As 2020 has been a downward spiral for many action sports and racing divisions, we bring Ultra4 Racing back to life traveling to the foothills of South Pittsburgh Tennessee! Adventure Off-Road Park (AOP) has over 200 acres of trails, hill climbs, rocks, tree infested chicanes, and everything that Ultra4 Racing is about! Our team trekked east from Phoenix to the Tear Down in Tennessee to battle it out for the eastern race.
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Prerun: Sergio from SpiderWebShade joined us for this event with his racing knowledge and experience. Chasing down other teams and drivers as we traveled across the country, we arrived at AOP Thursday and set up camp with Shawn Rants and MuddNutt Racing. Quickly getting our car fueled and the course map loaded we took a lap on the course that afternoon to see what Ultra4 had in store for us. This year’s track was a much different setting from last year, being this year’s course was dry and a new track was grooved for race day. We changed our air pressures in our BFGoodrich and Dirty Life Racing wheels combo after our first lap and seeing what the course had to offer. Friday morning, we preran the qualifying course along with another lap to see the conditions of the track after some of the weather the previous day. Qualifying: Friday, we set the car to qualify. After prerunning the course, a power steering issue had surfaced but it was too late to address with qualifying staging. The qualifier was a 3/4 mile track with everything the Tennessee terrain could throw at us. We barreled through for a 6th position off the line. After qualifying we were able to fix the steering box issue with the help of Shawn Rants team and crew’s help. We were ready for race day! Race Day: Hot off the line in a cloud of dust we entered the jungle gym for the 7 mile loop. Picking our lines and keeping the car alive. Not only to finish the 6 lap race, but to make it to the 4400 main event directly after to qualify for KOH 2021. As our race day continued we found ourselves at a fast pace and making great time. Saving tires was a huge advantage in this race, most competitors we came across or passed in the pits had pulled off to change. Our BFGoodrich tires kept up with us all day long without letting us down. As we ran lap after lap we found ourselves in traffic from the 4600 stock class headed down a single track downhill slope when our car suddenly lost all power. Trying to return power to the vehicle we were a sitting duck in the middle of the course with no way around us. Not a good place to be on a slick downhill rocky course. With traffic building up behind us, Chris May was able to winch us backwards to realign our car on the course and then pushed us down the hill until we were off the main course and vehicles can get by. Sergio and I quickly went to work on figuring out what the issue was and why we had no power. While we worked on the car the weather opened up and startedto pour. Our car slid further and further down the hill until we wedged against a tree keeping us from the 500 foot drop. Figuring out we lost our main power from the switch to somewhere on our control panel. Sergio grabbed our tool bag and wire to hotwire the necessary items needed on the car to run. WE HAVE POWER! Running late in our race day and eager to finish our lap we barreled back through the course to the start/finish line. We didn’t place where we wanted to, but still earning a 5th place for the issues we had, we quickly prepared the car for the 4400 class race since we were still up, running, and operational. Taking off the line in the 4400 Ultra4 class main event would be the turning point for PGR. This not only lands us a start for the 4400 race, but this opened up our 2021 4400 race entry to KOH with our brand new Miller Chassis! Huge thank you to Dave and all the Ultra4 for keeping this event safe while taking all precautions necessary for COVID-19 along with the organization from registration to race day. As we head into prep mode for the next Ultra4 race in Reno, the team is also hot on the build as parts fly in for the new 4400 car.