What makes us qualified to build the ultimate sport utility truck? One example is the experience I gained in the rough and tumble world of short-course, off-road racing.
Short-course racing was started by a group of adventure seeking individuals from the small northwoods Wisconsin town of Crandon. After seeing a 1969 Wide World of Sports presentation of the 1968 Mexican Baja 1000, they organized a race on Sept 6, 1970, through the farm fields and logging trails of the surrounding countryside. After this initial event, an annual race on Labor Day weekend race was held and eventually a permanent race course was created in one of the farm fields. From these humble beginnings, a new form of professional motorsports emerged which is now sanctioned by 2 separate organizations, each with their own race schedule and championship, TORC and the Lucas Oil Off Road Series: http://torcseries.com/ http://www.lucasoiloffroad.com/
My involvement with the sport in began in 2007 in the Pro-2 racing class, where I designed, built, and race-engineered a successful, race-winning truck. I engineered and completed the CAD design work on the vehicle over a 3 month period and then built it from the ground up in another 4 months.
• Tubular DOM steel Chassis
• Fiberglass body
• 4100 lb race weight
• 410 cid, 800 hp Ford based engine
• TH400 based automatic transmission
• 35 inch diameter tires mounted on aluminum beadlock wheels
• Wheel travel, 18 inches front, 20 inches rear
• 3 inch ID coilover shocks
• Dual rate springs
• 6 inch stroke hydraulic bumpstops
• 4100 lb race weight with ballast
The truck raced under my guidance for 4 seasons and is still competing now, going into its 10th season this year. As Mr. Honda so notably said, “Racing Improves the Breed”, and that applies here. Racing in such extreme conditions quickly finds the weak point of any vehicle, it teaches you to expect the unexpected and what loading scenarios are possible during extreme use of a vehicle. Much of the suspension, chassis, and rollcage design criteria of our forthcoming vehicle were derived from lessons learned on the race track and will allow us to make the ultimate sport utility truck that is not only strong but is also lightweight.