Archive for September, 2015

It’s an Ultra4 Double Header kind of Weekend

September 10th2015

Spidertrax | Thom Kingston | CC BY 3.0

We have two Ultra4 series finales dropping this weekend, if only we could be at two places at one time! Vimioso Portugal is hosting the final Ultra4 European race of 2015, The King of Portugal (KOP), and we’re already seeing the influx of King Shock tuning on our Facebook feed. The best rocks outside of King of the Hammers, KOP promises an insane go fast meets technical rocks extravaganza. By Saturday UTC+00:00, we’ll have our 2015 Ultra4 European champion, and we can’t wait to see how things play out. Best of luck to all KOP racers, be fast and be safe!

Which leaves us here in the States, as we get ready to close out the 2015 Ultra4 eastern series with Ultra4s at Hot Springs AR. Ultra4s at Hot Springs is one of our favorite racing venues, delivering a perfect blend of tree dodging meets rock racing meets holy humidity racing. The eastern series title is a close one, too close to call and by no means guaranteed for any one driver, so this weekend’s Hot Springs results will be key for many.

Hard to pick which of two great events to attend, but it’s been awhile since we’ve seen our east coast Ultra4 family, so Hot Springs for us it is. We’ll be there in full force, and we’ll have some stories and photos to share when the mud settles. Here’s the published schedule of events for Hot Springs, courtesy of

Friday September 11th, 2015
9AM – 2PM Course Review and Registration
3PM – 5PM Qualifying for ULTRA4s
6PM Mandatory Drivers Meeting – all classes

Saturday September 12th, 2015
9AM – 10AM UTV Competition

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM 4400, 4500, 4600, 4800 Competition

4:30 PM – Awards Ceremony at Pavillion Immediately following ULTRA4 Races

With that, two quick notes for you seasoned Hot Springs racers.

  1. 11am – 4pm likely doesn’t translate to King of Hot Springs. We’d expect, after talking with Shannon Welch, this isn’t a full-on 5 hr straight endurance race, where drivers are left bringing their vehicles home in pieces. Rather drivers will have 5 hrs to complete a set number of laps. How many laps, that still hasn’t been decided as of this post. Last year we were near 5 laps, and hearing that this year’s course is a bit longer (roughly 1-2 miles longer) we may end up with a 4 lap race. That, or a 5 lap… or maybe a 6 lap race… all still up in the air. Guessing Friday’s qualifying will iron that out a bit more.
  2. No SRRS Rock Bouncer vs Ultra4 Shootout. That’s a bummer, but understandable given that the SRRS guys have had a crazy tight schedule, with races the weekend before and after the Ultra4 race. It is what it is, hopefully we can see this come back together next year, the shootout has been part of the Ultra4 Hot Springs history and gave birth to the Ultra4 vs Rock Bouncer KOH shootout. Always a blast,rock bouncers are some of the coolest guys & gals to race with, so we’ll keep this one on the radar for a 2016 return.

We’ll wrap it up there. Looking forward to seeing all you east coast racers this weekend!

The Lovell’s Fill a Tall Order

September 7th2015
Spidertrax | Thom Kingston | CC BY 3.0

Spidertrax | Thom Kingston | CC BY 3.0

Brad & Roger Lovell, otherwise known as The Lovell Brothers, had a good thing going. They were on top of their game during the rock crawling craze, and were top contenders during the growth of Ultra4. A household name by any measure in the rock scenes, they knew how to run a team, how to race, and how to win. Then, in 2010, Brad left their comfort zone and signed up for TORC Short Course racing. We were there for his first Pro Light race, COVERED HERE, and it was a start from scratch racing experience for all of us. Fast forward just a couple of years from this start, and Brad was back on top. Named driver of the year, winning himself Pro Light season title… this was it! Or was it?

Never satisfied with the status quo, Brad started from scratch again, left that comfort zone in the dust, and decided to take the next step in his professional racing career — building a TORC Pro 2. This is the big boy, 2WD 800+ horsepower raging machine. Fast, expensive, crowd pleasing, and expensive, the Pro 2 is the natural evolution for the best of the best Pro Light drivers. The 2015 race season marked his debut Pro 2 year, and in a small liking to his Pro Light entrance, things don’t always go perfect. However, they sure did go well, especially given the amount of fine tuning required to have a podium finishing Pro 2 vehicle.

Keys to the Big House, which took place last Saturday & Sunday at the Crandon International Raceway, marked the final two rounds for the TORC 2015 season. Brad had a mixed weekend, securing 4th on his first day and near last on his second after a spun out vehicle blocked his path and took out his rear shock (that’s racing). When the dust settled, this put Brad in a 4th place season finish (unofficial as of this post), not 1st as Brad demands on himself but a respectable place given his effective rookie year and out of box, never been tested, Pro 2 machine. Congrats Brad and the entire Lovell Racing team for a great season finish, from scratch to 4th is a big deal!

Worth mentioning of course, Brad’s Pro 2 is running a 4″ Spider 9 housing, which looks right at home in his ultra high horsepower machine. We have been proudly working with the Lovell Brothers since the inception of all things rock crawling and racing alike, now add short course racing as well. History has a way of repeating itself, so if you’re going to bet on a winning team for 2016, make sure you keep the Lovell’s on top of your list.