POLARIS RZR XP TURBO – Blue Water Desert Challenge – Team UTV INC ITP Tire Race Report
So this was the seventh race of an eight race series. Going into it we were first in points with two races to go! A couple of months ago I really didn’t expect, nor care that much about a Championship but now it’s in the back of my mind. With that being said I retired my Baja 1000 winning Polaris RZR XP 1000 4 and built a new Polaris RZR XP Turbo 2 seater. The new RZR XP Turbo has more power, Polaris upgraded pretty much the whole drive train to handle more power and off road abuse. I was really after the increased horsepower and it has more or less paid off. We are still at the top of the point’s battle and have over 1000 ass beating, scorching heat, and extremely brutal race miles thru some of the nastiest, barbarous terrain on Earth at race speeds on the new car and it just keeps going and going strong.
This race is a two days event with racing 76 miles each day. They combine the total time from both days and determine the winner. Our class (Class 19) starts with 24 UTVs. We start this race 2 at a time side by side. I start someplace around 9th so there are approx. 18 racers starting in front of me. Boy let me tell you we are off the starting line and we beat the car that we start next to into the desert. About a half mile into the race we are in pretty much a dust fog so thick that at times we cannot see the ground in front of our car.
No, I am not making shit up, when I tell you we could not see the race course in front of us Ray Charles or Helen Keller could have passed right next to us and we would have never seen them either. We do what we do and brave the darkness and race on. Oh every once in a while it would get a little lighter and we could see maybe a couple of hundred feet but when you’re trying to race a couple of hundred feet is a blink of the eye. In one straight section we can see a couple of hundred feet so we are probably running around 60 MPH and out of the dust we see a huge whoop section right in front of us. I don’t even have time to get on the brakes and we hit them hard and fast. The first one sends the back of the car ten feet in the air, we are praying again, and I am pretty sure Boner is mumbling nonsense into the intercom system again. Well that same thing happens to us two more times before the car slowed down enough to settle down and for me to count off a couple of ‘hail Marys’ and ‘amen’ on the rosary beads. I think at that point I told Boner I think we should just slow down and try and finish this race. That was the same ol’ lie I always say. I want to go fast and don’t have a lot of self-control with the race part of my brain. Now we are not much more than 15 miles into this race and I see lights coming behind me so I pull over so they can pass us. We get right back into the race but we end up with an occasional metal on metal clanking sound coming from the back of the car. We kind of take it easy and just cruise around the race course even slowing occasionally for a photo op and to check out the river!
Day one is over and we move up to 9th place overall from our starting place of 18th. We get the car back to the pit and prep it for the next day. We are still trying to figure out what the clanking sound is but we don’t come across anything.
Day two is upon us and we are starting 5th off the line and next to the world famous race team of ‘Jagged X’. These guys have won so many races and championships it’s crazy. Green light and we are off hauling ass and making up time. The first two laps go great, it is really dusty again and even rougher out due to the other 100 or so race cars that raced after us on Saturday. Then all of a freaking sudden that noise, yah ‘that noise’ that makes you think the car is going to fall apart and stop moving right now! I ease back into the gas and we keep moving. We have 25 or so miles to go so like the day before we kind of take it easy the rest of the race. We don’t mind because nobody is catching us and we feel we are running in the top of the pack. Although we want to finish on the podium we know this is desert racing and a top five is just what it sounds like. You never hear anybody asking anything besides ‘hey who won that race?’ yah, nobody is sitting around the camp fire saying ‘hey, who came in fourth place at that race?’ Oh well, it was overall a great race with no axle problems, no broken belts, no flat tires, no real damage to anything but my ego. Hey, you know what is really funny? You know that clanking noise was that we slowed down for that probably cost us a podium at this race? Yah, it was a spare rear radius rod that we carry on the car… so has it that one of the mounting tabs that holds it on our rear bumper had broken and the 24” long piece of steel was just clanking and bouncing around on the back of the car. Well as of right now we are Race Prepping the car for the Baja 1000 and almost done. We have pulled the Transmission Inspected it and Reinstalled it, Inspected the Primary and Secondary Clutch’s and they look great, Engine is running strong, we still need to pull the front differential and inspect it but everything is looking great and Ready to Race.
As always a huge thank you to the guys at our shop and pit crew.
Thank YOU all so much for your support.