By Thom Kingston
on 2015-07-28T07:00:18-06:00 | Glen Helen Grand Prix
DsquaredRacing |© All Rights Reserved
This year’s Glen Helen was one hot race. Not weather wise, temperatures were quite forgiving for a change, rather the racing was as intense as one could hope for. While I love reading editorial race recaps from photographers and promoters, nothing beats a recap straight from the racer themself.
Enter DsquaredRacing, the race team makings of husband & wife Darren and Darlene Henke. With their Spider 9 IFS powered Ultra4 racer, they dish it out every race, and as racing goes some races are better than others. They had a commanding position for most of their Glen Helen weekend, until a jump decided it wanted the best of their front chassis (bulk-head). As such, their finish wasn’t quite where they wanted it to be, but their story is still one worth listening to.
You can read their entire race recap BY CLICKING HERE. Also a fun mention, Darren & Darlene are running Spidertrax 40 splined IFS front diff shafts, they are the first team to install and test these. A bit untraditional as it requires a spool, but for those IFS racers looking for a similar setup you can purchase these shafts by calling an order in. They are not a standard stocking item (which is the reason why it’s not on the website), but they are certainly available for purchase.
By Thom Kingston
on 2015-07-23T07:00:40-06:00 | Glen Helen Grand Prix
Just received a 2015 Glen Helen race recap from Derek West, and wanted to share that with you here. It’s well worth the read, especially given just how consistent Derek has been this year. He’s almost always consistent, he’s the guy you bet on in Vegas if you want good odds, but with his new Spider 9 powered Jimmy’s 4×4 Ultra4, he’s 100% in the game this year. With that, enter Derek West’s race recap from Glen Helen.
Consistency is key
Top 5 finishes in every race so far this year
The Jimmy’s racing team had a rough start when the front drive shaft flew out at a speed close to 100 mph on the back stretch. The damage included a crushed exhaust system which would have to be fixed. The team rushed to replace the drive shaft and fix the exhaust to get on the track for qualifying. With just a few minutes to spare the team had the car fixed and Derek was on the track and qualified in the fifth spot. In the first heat Derek started 3rd and was looking great until a sensor wire came loose from the engine, which then wrapped around the drive shaft and took the lower engine harness wiring with it. Again, the #20 car was towed back into the pits to be repaired. This put the team in the last chance qualifier race (LCQ) fighting for a chance to make the main race. Starting 3rd in this heat as well Derek quickly made it to the front only to have some more problems forcing him to make a quick pit stop. Once the issue was addressed Derek was back on track and pushing hard to catch up as the entire field had passed by. Derek managed his way back up to the front of the pack to finish 3rd which would advance him to the main race.
The Nitto Tire/ NorthStar Battery car was in the 39th position, the second to last spot. The race leader was starting three and a half minutes in front of Derek with the staggered start. “I was just determined to catch as many of the racers in front of me as I could and still keep the car together so I could get a decent finish. During the last hour of the race, the track conditions were brutal!”, said Derek. The race lasted for a little over 2.5hrs and at the end Derek and team had secured a 5th place finish. This would be enough to increase their 1st place lead in the Nitto national points championship as well as the move into 2nd in the western division.
By Thom Kingston
on 2015-07-22T07:00:23-06:00 | Breslau Rally
Jim Marsden was already a household name in Europe, his versatility as a driver and relentless push for 1st makes him a force to be reckoned with. Throw some Spider 9s underneath his signature Land Rover… and he’s simply unstoppable. Jim has done what was previously considered the impossible this year. He has taken 1st place in all the big 3 European endurance races, the French Xtreme, Croatia Trophy, and now just recently the Breslau Rally. It’s a story that will go down in history, we can still hear the team celebrating all the way from across the ocean.
Jim put together a race report from Breslau, it’s well worth the read. You can download that PDF here. Congrats Jim and the entire Gigglepin Team, it’s an absolute blast working together!
By Thom Kingston
on 2015-07-15T13:08:18-06:00 | Glen Helen Grand Prix
The Redline Projects | Ryan Del Ponte | © All Rights Reserved
Last weekend, Loren Healy pulled off another amazing win at the Glen Helen Grand Prix. Powered by Spider 9 IFS, Loren drove his Red Dragon to a nail biting 1st place finish, claiming this race as “one of the hardest races of my career”. With so many fast & talented drivers these days, it’s easy to see just how hard fought this race was. To date, this marks 7 out of 8 race wins for Loren in his new Ultra4, clearly re-defining what it means to be on the cutting edge. Congrats Loren, always great seeing you on top of the podium!
For more details of this years Glen Helen Grand Prix, be sure to check out DrivingLine and official race results from Ultra4Racing.
By Thom Kingston
on 2015-07-07T08:43:14-06:00 | Spider 9
DRD Images | Doug Dienelt | © 2015 All Rights Reserved
“Spidertrax is the best to deal with. Not only do they have the best axle components available, they also offer the best customer service by giving exact lead times and shipping info. I have been using Spidertrax components for almost a decade and can attest to the strength and quality their product offer.” -Derek West
It’s been an awesome year. To date Spider 9 Axles have taken 1st place at King of the Hammers, The Stampede, King of Italy, French Xtreme, Croatia Trophy, Badlands (won by Derek West, photo as featured above), and just very recently the Breslau Rally (congrats Jim Marsden, more to come on that in the future post). This is just for 2015, the racing season is still young!
It was Derek’s recent win at Badlands that got me thinking. He’s one badass driver in one badass Ultra4, no argument there given his current 1st place standing in US series points, but what makes his Ultra4 so unique, so special? Is Derek running custom parts that only he has access to? Of course this is far from the case, which was the inspiration for writing this article. EVERY SINGLE SPIDER 9 PART on Derek’s Ultra4 racer can be purchased online or on the phone, available to everyone and anyone who’s building an off-road racer. Let’s not stop there though, the story that follows will detail the EXACT Spider 9 setup (axle dimensions, parts, everything we could think of) that’s under Derek’s winning machine, so that you to can see what it takes to grab those top podium spots.
Let’s dive right in.