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This is relatively old news now, but we haven’t had a chance to post the official 2017 Ultra4 schedule; it’s just crazy busy! So, here it is, and as sometimes happens we have two new surprises in store for next year. Both kickoff races for the East and West series have new venues, which is both an exciting and nerve-racking way to start the year.
For the West series, drivers will find themselves in Sierra Blanca, TX. I’ve heard of this venue being in the works for some time, but can’t add anything of value here outside of that. It replaces Glen Helen, which I know drivers love but from a spectator standpoint it leaves less to be desired. It’s all new to us, but we’ll be in TX all the same. Outside of the venue itself, one bit worth mentioning is its more central location which will be nice for those East Coast guys taking on the West.
For the East series, drivers will find themselves in Davis, OK. I’ve heard of this venue being in the works from a semi-underground last year rumor that Hot Springs was off the table. Too bad on Hot Springs, I quite love that place, but it is what it is. As with the West series kickoff race, I have nothing of value to add regarding Davis, so I’ll be learning the ropes along with the rest of you. It’s nice to have a central location in the East as well; we’ve had west coast guys showing up more and more in the East series, so a few less miles of travel is always appreciated.
With that, we can’t wait for 2017!
This new 4500 Spider 9 IFS powered Jimmy’s 4×4 racer is making its debut at SEMA this week (yes, IFS and 4500 are in the same sentence). We have no doubt this wild machine driven by world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. is going to turn some heads in Hammertown next year. We just received the first official press release out of Vaughn Gittin Jr. Motorsports and wanted to share that will you here. Enjoy!
JOPPA, MARYLAND, OCTOBER 31, 2016 — Coming off of an unprecedented top 10 finish in his first ever running at the 2015 King of the Hammers off-road race—becoming the first crossover driver ever to do so—Drift Champion and Professional Fun-Haver, Vaughn Gittin Jr., will compete in the February 2017 event with a Jimmy’s 4×4 Ford Bronco. Vaughn will race in the pro ‘4500: Rubicon Express Modified Class’ of the Ultra 4 Racing series in partnership with New Bright R/C, who will produce radio-controlled toy versions of #Brocky that will be available for sale at major retailers late 2017.
“I am a Professional Fun-Haver: I just love driving and challenging myself behind the wheel,” Gittin Jr. explains. “Some of the ultimate challenges in the off-road world is Ultra 4 Racing with the King of the Hammers race being the pinnacle. Last year I worked with my friends at Nitto Tire to afford myself the epic opportunity to race at King of the Hammers. On paper, I was a bit over my head but was confident in my abilities to study, listen, learn, and adapt. With some solid support from the amazing people that make up the off-road community, including tips from fellow drivers Loren Healy, Casey Currie, Shannon Cambell, and Bailey Cole—after a fire-drill lesson and barely an hour of seat time—I was confident enough to dive head first into the world of off-road racing. Thinking back about it now, it was all a bit nuts. I’ll never forget the first vertical climb Loren Healy broke me in on, and my first climb of ‘Chocolate Thunder’. Both were just insane and I really thought it was a joke at first but as soon as I got to the top I understood just how much capability the Jimmy’s 4×4 built race trucks can provide. I quickly learned that Ultra 4 Racing was another sport in which car control and overall understanding of vehicle dynamics that is learned through drifting translates very well to. I am sure it is pretty obvious now that my first Ultra 4 Racing experience gave me the bug. I am pumped to have teamed up with some amazing partners to step up to the pro ‘4500: Rubicon Express Modified Class’ and have some more fun with this incredible off-road community!”
#Brocky will debut at the Ford Out Front display during SEMA 2016 with Gittin Jr. behind the wheel as part of the “RTR Takeover” twice a day at Ford Out Front (12-1pm and 4-5pm). The hand-built Bronco by Jimmy’s 4×4, is running their 4500-IFS chassis, and is powered by the Ford Performance Z427 engine, which produces upwards of 600 horsepower. Gittin Jr. has chosen Nitto Tire Trail Grapplers, American Racing wheels, and KING Off-Road Racing Shocks to take on the abuse that is endured during Ultra 4 Racing. New Bright R/C will be replicating the Bronco with a special 1:8th and 1:15th scale model of the rock crawler to be available at major retailers for sale fourth quarter of 2017.
We recently received a press release out of Jason Scherer’s Rage 4th race camp, and as always I love sharing those reports with you here. Hearing the stories direct from the driver is always worthwhile. Without further ado, let’s hear from Rage 4th.
