By Jon Crowley
The MetalCloak Stampede is held at Prairie City SVRA near Sacramento, CA. John Goodby of NorCal Rock Racing creates the course here which consisted of a 2 mile lap, filled with man-made rock obstacles, tight turns, jumps, whoops and go fast sections. This year Goodby switched up the track by reversing the course direction and adding a rock section at the very start of the course.
Practice – John Duckworth in his new RZR XP Turbo
Friday afternoon was open practice for the UTVs and racers got their first taste of the course. The two-mile track started downhill immediately in the rocks. This rock section was one of the worst because rocks were freshly laid down with no dirt in between them. After the rocks, there was a long stretch of high speed with a few rollers and small jumps before hitting another rock section.
Practice – Phil Cagliero in his RZR XP Turbo
Then the track made a u-turn and headed to the back area and another high speed jump, a short technical down hill section before coming back to the infield. One more downhill rock section, then boom back to another flat rock section.
Practice – Paul Hart in his long travel RZR XP Turbo
The track would have been tough enough on its own, but then Mother Nature kicked into gear. After practice and some prelims on Friday, it rained most of the night and all day during the racing on Saturday.
Rugged Radios was on had to help with radios and intercoms as well as tear-offs
Racers not only had to deal with a slippery track but also poor visibility. Racers flocked to Rugged Radios for tear-offs during the day so they could see after being splattered in mud. Beyond visibility issues, the mud caked onto vehicles weighing them down and clogged radiators.
Robert Camilleri in his Can-Am Maverick
UTVs hit the track at 8AM on Saturday for the prelim. This race would determine starting order for the main later in the day. Prelims are incredibly important for the much larger and faster 4400 class, but for UTVs just keeping the car together would be much more important than starting order.
Cagliero about to lap Bersamini during prelim
Cagliero was smooth and fast during the prelim and qualified 1st. Paul Hart qualified 2nd, but was having overheating issues. Last season’s Ultra4 UTV champion John Duckwork had a collision with a rock that didn’t move and ripped off part of his passenger front tire/wheel.
Team Ducky Racing having some bad luck in the prelim
For the UTV class, the rocks were a large enough challenge on their own, but after the rain, it created a track that was tougher than any short course track I have ever seen. There was absolutely no way to get any traction through the rock sections, so racers had to rely on momentum to get through. One wrong move can easily rip an arm off a UTV, and a few racers saw this firsthand.
The start of the UTV race was an incredible sight to witness. Cagliero (orange) and Hart (blue) were in the front row. Cagliero jumped into the rocks and skipped right across them. Hart was second through them and then all hell broke loose as several cars got stuck and ran into each other. Duckworth would miss the traffic jam in the middle, but almost put his XP Turbo into the k-rail.
Rain, Mud and Rocks at the 2016 Stampede UTV Race
Cagliero stayed out front for a few laps but had a problem with his power steering that slowed him down. Hart would make the pass and never look back. Cars were dropping like flies from all sorts of failures. Duckworth was gaining on Cagliero when his passenger front a-arm came out of the mounting tabs. Most likely weakened from hitting the rock in the prelim.
Burtal course taking another victim
Duckworth out of the race
Gomez chasing Cagliero
Bersamini kept his RZR together and claimed third
Cagliero finished 2nd
Paul Hart finished first
Stampede UTV Race Podium: Hart – 1st, Cagliero 2nd, Bersamini 3rd
Stampede UTV Race Winner – Paul Hart
2016 Ultra4 MetalCloak Stampede UTV Race Results:
More Ultra4 Stampede UTV Race Photos:
Our RZR XP4 Turbo at the Vision X Booth
Our Polaris RANGER XP 900 was a huge help getting around the track in the rain
The MetalCloak Stampede is the first race in the 2016 Trail Gear Western Regional ULTRA4 series. Ultra4 Racing is the sanctioning body behind King of The Hammers: The toughest one day off road race on the planet. Ultra4 cars are unlimited 4 wheel-drive endurance racing. Rocks, deserts, hillclimbs, whoops, trees, you name it, we race it.
To give these cars and their drivers a chance to showcase their unique capabilities, Hammerking has formed the ULTRA4 Racing series. The series challenges drivers to compete in a wide variety of terrain from endurance desert racing to competition-style rock crawls to short course racing. Hammerking currently produces seven races in the series. The races take place on both public lands and in private motorsports parks across the country.
More information on the race can be found atwww.ultra4racing.com