In the hard desert wastelands, nothing survives. The brutal heat of the day and the frigid cold nights make it unbearable for life. These conditions call for another style of life; high horsepower, enriched fuel, and metal creations built for the abuse of the terrain put forth in front of them. Welcome to the Ultra4 Rampage at Ridgecrest.
Setting our destination for Ridgecrest California, we set sail for the westward journey for the last western race for the Ultra4 series. As the team set camp with the new 44 foot awning, we took off into the desert to see the 60 mile loop which was deemed our race course. High speed sections, rough shell rock, silt beds, whoops, and g outs, the course had everything to offer for an impactful desert race. While marking the course for dangers and notes, we came across the A-OK team on their side with the Ultra4 safety crew needing some assistance in up righting the 4800 class car. Once upright, we finished the course with a good representation of the track.
After a few hot runs on the qualifying course, we lightened up to set down a fast time to stay in front of the dust for our afternoon race. With our run starting at the drop of the green flag, we were hot on the gas to lay down our lap. Having little wind and high dust lingering in the track, the setting sun added to every element against us. We took our chances in the blind and set down a time enough to put us 4th off the line for our race!
Our race started in the heat of the triple digit afternoon sun. With the smell of race fuel in the air, it was our time to take to the desert! Quickly making our way through the track and catching 3rd place, we made our move and continued towards clearing lap 1. With the car reaching higher engine temperatures the normal for the end of lap 1, we backed off the car and made our fuel stop at main pit. Lap 2, we took off with a great position and feel for the tracks conditions. At mile 10, we felt the car get soft and realized we lost a control arm link in the rear. Josh, our co-driver, grabbed tools and hardware to make quick fix of the broken bolt in the mount. Quickly fixing the solution, we hit the course to catch up to the pace we had been running when, unknown to us, the opposite side hardware fatigued as well and had broken the hardware to the link. Running out of hardware, we made due with what we had to fix and nurse the car to the pits where our team was able to correctly fix our issue. While losing much time on our lap 2, we set sail for lap 3 in the dark. Doing everything in our power to take on a fast lap to make time where we could, the cars temperatures ran hotter and hotter causing more issues then foreseen. With a hurt motor, we ended our race timing out crossing the finish line 30 minutes past the time called.
With starting 4th in our race, we ran into many obstacles in our race. In doing so, we still battled our odds to land a 6th place finish even though crossing the finish line past the time called. Ending the western series in a 4th place, we have Nationals race left to close the Ultra4 series. Currently in 3rd for nationals, we are tearing the car apart to stay in the running for points!