28 Motorsports Park hosts the VORRA Xtreme Outlaw 250 race, CalRocs rock crawling events, LivFast Motocross Park and the Ultra4 Stampede. In 2011, the schedule will expand to include additional high-profile desert races and events. The park is available for any style event, race, concert series, corporate function, off-road testing and new product releases.
Glen Helen Raceway is located north of San Bernardino, California, in Devore. The raceway facility is nestled against the San Bernardino Mountains and is comprised of approximately 250 acres. Glen Helen is on county property and shares its large area with other county facilities: Glen Helen Regional Parks, San Manuel Pavilion and the San Bernardino County Sheriff Training Center. Glen Helen Raceway was created in 1985; it hosted several Sand Drag events, off road events and motocross events in its early years. Glen Helen Raceway hosted its first world-class event, the United States World Championship Motocross, in 1991 and again in 1992. With these two events added to the Glen Helen Raceway schedule, it became a nationally known track. In 1995 and 1996 two more major events, the Off Road Winter Series and the AMA 125/250 MX Nationals, came to Glen Helen Raceway. With these events, Glen Helen Raceway became one of the most seen and raced-on tracks in the world. Glen Helen continues that historic tradition hosting multiple off-road racing events each year, from the Lucas Off-Road Racing Series to world-renowned motorcycle racing events. Website: www.GlenHelen.com