Enter Rage 4th
DANVILLE, CA OCTOBER 25, 2016
Jason Scherer’s success as the 2016 Ultra4 National Points Champion is a clear combination of consistently having a fast car and teaming up with the best partners in the industry. In 2016, Scherer finished 1st at the Fallon 250, 2ndat King of the Hammers, 2nd at Metalcloak Stampede and 3rd at the Nitto National Championships. The only non-podium finish was Hot Springs Arkansas where he finished 8th after a fluke mechanical issue while leading. The Ultra4 series uniquely combines endurance racing, short course racing and desert racing to find racers that excel at all disciplines. Scherer has proven to be such a racer taking wins in all categories among a strong field of contenders driving his #76 Rubicon Express Nitto Tire car.
“We started the year on the pole position for King of the Hammers and have maintained our consistency all year. We had a fast car, but it was also reliable for the first time since we built it over a year ago. I have clearly teamed up with the best partners in the industry to get the reliability that is needed for these extremely challenging races,” said Scherer. “Our partners called to see how their parts performed after each race, taking the input to make their products better for the everyday consumer. I really appreciate not only their attention to detail for our race program, but their commitment to building the best product available on the market.”
Scherer’s 2016 partners include: Rubicon Express, Nitto Tires, FOX Shox, Spidertrax, Method Wheels, Dynomax Exhaust, Rugged Radios, Tilden Motorsports, Red Line Oil, Wild West Off-Road, Fishmouth Fab Works, RCV Performance Products, Advance Adapters, High Angle Drivelines, Pac Springs, Reid Racing, Jamar Brakes, PowerTank, ARB USA, Power Steering Solutions, Rigid Industries, Motive Gear, WARN Industries and Elrod’s Performance Straps.
The Nitto National Championship race in Reno, NV last weekend concluded the season. “I went into this points racing all the way. I was being smart, and all about business. There was a whole group of racers within striking distance to take the championship so I kept them all within my range while pushing, but maintaining the car. I knew I didn’t need to win, but I needed to finish. I am extremely happy with the 3rd place finish needed to win the National Championship,” reflected Scherer.
Jason, the Rage 4th Team and the #76 Rubicon Express Nitto Tire car are already prepping for the 2017 season. The car is getting cut apart as they add a passenger seat for his co-driver, Jason Berger. Historically just a one-person vehicle, Scherer is opting to have the assistance of a co-driver in 2017. Testing will begin in December with the focus of King of the Hammers on the near horizon. “I am very appreciative of a new partnership with Safecraft Safety Equipment who is opening up shop space for our team as my kids toys have helped us grow out of my 3-car garage!” said Scherer.
The Rage 4th Crew: Ole Stogesburg, Ben Ratto, Chad & Brett Lujan, Greg Hussey, John Webb, Brian Farris, Steve Headen, Dan Trout, Ben Bower, Gary & Gordon Uffins, Jason Willis and Doug Kennedy, Jonathan Haniger and his brother Casey Scherer.
Special Thanks to all the Marketing Partners that Make this Success Possible: Rubicon Express, Nitto Tires, FOX Shox, Spidertrax, Method Wheels, Dynomax Exhaust, Rugged Radios, Tilden Motorsports, Red Line Oil, Wild West Off-Road, Fishmouth Fab Works, RCV Performance Products, Advance Adapters, High Angle Drivelines, Pac Springs, Reid Racing, Jamar Brakes, PowerTank, ARB USA, Power Steering Solutions, Rigid Industries, Motive Gear, WARN Industries and Elrod’s Performance Straps
More about Jason Scherer: Jason Scherer has been racing for over 18 years and has stood on the podium at many events winning one of the most prestigious events: The 2009 King of the Hammers. He also has a top 25 finish in 7 King of the Hammers races since 2008 and won the 2012 and 2013 Ultra4 Nitto National Championship Race, 2013 Metalcloak Stampede and 2016 Fallon 250. His consistency and race car set-up is proven winning the 2016 Ultra4 National Points and Pro-Rock Championship in 2006, repeating in 2007. Jason’s growing list of high profile finishes have earned him the honor of being nominated for Dirt Sports “Driver of the Year” award two years in a row. Scherer embraces his racing career with a very supportive wife and children who join him on the trails of Northern California in their 1972 Jeep CJ-6.
Just a few of our favorite photos from the 2016 Nitto National Championship. Photos by Thom Kingston of Spidertrax. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution. Read more…